Thursday, January 14, 2010

Look Out Below

"Man on Wire," currently available for free to Comcast customers with digital on-demand service, is a fascinating and compelling film about Phillipe Petit, and his extraordinary 1974 tightrope walk between the towers of the World Trade Center.

Petit is a classic eccentric, the guy you might see (and perhaps even try to avoid) performing at a public park in just about every major urban center in the country (and many parts of the world). The movie tells the story, in the words of Petit and his merry band of pranksters, how he came to be obsessed with the towers, even before they were built, and made it his life's goal to conquer them.

Of course, you can't watch this movie without thinking about 9/11, particularly when Petit, his friends, and his American accomplices (including one who worked in the building at the time) begin talking about the clever, cloak-and-dagger ways that they got themselves into the building, and up to the top of the towers. But the movie does not dwell on 9/11; in fact, it never even mentions it. And that is the way it should be.

In the end, "Man on Wire" is as great a tribute to the World Trade Center as anyone could have hoped for.

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