January 25, 2009

Man on a Wire

Man on a Wire (US DVD, UK DVD, UK Blu-ray, Wikipedia, US soundtrack, UK soundtrack, coffee table book, paperback book) is a firecracker documentary movie – a breathless account, full of crazy, impassioned characters who assist Philippe Petit, a tightrope walker who crossed the World Trade Center towers in 1974.  I’d liked everything about this movie – the story, the cinematography, the editing, the soundtrack – it was all great fun.


The story is driven by the artistic temperament of Philippe Petit who is convinced that it is his destiny to cross the World Trade Center Towers.  Supplemented by ample film and photography of the period, the characters come to life with dramatic switches between their 1970’s selves and their 2008 selves – it is so much fun and the characters are so outlandish that I was in stitches as I watched the movie.  The movie presents it as a bit of an elaborate heist – and perhaps that part is overdone, but the drive of the movie keeps this minor subject moving forward.  It an experience not dissimilar to spending an hour and a half with an experience raconteur. 

There is one very short scene that makes this film inappropriate for children – I thought that was the only serious flaw in this movie.

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