Man On Wire

[MANON] | 2007 | 89 min | Feature Documentary

Directed by: James Marsh

New York Premiere
Interests: Documentary, History, New York
Moods: Elegant, Iconic, Inspirational, Irreverent, Playful, Transgressive, Visceral
Cast & Credits
Director: James Marsh
Principal Cast: Philippe Petit
Producer: Simon Chinn
Director of Photography: Igor Martinovic
Editor: Jinx Godfrey
Executive Producer: Jonathan Hewes
Co-Producer: Maureen A. Ryan
Co-Producer: Victoria Gregory

Program Notes

On the afternoon of August 6, 1974, an international group of conspirators, disguised as construction workers and armed with fake IDs, snuck into the World Trade Center to perpetrate what would be called "the artistic crime of the century." The following morning, a young Frenchman named Philippe Petit walked on a cable strung between the Twin Towers-not once but eight times over a 45-minute period. After six years of obsessive planning, Petit became an overnight sensation. One of the arresting officers called him "a tightrope dancer-because you couldn't call him a walker." What drove Philippe Petit to risk his life to perform the most jaw-dropping wire walk in history?

James Marsh's fast-moving documentary follows the irrepressible Petit as he recalls his early exploits walking on a high wire between the towers of Notre Dame-while juggling!-and across the summit of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, and features the friends who helped Petit rig the cable and smuggle almost a ton of equipment into the freight elevator of the WTC's South Tower. For the few moments that Petit did not film himself, Marsh adds beautifully shot black-and-white dramatic reenactments, as well as footage of the construction of the World Trade Center and a propulsive score of Michael Nyman compositions that recall the similarly obsessive Peter Greenaway films in which most of them were first heard. With humor and awe in equal measure, Marsh draws a portrait of an artist of reckless daring and impish charm.
-- David Kwok

I heard on the radio...

that "Man On Wire" has footage of the Towers' construction.

This would be a good time and place to inform people of the true nature of their destruction.

Have DVDs ready!

At the Dallas Premiere of "Sicko", I gave out almost 200 in two hours.

People at the movies are receptive to free movies.

What better opportunity?

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BBC News: Twin Tower walker tells story

Excellent video interview with film makers and Monsieur Petit.

"The man who performed a tightrope walk between New York's Twin Towers has been immortalised in a documentary. Philippe Petit spoke to BBC Breakfast about 1974's illegal stunt that is the subject of "Man on Wire". "