Sunday, August 10, 2008

Man On Wire

I saw Man On Wire yesterday and it is an amazing documentary that chronicles not only the life of highwire extraordinaire, Philippe Petit, but the preparations, as well, for his ultimate dream - to run a wire between the two World Trade Center buildings and walk across. At a distance of approximately a quarter mile(1,353 ft) above ground, I can honestly say that the culmination of Petit's dream is probably the most insane act achieved by a human being. I mean, walking across a wire at that distance is crazy enough, but walking across a wire between two enormous buildings that have been known to sway because of wind gusts?! This guy weighs 135 pounds! Absolutely nuts. I have a healthy fear of heights and my nerves were wrenched just watching it. Being that the act itself was illegal, director James Marsh does a brilliant job in setting up the film as though you are watching a bank heist movie. The hijinks that ensue in attainment of this daring feat is enough to keep you on the edge of your seat throughout the whole film which is recounted by its fascinating protagonist - Philippe Petit. And there are many terms you could use to describe the man himself. Mad? Crazy? Insane? Perhaps. But whatever adjectives you throw out there, one thing is certain - the world needs more characters like Philippe Petit.

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