PI Darren Aronofsky 1998 - Essay Example

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This essay discusses Pi, directed and written by Darren Aronofsky, that refers to a 1998 American surrealist psychological film. The film is Aronofsky's debut. It earned Darren the Best First Screenplay under the Independent Spirit Award, the Directing Honors, at the 1998 Sundance Movie Festival…
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PI Darren Aronofsky 1998
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PI (Darren Aronofsky, 1998)
Pi, directed and written by Darren Aronofsky, refers to a 1998 American surrealist psychological film (Huntley 1). The film is Aronofsky's debut. It earned Darren the Best First Screenplay under the Independent Spirit Award, the Directing Honors, at the 1998 Sundance Movie Festival, as well as the Gotham Open Palm Award. The name Pi refers to the mathematical constant with the same name. Similar to a number of Darren’s films, Pi focuses on a protagonist whose fanatical pursuit of thoughts leads to severely self-destructive activities. Nevertheless, the well-built psychosexual aspects of the Aronofsky's later work are not present (Huntley 1). This paper will discuss question number one of the instructions stated that is a central theme that suggests looking upon the ‘face of God’ can only be done by verbalizing a string of numbers.
A central theme in the film which discusses the face of God is the theme of Kabbalah. Kabbalah refers to an esoteric discipline, method or school of thought (Huntley 1). Sean Gullette, in Pi, acts as Maximillian Cohen. He is a paranoid mathematician looking for a number to unchain the patterns set up in nature. Max uses his homemade PC named "Euclid" to investigate these arithmetical patterns. The 216-letter phrase of God sought by the actors of the film refers to as the Explicit Name or the Shem ha-Meforash (Huntley 1). The name comes from the book Exodus 14:19-21. Each of these three bible verses is composed of 72 letters in the traditional Hebrew. According to the film, if a person writes these verses in boustrophedon form, then the person gets 72 columns of 3 letter names of God (Huntley 1). Boustrophedon form means that one verse is above the other, the first from right to left. Then the second verse is from left to right and the third is from right to left.
The nature of the Divine, according to Pi, prompted kabbalists to foresee two aspects to God. The first aspect is that God is totally unknowable, transcendent, limitless and simple. The second aspect is that God’s manifestation revealed his persona of which He creates and aids mankind (Huntley 1). The film speak of the first as Ein/Ayn Sof, which means that God that literary has no limits. Of the unfriendly Ein Sof, nothing can be understood. The second feature of Divine emanations, nevertheless, are available to human awareness, vigorously interacting throughout physical and spiritual existence, reveal God immanently, and are tied up in the life of humans (Huntley 1). The director of Pi believes that mathematics is not contradictory, but complements other aspects, emanations showing the hidden mystery from inside the Godhead.
The movie not only incorporates Kabbalah, but also the use of mathematics to unchain the hush-hushes of the Torah (Huntley 1). Hebrews, long ago, used the alphabet as their mathematical and lettering system. Thus, each letter was assigned an arithmetical value. For instance, the Hebrew letter A is equal to one. B, on the other hand, is equal to two. People, taking this into consideration, can alter the entire Torah into a large string of figures (Huntley 1). When these figures are examined, patterns appear, not unlike the patterns exposed in the hotly contested volume The Bible Code. Further reading of the book is advised.

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Huntley, Katharine. Movie Analysis: Pi. N.p, 2009. Web. Read More
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