Man On Wire

Man on Wire

(Peggy’s, July 8, 2010)


What was he thinking? We don’t really discover that. What did he think, years later, when those towers he had conquered so lovingly, were torn down with menace and anger? There is no discussion of that here.

And perhaps “Man on Wire” is a better, purer document of the tenacity of the human spirit without it. The feelings of all those involved—these thirty years later and then some—are still very fresh and real. They were forever changed by this crazy wirewalker’s dream.

Roger Ebert interviewed Phillippe Petit after the release of the documentary and asked him how he felt the day the towers fell. He declined to answer, stating it was too personal and he wished not to discuss.

After seeing the power this event had upon him, upon them all, I can understand.

And so “Man on Wire” is inspirational, because it glosses over how the Towers brought this group together, but also tore them asunder when the fame and furor birthed from the meeting of little Phillippe and the towers washed over them. For them this was not a bonding experience—this execution of a dream—but rather the end of the line.

There is a lot more to the story of this zany crazy fool without a why. But perhaps that is darkness. This is the joy of waking up one morning and seeing a man, way high up, walking back and forth the Twin Towers, as if floating in the sky.

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