It's that time again. How are you celebrating? Eating a baked disc of sugar? Reciting digits like a fleshy version of Siri? Maybe if you're snowed in like us New York Motherboarders, you can fire up the intertubes and re-watch Darren Aronofsky's cult classic. Pi, for those who missed it the first time in 1998, was a little independent film by the man who would later go on to give us Requiem for a Dream, Black Swan, The Fountain (underrated), and Russell Crowe as Noah. It buzzed around the festival circuit and won some awards, and may still be Aronofsky's best film.
I remember my first viewing being like a drill straight to the skull, captivated by the film's portrayal of an obsessive-compulsive mathematician's mental unspooling; the Kabbalah and numerology; the grainy black and white cinematography; the jarring, hyperactive selfies (long before that word was even coined).
Watching again today, in a time when data is being blamed for upending the world order and yet is somehow not enough to convince many of us that we're boiling our planet, Pi seems at once both quaint and ahead of its time. It's the fever dream of someone who almost saw 2017 coming, and was rightfully afraid of its arrival. I saw it on VHS, but you can rent it for streaming now on YouTube and Amazon.
Subscribe to pluspluspodcast, Motherboard's new show about the people and machines that are building our future.