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January 4th, 2018

Man on Wire

Gripping documentary about the ultimate tightrope walk

Man on Wire

James Marsh 2008, UK, 94 mins.

Not to be confused with Robert Zemeckis's 2015 feature The Walk on the same subject, this is a brilliant, British-made compilation of documentary footage concerning the planning and execution of Phillippe Petit's amazing tightrope walk between New York's twin towers in 1974.

 Said director James Marsh:

I set out to make a film that would be a definitive account of this legendary quest, so I hadn’t anticipated that it would become a fundamentally human drama that, amongst other things, turned out to be a comedy of errors, a love story, a story about friendship and its limits and a satire on authority and arbitrary rules.

From an Amazon review:

Here is a suspenful, some times humorous, drama that at the same time moves you to the point of crying. What the film is finally about is that of a courageous man who, against all logic, walks up and down on a wire, high up in the sky, sitting and relaxing in-between, almost dancing, like a Fred Astaire of the skies, for more than 45 minutes, challenging man, nature and the whole universe, making you feel that you can do anything you want as long as you really believe in it! But what is still more exciting is the beauty of it all, of those wonderful images of that man up there, alone and happy, enjoying his Sky Odyssey. A film worthy of many Oscars!!!