A look at tightrope walker Philippe Petit's daring, but illegal, high-wire routine performed between New York City's World Trade Center's twin towers in 1974, what some consider, "the artistic crime of the century."
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Philip Seymour Hoffman,
Clifton Collins Jr.,
On August 7, 1974, Philippe Petit, a French wire walker, juggler, and street performer days shy of his 25th birthday, spent 45 minutes walking, dancing, kneeling, and lying on a wire he and friends strung between the rooftops of the Twin Towers. Uses contemporary interviews, archival footage, and recreations to tell the story of his previous walks between towers of Notre Dame and of the Sydney Harbour Bridge, his passions and friendships, and the details of the night before the walk: getting cable into the towers, hiding from guards, and mounting the wire. It ends with observations of the profound changes the walk's success brought to Philippe and those closest to him. Written by
The same story is covered by the children's picture book, The Man Who Walked Between the Towers (2007) by Mordicai Gerstein, and the film, The Walk, featuring Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Philippe Petit. See more »
In the reenaction of Philippe Petit and his friend hiding from the night watchman at the WTC, a box on the floor has a present-day USPS logo. See more »
Life should be lived on the edge of life. You have to exercise rebellion: to refuse to tape yourself to rules, to refuse your own success, to refuse to repeat yourself, to see every day, every year, every idea as a true challenge - and then you are going to live your life on a tightrope.
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For me, this is what cinema is all about, and this film is striking in that it encapsulates so much in a documentary. Man On Wire has more suspense, thrills, wonder, imagination, human spirit and inspiration than any other film I have seen in recent years. The music, composition and photography, structure and editing are all superb. Some of the shots are simply breathtaking. Some scenes in the film are incredibly atmospheric, and they will be forever burned in your mind. The film captures a human sense of achievement, drive and determination better than any other film I know. Heres the ultimate proof of this films power - the audience didn't shift until a good couple of minutes into the credits.
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