Ever since his emergence with the breakout indie feature "Pi" (1998) - a schizophrenic sci-fi meditation on life, death and the cruelty of fate - writer-director Darren Aronofsky became something of a wunderkind who, unfortunately, would fall prey to artistic hubris and creative excess by the time he directed the incomprehensible time travel fable, "The Fountain" (2006). But in between the two milestone films, the director managed to turn grim subject matter - drug addiction, madness and the End Times - into exciting cinema by drawing upon his hip-hop influences to create a hyperkinetic filmmaking style that encompassed high-speed editing and rapid-fire images. But beyond the surface of his filmmaking technique was an obsessive drive to artistically answer the Big Questions of why we are here and what comes after death. In the process, Aronofsky created a legion of Gen-X, post-punk adherents who flocked to every movie, while receiving a fair share of criticism for his overreaching pretensions. Nonetheless, Aronofsky remained a dedicated artist, steadfastly refusing to succumb to studio pressures on his way to making visually flamboyant, metaphysically probing and emotionally engaging films.