Friday, July 25, 2008

Man on Wire: Philippe Petit juggles

My favorite film at the Sundance Film Festival this year was Man On Wire, which is coming out this week in New York and next week in Los Angeles. It's the story of wire walker Philippe Petit's famed 1974 tightrope walk between the twin towers of the World Trade Center. Breathtaking, suspenseful and a great post-modern documentary--it mixes recreations, interviews and historic footage-- I interviewed the spry Petit (who juggled for me) for the International Documentary Association's fab ezine. Petit turned out to be an amazing documentary subject--a true raconteur.  I'm old enough to remember the day he crossed between the towers--an unequalled feat. While I don't entirely share Petit's obsession with the towers, my first visit to New York included a walk by of  the construction site. 

He and director James Marsh (left) answered questions after the premiere at Sundance-- Petit held court--it was a thrilling Q&A and the film, not surprisingly, went on to win a major prize.  
I showed Petit my snapshot with the towers under construction from the Statute of Liberty...he knew exactly when the photo was taken and that construction was up to the 84th floor. Check out the film if you have the chance.

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