The courageous Aronofsky raised the bar of low-budget filmmaking with this brash dissertation of raw artistry. Pi is deeply engrossing, even disorienting with its speed and violent cinematography. The visuals, combined with the spacey subject matter, pit surreality against reality in an abusive, metaphysical purgatory. Sean Gullette’s hard-edged performance is heavy and dangerous as he destroys himself over a numerical obesession. He navigates what is ultimately an experimental dissection of the man versus nature conflict, and it’s so out there that it includes the competition of a stock market company and a Hasidic cult. This indie is an experience, as many films are not.