This Oscar-winning documentary depicts the “artistic crime of the century” in which French tightrope walker Philippe Petit performed a brave, illegal high-wire walk between the World Trade Center’s twin towers in New York City in 1974.
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It's hard to separate the film from the feat, but why should we have to? This was an amazing human feat, and the film told the story very well. I'm glad they thought to get all that footage during the preparations.
Man on Wire is a suspenseful and consuming documentary. It's hard not to fall under a form of hypnosis when you watch Philippe's Petit's stunts graced by the beautiful compositions of Erik Satie; even if the main subject is occasionally self-righteous.
Magical and awe-inspiring, from Philippe's initial epiphany in the most mundane of places (a dentist's waiting room) through to the charm and persistence that saw him amass a gang of friends and accomplices who helped him nail the practicalities that brought his poetic vision to life.
(3.5) Seeing this only after its more recent remake (The Walk), I realize how different it is in telling the same inspiring story of redefining limits. Sure, it wouldn't be as impressive on a big screen, with the POV shots immersing you into the high-wire walking experience, but you get to see actual footage of those involved (although not the walk per se - bummer!). Poetic at times, with graciously selected music.
Completely enjoyable documentary about Philippe Petit's passion (and madness) to perform a wire act between the tallest buildings at the time. Beautifully shot with home video, black and white, stills and news report footage. What engrosses the viewer is if they'll actually pull it off with the wire setup and security enforcement at the World Trade Centre. Goes to show that the impossible is possible after all.