One More Reason Why Darren Aronofsky's Cool

One More Reason Why Darren Aronofsky's Cool

Darren Aronofsky’s a winner – or at least famous enough to have people critically examine his films. That’s pretty impressive. The funny thing is, though, going back and watching his first film, Pi, released in 1998. The director was 29 at the time his first feature was released. And judging by the tone it apes, viewers shouldn’t be hard pressed to imagine the director as being a relatively stoic and dour figure. That well may not be the case, but after watching Pi it’d be hard to imagine the guy’s days and nights filled with rainbows and flowers.

Even Pi’s soundtrack, mostly comprised of jungle and other various electronic musics as wrangled by Clint Mansell, gives off a dirty and withdrawn feel at the same time viewers are going to get the frenzied element to the compositions and the film itself. Bounding down the street, evading potential business partners and Hasids, Pi’s name character, Max is hard at work on figuring out the answer to things pretty much everyone wants. The funny thing is, that the equations and systems that yield up Max’ answer isn’t revealed through a single question, but completely different avenues of exploration.

Aronofsky’s ability to see connections between almost every field of research in math is really what enables him to craft a picture that doesn’t sport too much of a plot. If one starts at the beginning of the story and moves to the end, bullet-pointing major occurrences, there just wouldn’t be too many. Max works at home, meets an old math teacher, meets an orthodox Jew, coaxes a new computer processor from someone and works numbers. That’s pretty much the totality of the film.

Spinning those few ideas into an hour and twenty four minutes of film, though, is why we’re still talking about a feature like this thirteen years after its completion. And since it’s the season, some of the more shambolic, chase scenes in Pi informed Black Swan at least a bit. Of course, the fact that Pi was made for the equivalent of money found in a couch by Hollywood standards makes Aronofsky’s achievement even more impressive. And while this feature as well as his following Requiem for a Dream finds the director pushing through fair almost no traditional movie goer can handle watching, Aronofsky would eventually free himself of his early career demons and at least set his own paranoia off to the side in order to focus on some other more sympathetic characters.