Man on Wire • 2008

Category: People
Download:

Man on Wire is a 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 with the new title 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) and modern-day interviews with the participants. Native New Yorkers know to expect the unexpected, but who among them could've predicted that a man would stroll between the towers of the World Trade Center? French high-wire walker Philippe Petit did just that on August 7th, 1974. Petit’s success may come as a foregone conclusion, but British filmmaker James Marsh’s pulse-pounding documentary still plays more like a thriller than a non-fiction entry--in fact, it puts most thrillers to shame. Marsh (Wisconsin Death Trip, The King) starts by looking at Petit's previous stunts. First, he took on Paris's Notre Dame Cathedral, then Sydney's Harbour Bridge before honing in on the not-yet-completed WTC. The planning took years, and the prescient Petit filmed his meetings with accomplices in France and America. Marsh smoothly integrates this material with stylized re-enactments and new interviews in which participants emerge from the shadows as if to reveal deep, dark secrets which, in a way, they do, since Petit's plan was illegal, "but not wicked or mean." The director documents every step they took to circumvent security, protocol, and physics as if re-creating a classic Jules Dassin or Jean-Pierre Melville caper. Though still photographs capture the feat rather than video, the resulting images will surely blow as many minds now as they did in the 1970s when splashed all over the media. Not only did Petit walk, he danced and even lay down on the cable strung between the skyscrapers. It competed in the World Cinema Documentary Competition at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival, where it won the Grand Jury Prize: World Cinema Documentary and the World Cinema Audience Award: Documentary. In February 2009, the film won the BAFTA for Outstanding British Film, the Independent Spirit Awards and the Academy Award for Best Documentary.

You might also like

Still a Revolutionary: Albert Einstein

Albert Einstein, the most famous scientist of all time, was a world-renowned celebrity, greeted like a rock star when he appeared in public. An anti-war firebrand, Einstein also spoke out on issues ranging from women's rights and racism to immigration and nuclear arms control. But today, his image has been neutered into that of a charmingly absent-minded genius. He was, in fact, a powerful force for social change and a model for political activism. Using a wealth of rarely-seen archival footage, correspondence and new and illuminating interviews, filmmaker Julia Newman makes the case that Albert Einstein's example of social and political activism is as important today as are his brilliant, groundbreaking theories.

2020 • People

The Fantastic Mr Feynman

"Richard Feynman is one of the most iconic, influential and inspiring scientists of the 20th century. He helped design the atomic bomb, solved the mystery of the Challenger Shuttle catastrophe and won a Nobel Prize. Now, 25 years after his death - in his own words and those of his friends and family - this is the story of the most captivating communicator in the history of science"

2013 • People

Bounce: How the Ball Taught the World to Play

From Brazilian favelas to dusty Congolese villages, from neolithic Scottish isles to modern soccer pitches, explore the little-known origins of our favorite sports. Cross time, languages and continents to discover how the ball has staked its claim on our lives and fueled our passion to compete.

2015 • People

Free Solo

Follow Alex Honnold as he becomes the first person to ever free solo climb Yosemite's 3,000ft high El Capitan Wall. With no ropes or safety gear, he completed arguably the greatest feat in rock climbing history.

2018 • People

Richard

Richard is the fascinating story of a travelling piano tuner who chooses to live outdoors. Shot in London, the film takes an alternative look at someone who treats the entire city as a home.

People

Part 1

Bill Gates speaks about his life-or-death mission to get better sanitation to the developing world. Also, his sisters share their childhood memories.

1/3Inside Bill's Brain: Decoding Bill Gates • 2019 • People