We live in a world of extremes. This is apparent in Man on Wire (2008) a documentary about Phillippe Petit’s astronomical feat in crossing the twin towers on a high wire Phillippe and his team hoisted between the towers.

This documentary came before 2015’s The Walk, a thriller cum dramatization of the event and Phillippe’s life, directed by Robert Zemeckis (Forrest Gump).

The actual high wire walk took place in 1974.

Walter Murphy’s A Fifth of Beethoven is on the soundtrack. Though the track was released in 1977, the events of the documentary happen in the early 1970’s, but who’s counting. It’s a wonderful track.

Phillippe and girlfriend Annie’s relationship breaks up after Phillippe crossed the twin towers.

The planning of the twin towers walk is explained in detail in interviews, video footage, and recreation.

Other footage is Phillippe’s walk over the Sydney Harbor Bridge, before he planned and walked the twin towers.

The action over the Harbor Bridge is heart pounding. That’s the drama of tightrope walking so high—if you’re watching.

Living life

Either we go along with what Phillippe did and got away with or we don’t agree and ask why he would risk losing his life with one false move on the high wire.

A recent photo of Phillippe Petit (Pictured)
A recent photo of Phillippe Petit (Pictured)

He broke the law for sure, but his character wasn’t law breaking. Sometimes he ventured out to do something risky or unconventional though he is law abiding, his then girlfriend Annie Allix says.

He’s risking his life on the extremes. Phillippe’s philosophy is not hovering in the medium sphere. The film celebrates taking risks and living life on the edge.

But for most of us this means living life. Maybe to the extreme, maybe a little bit more than what we’re used to.

Would we take a risk? Not high wire walking between towers or doing something insanely dangerous or wrong, but to live life to the full? What would you do to take a step beyond your comfort zone? Would you take it to the limit, to the extreme, or is one courageous venturing out quite enough?

Phillippe’s reason for venturing out is to make a thing of beauty. What’s your reason?

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