Before the movie
1 How did you first come to see this movie?
I had actually gotten the soundtrack to this movie probably years before I finally watched it. I was into IDM at the time (I still am, sort of), listening to Aphex Twin, Autechre, etc. I think I was in college or just out and I don’t know why it took me so long to finally track down the movie and watch it.
2 What makes it a movie worth owning?
This is one of those movies I can watch over and over obsessively. It is about obsession and numbers and patterns.
3 What are your favorite parts?
I like when Max is in the subway station and he pokes the brain with the pen.
4 What do you relate to in the movie?
I like Max’s need for order and his withdrawal from society into science, which feels safe, but then having that safety pulled out from under him. I can relate to his sense of alienation, self-reliance.
5 Who is your favorite character and why?
There aren’t very many characters in the movie. It will be interesting to see how many movies I identify with the protagonist. In this case, Max is my favorite character. I guess I already said what I like about him.
6 How did this movie make you feel?
It gave me a sense of paranoia, tension, the rush of numbers and plot. I felt smarter, like I was being let in on a secret.
After the movie
1 How accurate were your memories of this movie?
I had a pretty accurate memory. It still made me feel anxious in a good way.
2 How much had you forgotten?
I remembered everything, almost. The only scene I had a “huh, oh yeah, this happened” moment was when he woke up in Coney Island and looked at the shell on the beach.
3 Do you still like this movie?
4 Did you have any new feelings or experiences?
I don’t know if I have seen this movie since The Wrestler came out. I may have. But I feel the weight of Aranofsky’s films and their movement. This still remains my favorite of his.
5 What is the take-away?
I love the moment when he presses through all of the build-up with the noise and the running and the two sides of good and evil pressing against him and he is alone beyond his apartment in white light intoning the numerical code and everything is at peace. For me, I guess this is what I strive for. The idea that behind the patterns and the chaos and all the surface striving, there is some personal moment of purity.
6 How do you think watching the movie impacted/ will impact your future actions if at all?
I know that when I first saw the movie I was obsessed with the ideas of finding patterns everywhere in nature. I didn’t study the Torah or the stock market. But I think it made me more observant to my surroundings. Every time I put cream in my coffee, I think of Pi.