Bil’s rating (out of 5): BBB. USA, 1998. Harvest Filmworks, Truth and Soul Pictures, Plantain Films. Story by Darren Aronofsky, Sean Gullette, Eric Watson, Screenplay by Darren Aronofksy. Cinematography by Matthew Libatique. Produced by Eric Watson. Music by Clint Mansell. Production Design by Matthew Maraffi. Costume Design by Eric ‘Shorty’ Meyerson. Film Editing by Oren Sarch. Gotham Awards 1998.
Clever but eventually numbing exercise in film as pure art, about a math genius who drives himself near to the point of insanity by endlessly crunching numbers on space-age abucae of his own design. A formula he comes up with eventually reveals a number long kept secret by a Hasidic sect in New York City, who now pursue our hero in order to rid themselves of the witness to this religious phenomenon. Darren Aronofsky’s direction is fast-paced and paranoia-inducing, but some of his artistic techniques (like the grainy black-and-white film) are too self-aware and tend to draw the viewer out of the action.