60 - Man on Wire
In 1974, Frenchman Phillipe Petit walked on a tightrope
between the two towers of the World Trade Center. He made 8 crossings on the
rope, where he danced, jumped up and down on the wire, and lay down on it. After
45 minutes, he came off the wire and was arrested by police waiting for him.
When asked why he did it, he said, “When I see three oranges, I juggle; when I
see two towers, I walk.” Man on Wire, the
documentary about his feat, is presented like a heist film, with years of
planning, forged identities, and midnight close-calls with security officers.
So what makes the film inspirational? Petit’s tight-walking exploit, called ‘the artistic crime of the century,’ is spellbinding to watch. Those watching had their breaths taken away, and the act drew so much positive media attention that the charges against him were eventually dropped. The filmmakers made the wise decision to never mention the 9/11 terrorist attacks, so Petit’s feat is made even more poignant by that fact. It’s a beautiful thing, watching him walk that rope, between the two towers that are no longer standing.
~ Evan Derrick