Anna Maria Locke

Movie Review: Man on Wire


Since I am too poor for cable 
(confession: I missed out on the digital revolution thing and haven't even had basic tv for 2 years)
I have been SUPER excited about the Netflix subscription that Ben and I finally bit the bullet and ordered.
Now we are among the millions of Americans who are contributing to the demise of the neighborhood movie store, sucked into the race to see how fast we can turn movies around to maximize the nine dollars that are being sucked out of my account each month. (hmm when you put it like that....)

One of the perks of Netflix is the (usually weird, old, or obscure) movies that you can stream for free online anytime. Or while waiting for the next movie on your queue to be shipped. BTW, I love how I am apparently so fluent in the language of Netflix. 

Last night we watched the documentary "Man on Wire," and it was kind of strange but very interesting. So I am going to review it!

This documentary is about the 1970's saga of Phillipe Petit, a crazy French self-taught wirewalker, and his life-consuming OBSESSION to walk between the Twin Towers. 
Yes that's right: string a tightrope between (what was then) the tallest buildings in the WORLD.  And he did it!  And survived to make a documentary! I honestly don't know why I had never heard of this before.

All of the major players in this "coup" tell the complete story through their interviews. It was insane. They spent years trying to figure out how to make this happen, since it was obviously illegal so the whole thing had the feel of a legit high-profile heist. Plus they were in France, and the WTC was being built in New York, so Phillipe had to somehow travel back and forth to scope out the location and take copious notes for his models.  They didn't even know if it was going to work until they tried.  

A fascinating part of the movie (what probably made the whole thing) is actual footage of the construction of the towers in the 70's and Phillipe and his friends hanging out and scheming the whole thing back in France.  There is very little of the cheesy Lifetime-movie-esque reenactments with fake actors.
(Unfortunately, the little bits of reenactments ARE cheesy. The reenactments that Phillipe does during his actual interviews are hilarious though.)

Man on Wire is a story about one man's dream, as crazy and psychotic as it was, and an artistic performance that captivated the world at the time.  It will give you chills, especially if you are afraid of heights!  It's definitely worth a watch.