Revisiting Aronofsky’s ‘Pi’ and Its Scenes on the Lower East Side

Posted on: March 14th, 2014 at 10:00 am by

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Pi, East Broadway subway station

Today is “Pi Day.” March 14 = 3.14…

So, in honor of this super significant annual milestone, it’s fitting to look at the movie inspired by the number. Darren Aronofsky’s directorial debut, 1998’s Pi.

Pi is a fucked up psychological thriller that centers on protagonist Max Cohen. The numbers-obsessed recluse discovers a 216-digit string which contains the familiar mathematical constant. It’s supposedly the key to unlocking the stock market, the secrets of the Torah, and life itself. As a result, everyone is after him. That’s the gist of the story without ruining the plot.

But his home base is actually right here on the Lower East Side. In fact, one scene has Cohen taking the IND from Rockefeller Center to the East Broadway stop. Once at the station, he rides up the infamous escalator that was only recently replaced (after two years). Apparently these subway shots (and others) were illegally filmed at night, since Aronofsky did not want to pay for the proper permits.

There are also some great glimpses of midtown and Coney Island.

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