The go-to site for what makes life worth living in and around Petersfield, Hampshire, and some other stuff too. For flaneurs, bon vivants, indeed boulevardiers of every complexion - why go anywhere else?

Wednesday, 15 April 2009

Film of the year already? 'Man on Wire'.

Documentary or not, my movie of the year so far, for sure. A modest, underplayed film about what was in the great scheme of things a small and inconsequential event - but a film with deep resonance, and not just in the context of what the Towers' would come to stand (fall?) for. Not that this is explicitly referenced in the film, but so many shots lead one to think of their later fate - the foundations of the buildings as they are going up, the frames with planes just in shot, the crowds stopping to gaze up with a mixture of amazement and fear (shock and awe?). And the film itself is really about another kind of assault on the Towers - but one that is entirely benevolent and, as one of Petit's accomplices says 'without wickedness'. Petit himself makes the film, not just with his performances on the wire but with his Gallic vivacity and lust for life, a Chaplinesque 'little fellow', a stone-faced clown, standing up to the authority figures invariably to be found ranged at either end of his tightrope as he conquers Notre Dame, the Sydney Harbour Bridge and finally the ultimate prize. Hugely entertaining, and inspiring too. A gem.

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