Man On Wire (2008)

12 01 2010

“1974.  1,350 feet up.  The artistic crime of the century.”   That is the tagline for the beautiful, thrilling, and inspiring documentary titled Man On Wire about a man named Philippe Petit whose dream it was to tightrope walk between the two buildings that made up New York City’s World Trade Center.

Philippe Petit

The film is made up of real interview accounts from Philippe himself, a charismatic and charming man whose passion for life is contagious, as well as his friends and accomplices in his endeavors.  These interviews are spliced in between photographs and footage from 1974 as Philippe and his friends prepare for his daring deed and reenactments of their adventure, none of which are distracting in the least, which to me is impressive.  As the story unfolds it is accompanied by a beautiful soundtrack that perfectly compliments and accentuates the poetic nature of Philippe’s heist.  The film also incorporates shadows in a very inventive way.  Watching Philippe walk back and forth looking as though he is floating in the air a quarter of a mile up is absolutely awe inspiring, and is a feat the likes of which will never be seen again.  This film was wonderful, and I highly recommend it.

My rating: 9/10.

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5 responses

12 01 2010
Mangold

I loved how they used scripted footage in this, really blurs the line between documentary and feature. I also love your reviews, they put mine to shame! Write more!

12 01 2010
ptpotts

OMG I loved this movie. I saw it at Hot Docs – (Canadian documentary festival). The director was good friends with Phillipe and Phillipe had shot all that footage of him prepping to do the walk – but never did anything with it. So he just handed the director all the footage – what a goldmine!

13 01 2010
Maryann

thanks for the comment! i really had no idea about how all that footage was just handed over to the director, nor about how he and philippe are friends! that movie really made me want to go out and do something awesome, like an epic multi-pitch rock climb!

14 01 2010
PTPotts

Totally! I indoor rock climb, but my goal this year is to get outdoors! But at the same time..watching him go across the wire was giving me vertigo, I’m like how is that POSSIBLE? ;)P

14 01 2010
Maryann

My goal this year is to go outdoor climbing much more too, and actually I work at an indoor climbing gym here where I live.

Have you ever tried slacklining? It’s essentially the same as what Philippe was doing, but instead of a metal cable it’s an elastic webbing that is a lot more loose and bows wherever you stand on it due to your weight being present on the line. You should try it, if you can; it’s really fun. Man On Wire reallllly makes me want to get really good at it!

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