Our Daily Bread

Pair with Michael Pollan's treatises on food, or with The Gleaners and I and King Corn —Marty Mapes (DVD review...)

The story behind Our Daily Bread

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"One, mathematics is the language of nature. Two, therefore there are patterns everywhere in nature. Three, if you graph the numbers of any system, patterns emerge."

These are the assumptions Max Cohen (Sean Gullette) lives by. In his tiny New York City apartment with his mainframe computer, he spends his days obsessed with finding a formula that will predict fluctuations in the stock market. Plagued by terrible headaches and nosebleeds while gradually losing his grasp on reality, he does his best to shun the rest of the world. Unfortunately, his quest is of great interest to people with vastly different agendas. He is pursued first by a Wall Street consulting firm willing to pay big money for his formula. As Max closes in on what he thinks is The Answer, his physical maladies worsen and his grip on sanity loosens.

With high contrast black and white photography and nervous electronic music on the soundtrack, Pi does a good job of taking us into the mind of this tormented genius. We come to see, through his eyes, a world where everything is a number and the consequences of trying to grasp infinity. If you never thought a movie about mathematics could be interesting, this movie will change your mind.