Sunday, 4 August 2013

Documentary Sunday - Man on Wire

Sunday's are lazy, so why not take the time to sit down, relax and open your mind to exciting new worlds of knowledge, intrigue and opinions.

Talking about the Twin Towers can be a taboo subjects in some situations, most likely because the whole 9/11 travesty is still to emotional for many people. And then here is a film that looks at a French trapeze artist who one day decided to do a tight-rope walk between the two towers. He just goes up there, walks between them a few times, gets the public's (and law enforcement's) attention and then gets down. And the result is a highly engaging bit of film-making that's as thrilling to watch now as it must have been back then as an eyewitness.

Philippe Petit narrates his life through a series of well constructed re-enactments (as well as archival footage), concentrating mostly on his 1974 stunt of walking between the towers. Why? Because no one else had ever done it. Without ruining too much, we get a glimpse at his upbringing and an in-depth look at the planning and practice behind the big event, and the whole thing plays out almost like a crime movie.

Petit, who acts as the 'presenter' of the documentary, is a very good story-teller and keeps us hooked on every sentence. We know that he survives the stunt but he still manages to convince us that there is every chance that he could die or get caught and the whole experience is fascinating to watch, much more so than if this had been made into an actual movie.

The music also helps bring about a complimentary mood to the documentary, thanks to the ever reliable Michael Nyman. The music is mostly from his Greenaway collaborations but it works so well in this film that you could think otherwise.

Who Does it Appeal To?
Dare-devils and those who like to live on the more dangerous side of life.
Also anyone who wants to witness one of the most incredible and crazy 'circus' acts in history.

What to Take Away From It?
In some ways this is a morality tale that if you want to do something, you should just go out and do it, no matter how insane the idea is. As a result, try not to get carried away.

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