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.
Freeman travels around the world in search of a greater understanding of the concept of freedom. From solitary confinement and forced labor camps, to social taboos and laws that hinder speech and expression, freedom seems to be a constant struggle. As individuals and as entire nations, we are confronted with the question: Will we all ever be truly free?
Bettany Hughes travels to Vienna on the trail of Sigmund Freud, the father of psychoanalysis. Freud's influence surrounds us. In our vocabulary - repression, penis envy, the Freudian slip - and in the freedom we take for granted, to talk openly about our deepest feelings and insecurities. A pioneer in the study of the human mind, Freud's psychoanalytic methods addressed emotional issues, seldom even discussed in the 19th century. Talking to his patients inspired his radical understanding of the unconscious mind, as a repository of hidden repressed emotions and irrational primal desires.
We draw upon Philip K. Dick’s work as well as various cinematographic adaptations of his novels in order to illustrate the extent to which K. Dick’s oeuvre foretold the world that has become our own today. We will take the viewer on a fascinating journey to discover this extraordinary writer.
2015 • People
Documentary that follows a lone Inuit as he hunts, fishes and constructs an igloo. It tells the story of skills that are disappearing and of how climate change is affecting the lives of Greenland's indigenous people. With its focus on the ingenious craft of igloo building before it becomes too late to record it, this is a meditative and poetic sensory immersion in a landscape of ice and snow, an elegy to a world that is melting away.
2019 • People
Sex is a simple word for a very complex set of desires. It cuts to the core of our passions, our wants, our emotions. But when it goes wrong, it can be the most painful thing of all. Professor Alice Roberts looks through 45 years of Horizon archive to see how science came to understand sex, strived to solve our problems with it, and even help us to do it better. Can science save the day when sex goes wrong?
2013 • People