Man On Wire

November 13, 2008

Egads- would you believe that I saw this the first weekend it was out…better late than never doesn’t even describe how late this is!

Man On Wire

Given that this was a documentary the only thing I knew about this film is that it was about the wire walker  Philippe Petit who had walked between the World Trade Center towers back in the 70’s.  I certainly got more than I expected- this is a fabulous film that gives a great insight into not only the events but the personalities involved.   Of course the first few minutes of the film you are thinking of the events of September 11th but these eventually dissipate as you are brought back to 70s for the planning and the eventual walk in 1974.

The whole approach to this story was excellent- the way that it was put into one cohesive film that utterly dragged you into the story is a great achievement by the directors/editors.  The fact that Petit and his crew filmed so much of his previous walks along with the planning of this one was certainly a help in putting you into the right frame of mind and in some ways it is reminiscent of the Fog Of War documentary with Robert McNamara which is another essential viewing.

Showing the tension between the original members of the team and dragging out a few issues that I am sure they would rather forget is what makes this compelling viewing- its not a glossy eyed view of it but a very real snapshot of how they were back then and it is still a very emotive topic for those involved- in fact I think one of Petits former friends really needs to go into counselling even after 30 years after it happened.

What really comes through in the film is Petit’s enthusiasm and boundless energy- put a camera in front of him and he will perform for you no matter what he is doing!


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