Fellow Film Club Members & Movie Buffs:
The intriguing beguiling theme for this month’s movie selections:
“The Universe in Three Acts”.
April has nearly waned, and sweet May looms lovely on all of our horizons. In May the Tacoma Film Club will screen this Friday, May 2, 2014, the intriguing & mysterious film, PI (1998), directed as an early feature by the powerful artistic Darren Aronofsky.
Aronofsky has directed 10 films since 1991, & PI was his first feature film. He seems to prepare his movie projects for several years. His films include REQUIEM FOR A DREAM (2000), THE FOUNTAIN (2006), THE WRESTLER (2008), BLACK SWAN (2010), & NOAH (2014).
He attended the American Film Institute. He lives with/ is engaged to actress Rachel Weisz, & they have a child. The star of PI, Sean Gullette, was in his graduate directed study film at AFI. In 2001, he was working on a BATMAN project with artist Frank Miller, but it fell through. He turned down directing THE WOLVERINE because it would have taken him out of the country for too long; doesn’t like to be away from his family.
Aronofsky said: “If PI hadn’t worked, I have no idea what would have happened to my budding career. Filmmaking is not really at Art form–I spend most of my time dealing with the bureaucracy.”
The musical score was written by Clint Mansell. PI was his first feature film. He has written scores for ALL of Aronofsky’s movies as well as MURDER BY NUMBERS (2002), SUSPECT ZERO (2004), SMOKIN’ ACES (2006), MOON (2009), & STOKER (2013). He likes to use Orchestral music to compliment Electronic instruments.
The cinematography was done by Matthew Libatique, who also attended AFI, where he met Aronofsky. He has lensed 44 films since 1993, shooting ALL of Aronofsky’s movies except THE WRESTLER (2008). Some of my favorites were TIGERLAND (2000), PHONE BOOTH (2002), INSIDE MAN (2006) MIRACLE AT ST. ANNA (2008), IRON MAN (2008), IRON MAN II (2010), & RUBY SPARKS (2012).
Written & Directed by Darren Aronofsky @ 84 minutes.
The film stars Sean Gullette, Mark Margolis, Ben Shenkman, & Pamela Hart.
Synopsis: Max is a genius mathematician who has erected a super computer at home that provides new data that can be interpreted as a key for understanding all existence; two factions begin to try & seduce the truth out of him, a Hasidic Cabal, & a powerful Wall Street firm.
Tagline: Faith in Chaos.
The film won the Best Director award at Sundance.
TRIVIA: The movie was made for a slim budget of 60K, & it made 3 million world-wide, doing well in DVD sales. Sean Gullette & Mark Margolis spent months learning to play the Asian numerical game GO.
When Lenny begins talking to Max, he asks him about the Kabbalah, which is the numerical interpretation of the Torah, & the 216 letter name for God, known as Shem HaMeforash. PI set up an Aronofsky trademark; a protagonist whose obsessive pursuit of ideals leads to severe self-destructive behavior.
The 60 K used to make PI was made up mostly of 100 dollar contributions given by Aronofsky’s family & friends. When the film was bought, each person got a $150.00 bonus on their investment. Shoe string budgets mean no location permits were ever secured. A full time lookout had to watch out for police as scenes were filmed. Aronofsky’s mother catered the shoot. The number Max is searching for is 216 digits long, which is 6X6X6, 666–the number of the Beast.
Rotten Tomatoes rated the film at 87% Critic’s Approval & 85% for Audience Approval.
Richard Corliss of TIME magazine wrote: “Aronofsky is that rare Indie filmmaker who doesn’t want to make hip romantic sitcoms. He is a genuine experimenter with a very spooky visual style.”
Dennis Harvey of VARIETY wrote: “The film’s imaginative diverse images create a mind’s-eye look at urban claustrophobia.”
Roger Ebert wrote: “ The seductive thing about Aronofsky’s film is that it’s halfway plausible in terms of modern physics & math.”
Jordan Miller of BANGITOUT.COM wrote: “PI is certainly about the burden of genius, but it might also be about mythical powers & faulty dogma in Judaism.”
Tom Meek of FILM THREAT wrote: “Aronofsky creates an eerie Eraserhead-like world that keeps the film compelling.”
So mark your calendars for this Friday, May 2, 2014, & join the Tacoma Film Club for their screening of PI (1998). It will be shown on brand new projection equipment at the Center for Spiritual Living church building, located at 206 N. J Street, on the corner of J & Division, across from the Group Health hospital.
Arrive early, around 6:30 p.m., and join many others downstairs in the kitchen area for fellowship. It is permitted to brink snacks & beverages, including wine, to share with others. Remember it is not permitted to take any food or drink into the sanctuary upstairs, and please be courteous to others and turn off your cell phones during the movie. PI screens at 7:15 p.m., and it runs 84 minutes, so the movie should be over by 9:30 p.m.