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.
This intimate portrait examines one of the world's most beloved and inventive comedians. Told largely through Robin's own voice and using a wealth of never-before-seen archive, the film takes us through his extraordinary life and career and reveals the spark of madness that drove him.
2018 • People
Some sci-fi storytellers are content to merely predict, but Sir Arthur C. Clarke creates. The writer is single-handedly responsible for the cornerstone of modern telecommunication technology: the satellite. Clarke's collaboration with director Stanley Kubrick on the iconic 2001 predicted videophones, iPads, and commercial spaceflight, while redefining science-fiction cinema for a new generation.
This is the poignant true story of twin sisters from China, found as babies in a cardboard box in 2003 and adopted by two separate sets of parents - one from California, the other from a remote fishing village in Norway. Neither of the adoptive parents were told their daughters were twins, but a chance sighting at the orphanage enabled them to keep in touch, until a DNA test proved their hunch had been right.
Counting down from 62 to 50 we list scientists, revolutionaries, Generals… and even “the king”. But Elvis Presley isn’t the only surprise in this episode as he stands shoulder to shoulder with Amelia Earhart, Edwin Hubble and more. This episode touches on some issues which remain vital today and choices that changed the world and the way we live.
Have you ever wondered why people believe things like religion, spirituality, conspiracy theories and political ideology without evidence? Why it's so hard to change their minds, even after presenting the facts? Reasons To Believe is a thought-provoking documentary by filmmaker Ben Fama Jr., that explores the psychology and science of belief and why we believe, sometimes falsely, in things that may not match up with reality. Facilitated by leaders in the fields of science, philosophy, neuroscience, moral reasoning, psychology, perception, memory formation, and indoctrination, these experts answer a variety of thought provoking questions and provide tangible structure to the definition and creation of belief in the human brain. Fama asks the question: Why do we believe?
2017 • People
Are gay men actually born gay? If so, what causes this and how could homosexuality have survived the evolutionary process? Ever since openly gay filmmaker Bryce Sage came out of the closet, he has struggled to answer these fundamental questions. Bryce sets out on a cross-country and around the world journey to ferret out the answers. Along the way, he confronts his own homosexuality and family history, exploring the nature vs. nurture side of the issue. He’ll bombard his brainwaves with gay and straight erotica to determine just how fundamentally gay his brain really is and he’ll talk to animal biologists about their studies of homosexuality in other species. There is documented evidence of homosexuality in over two hundred. Bryce becomes an amateur detective, trying to crack the code of his genes. He discovers that in Samoa every family has a male member who is either gay or is encouraged to become more feminine to support familial needs.