A look at tightrope walker Philippe Petit's daring, but illegal, high-wire routine performed between New York City's World Trade Center's twin towers in 1974, what some consider, "the artistic crime of the century".
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On August 7, 1974, Philippe Petit, a French wire walker, juggler, and street performer days shy of his 25th birthday, spent 45 minutes walking, dancing, kneeling, and lying on a wire he and friends strung between the rooftops of the Twin Towers. Uses contemporary interviews, archival footage, and recreations to tell the story of his previous walks between towers of Notre Dame and of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, his passions and friendships, and the details of the night before the walk: getting cable into the towers, hiding from guards, and mounting the wire. It ends with observations of the profound changes the walk's success brought to Philippe and those closest to him.Written by
Petit was given a lifetime pass to the Twin Towers Observation Deck by the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey. See more »
In the reenaction of Philippe Petit and his friend hiding from the night watchman at the WTC, a box on the floor has a present-day USPS logo. See more »
Sgt Charles Daniels:
...I observed the tight rope dancer... because you couldn't call him a walker... approximately half-way between the two towers. I personally figured I was watching something that somebody else would never see again in the world. Thought it was once in a lifetime.
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For me, this is what cinema is all about, and this film is striking in that it encapsulates so much in a documentary. Man On Wire has more suspense, thrills, wonder, imagination, human spirit and inspiration than any other film I have seen in recent years. The music, composition and photography, structure and editing are all superb. Some of the shots are simply breathtaking. Some scenes in the film are incredibly atmospheric, and they will be forever burned in your mind. The film captures a human sense of achievement, drive and determination better than any other film I know. Heres the ultimate proof of this films power - the audience didn't shift until a good couple of minutes into the credits.
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