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1 year ago
On August 7th 1974, a young Frenchman called Philippe Petit stepped out on a wire suspended between New York's twin towers, then the world’s tallest buildings. After an hour dancing on the wire, with no safety net or harness, he was arrested and thrown into an underground prison. Until that moment no one but Petit and his team of accomplices, who had spent months planning their illegal 'coup' (as they referred to it amongst themselves) knew anything about it.
Born out of a dream and an idea, Petit and his team of accomplices spent eight months planning the execution of their 'coup' in the most intricate detail. Like a team of professional bank robbers planning their most ambitious heist, the tasks they faced seemed virtually insurmountable: they would have to find a way to bypass the WTC's security; to smuggle the wire and rigging equipment into the towers; to suspend the wire between the two towers; to secure the wire at the correct tension to withstand the winds and the swaying of the buildings; to rig it secretly by night – all without being caught. Not to mention the walk itself...
Directed by James Marsh (The King, Wisconsin Death Trip), Man on Wire brings Petit's extraordinary adventure to life through the testimony of all the co-conspirators who created the single, beautiful spectacle that became known as "the artistic crime of the century".
.....last week I went to see Man on Wire, and I wanted to immediately watch it again. Unlike 12 years ago, however, I don't have so much free time on my hands.
Still, I've been recommending the documentary, which is by far my favorite film of this year so far, to everyone I know (it opens wider this Friday, August 8. Go if you live near any of the cinemas showing it). And more than simply trying to send people to the theater to see it, I want to tag along, too. I'd love to see the look on my non-cinephile friends' faces when they first discover how entertaining it actually is (in theory, a documentary about a tightrope walker doesn't sound all that exciting).