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BTDesign Award
Man on Wire (2008)

Cast: Philippe Petit

Director(s): James Marsh

Language: English

Genre: Not Selected / Unknown

Website: Click Here


Man on Wire is 2008 documentary film directed by James Marsh. The film chronicles Philippe Petit's 1974 high-wire walk between the Twin Towers of New York's World Trade Center and is based on Philippe Petit's book, To Reach the Clouds, which has recently been released in paperback, retitled as Man on Wire. The film is crafted like a heist film, presenting rare footage of the preparations for the event and still photographs of the walk, alongside reenactments (with Paul McGill as the young Petit)... [Get complete synopsis]


Jefferygn wrote on February 16, 2009, 5:18 pm
I saw this much earlier in the film year, probably in march or april 2008, and yet it it is still fresh in my mind. It is probably one of the most memorable and inspiring films you will ever see. Moreover, it's all true!

Great story telling of a great story. The film is all the more poignant for the fact that the twin towers are no longer there...

I am surprised no one else has seen this. It truly is outstanding.

motleymitch wrote on February 17, 2009, 1:09 am
Yeah, I saw this in 1990....pretty lame.

motleymitch wrote on December 24, 2010, 7:37 pm
Really fascinating account of an out-and-out ballsy event. First of all, when Petit decided he wanted to tightrope walk between the two towers, they weren't even built yet. The construction was underway, but he didn't even have a tangible grasp of the feat he would be attempting. Secondly, the man's tightrope abilities were unquestioned (he had already, illegally, tightroped the towers of Notre Dame in Paris, and the Sydney Harbour Bridge in Australia, no small feats those) - rather the tightroping seemed to be the easy part. The hard part was planning and rigging the scheme somehow, at the top of the WTC, without anyone noticing him and his crew doing it. How do you gain access to the WTC, particulary the off-limits roof where construction was ongoing? How do you get a ton of rigging equipment up there without anyone noticing? There was a HELL of a lot of luck involved - times when security cops would linger about while the crew stayed hidden for hours without making a peep. How do you account for potential heavy weather and wind at the top of the highest structure in the world (at the time)? Many of those who had helped him up to a certain point would chicken out - who can you trust with your life? Who can you have faith in when at the very best everyone will all go to jail after the feat? The difference between life and and a plummeting death is fractions of a millimeter - Petit had to have faith in the two men who were rigging the wire on the other tower, in the dark of night, while he was prepping things on his side. And the prep time is a very small window - overnight before the morning of the event. Once they got up there, it was the point of no return. The complications and turmoil are endless. Yet, you have to admire this man's (insane) passion for what he does. He's a character and a half and his attitude towards this feat is infectious. This comes off like a heist film - setting it all up, following through with an iffy plan, hoping the consequences aren't as dire as they could be. Talk about confidence. And they documented a lot of this at the time, so what you're seeing isn't a re-enactment. Some of the images are breathtaking, particulary Petit just lying down on the wire midway between the towers, taking it all in. Remarkable.

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