Mathematics Goes to the Movies

by Burkard Polster and Marty Ross

Dopo Mezzanotte (2004)

AMANDA: What is that?
MARTINO: The Fibonacci sequence... The Fibonacci sequence, (named after a) 12th century mathematician from Pisa, is a sequence whose characteristic property is clearly that any third number is the sum of the previous two. See, 1, 1, 2, 3, 5, 8, 13, 21, and so on, to infinity. Try to defoliate a margarite (flower)... or to count the tiles in a pinapple, or the seeds of a sunflower. The number of the petals of a flower is almost always a Fibonacci number. These numbers suggest that in the universe there some kind of mathematical order, and urges us to suspect that perhaps the world, has some meaning.
AMANDA: That is something ...
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NARRATOR: Can three people be in love? Isn't two complicated enough? Human beings often try to apply mathematical rules to questions of the heart. And always with hardly any success. Whatever the chosen formula, there is always a factor that one has not counted on.
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AMANDA: What do I do now?
BARBARA: Wait. So much is completely written in the stars.
AMANDA: It seems that Fibonacci...
BARBARA: And who is he? Another one?
AMANDA: No, no.
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NARRATOR: And, as the Fibonacci numbers suggest, the world has a meaning, although Martino does not understand what it is. But film is not real life. It is necessary to make a choice.
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AMANDA: Fibonacci, bring me luck! (She plays the Fibonacci numbers in the lotto using some change that one of her customers forgets to collect.)