Date: August 8
Starring: Philippe Petit
Time: Magnolia Pictures, 90 mins.
1974, high-wire walker Philippe Petit fulfilled a longstanding dream
by sneaking into New York’s World Trade Center, stringing a cable
between the tops of the two towers, and—with almost unfathomable
guts—walking across it without a net. The man is clearly a nut, but
he’s also a great storyteller with a heck of a story, and Man on
Wire gives him a chance to tell it. Petit’s stunt was both an
engineering challenge and a test of, well, a test of something that
most of us don’t possess in this much quantity. Filmmaker James
Marsh uses standard documentary techniques, combining new interviews
with a satisfying pile of footage and photographs, but his film has
the suspense of a caper movie. The title comes from the report
written by a police officer who was more than a little uncertain
about how to respond to the audacity on display.