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Pi (1998)

Director: Darren Aronofksy
Stars: Sean Gullette, Mark Margolis, Ben Shenkman, Pamela Hart, Samia Shoaib, Ajay Naidu

Before the powerfully depressing Requiem for a Dream, Mickey Rourke's comeback vehicle The Wrestler, and Natalie Portman's Oscar-winning psycho-horror flick Black Swan, acclaimed director Darren Aronofsky was a struggling first-time filmmaker with little money and huge ideas. The result of his pre-fame hunger is Pi, a black-and-white mind-fuck about an unstable math whiz (Sean Gullette) whose obsessive work gains unwanted attention from Hasidic extremists, Wall Street players, and his own insanity. For bleak, hypnotic atmosphere, Pi is tough to beat.

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