Thursday, May 28, 2009

A Very Strange Movie

I watched a movie recently called "Pi" (1998), an early work by Darren Aronofsky, (better known for the recent mystical sci-fi film "The Fountain.") It's not widely available, but can be found on Netflix.

It is about a brilliant mathematician who is trying to find the 216 number sequence that governs the universe. However, he is also slowly going mad (by implication because of his knowledge of the number) It is rather surreal, and it is never quite clear what is really happening, and what represents his delusions.

At any rate, the reason I mention this on a blog about the Temple is that a strange sub-plot of the movie involves the mathematician being cultivated by a sect of Hasidic kabbalistic Jews who want the same number because it contains the gematria of the "shem ha-meforash" the mystical unspeakable name of God. They want to get it to reopen the link between heaven and earth lost when the Holy of Holies and the Temple were destroyed by the Romans.

Warning: contains some foul language and violence.

1 comment:

J. Davis said...

Yes, I've seen the movie too. I thought it was captivating. The fictional depiction in books and movies of ancient beliefs and mysticism has always fascinated me for some reason. Unfortunately most times the person writing the story really doesn't understand religion or belief and mucks it up. And so I always love it when someone gets it "right" for a change.

On a different tack, since you brought up movies, see if you can find a showing of "Ink." Here's the web page: It's currently playing in some art theaters.

Basically the idea is that there are two forces battling for our souls within our dreams. And that when you die you can join one side or the other, or become lost between the two. And while I'm sure that when we die we aren't going to get into fist fights with the bad guys (or are we? :-) ), I thought it was a very cool depiction of the afterlife. Obviously not cannon by any stretch of the imagination, but there are glimmers and small shards of Mormon belief here and there.