“Man on Wire” (2008)

I requested the documentary Man on Wire from the library around Oscar nomination time. It didn’t win, but I recommend seeking it out.

Phillipe Petit is a tightrope walker/performance artist who worked with a group to string a wire between the World Trade Center Towers as they were just finished in the early 70’s, then walked the wire in front of a growing crowd that came to include the police who eventually arrested him when he came off the wire. I won’t spoil the details of his crossing, as I found them jaw dropping.

Petit has a huge personality, and it’s a captivating story, told through interviews, clippings, along with Petit’s own photos and videos. It’s also eerie and strange to see the towers during conception and construction, since the images of their loss are still so fresh and raw.

Two asides:

1. While typing this, I repeatedly mistyped “wire” as “wife,” which has an entirely different implication.

2. Man on Wire (just typed “wife” again) came in for me at the same time as Frozen River and Hamlet 2. It was a bizarre trio to watch close together.

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