Director: James Marsh
Running Time: 118 mins
Released: 1st August
The following review was originally published in the print edition of Montage at the Edinburgh Internation Film Festival 2008.
Why would a man want to string a wire between two of the tallest buildings in New York City and walk across it? No safety net, no nothing. There is no why, it’s living on the very edge of life according to Philippe Petit, who did just that in 1974 and captured it all in this fascinating documentary Man on Wire. As soon as he read about the construction of the World Trade Centre Petit knew it had been made just for him. There's documentary footage of Petit as he walks between the spires of Notre Dame and across the Sydney Harbour Bridge, whilst onlookers gape in horror on the streets below. But this is nothing compared to his piece de resistance. Using footage, surreal stills and staging reconstructions that play out like a 1950’s heist movie, James Marsh creates a documentary that is endlessly fascinating and entertaining.