This article investigates how Aronofsky's Pi (1998) subverts the visual language of mainstream cinema and the mass media at both an overt level, through the use of alienating techniques that encourage the audience to reconsider the representations as constructed artefacts, and at a more subtle level, through making the narrative structures of mainstream cinema conspicuous insofar as the narrative of Pi disappoints the audience's expectations. That is, Aronofsky's Pi (1998), as a neo noir, carries the full critical weight of film noir behind it and problematizes the socio-cultural myths, romantic facades, and "stable world view" of mainstream cinema. Aronofsky's film text denies that any final moment of unequivocal Apollonian truth is possible, and thereby declares the arbitrariness of the two "key" American cultural myths propagated by mainstream film texts, namely that "the truth will always prevail (wrongs will be made right) and that the powerful in this society can be brought down by the little people who are represented [as] ... truth seek[ers]" (Denzin 1995:23). Furthermore, Aronofsky's representation of the psychoanalytic dimensions of intimacy demythologizes the usual discourse of romance found in the narratives of many mainstream films because it reveals the extent to which romance is underpinned by the desire to re-experience the lost moment of plenitude with the mother. Finally, Aronofsky's Pi (1998) reflects, at both a cinematographic and conceptual level, elements of German expressionism. That is, through the use of heavily accentuated shadows in the film, which results in more being hidden than
revealed, and through the implications of the narrative, which ends on a very ambiguous note, the audience is presented with a perspective of the world as a terrifying "abyss" of possibility, which leads to the further subversion of the "stable world view", perpetuated and propagated by the visual language of mainstream cinema.
Van Dyk, Stephanie(University of Pretoria, 2007-08-25)
Where are cinemas going? Are they an evening out, a festive occasion, something of a 'luxury' when compared to the parallel availability of television? Are we looking at fewer cinemas, with more advanced technical standards, ...
Konik, Adrian(Art Historical Work Group of South Africa, 2002)
In "Requiem for a Dream" (2001), Aronofsky uses certain techniques of critical cinema to make the audience aware of the "constructed-ness" of the represented material. In doing so he goes against the "norms" of mainstream ...
Britz, Sonja(Art Historical Work Group of South Africa, 2007)
Research into wildlife rhetoric in sub-Saharan Africa has led to the supposition that wildlife representation
in contemporary visual culture resides in media representation and wildlife tourist industries
rather than in ...