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PUBLISHED: 7:05 PM on Wednesday, August 27, 2008
'The artistic crime of the century'
Movie Review
Just as mountaineers seek higher and higher mountains, high wire walkers seek higher and higher wires.

In 1974, the highest place to rig a wire was between the twin towers of the World Trade Center, and one ambitious French high wire walker, Philippe Petit, aspired to do just that.

James Marsh's new documentary "Man on Wire" tells the story of the months of planning and training that went into the illegal rigging and successful steps at 1,350 feet.


  ©2008 Jean-Louis Blondeau / Polaris Images.
The film includes present-day interviews with passionate Petit and his accomplices and reenactments so convincing it's easy to imagine someone filmed the entire process.

Marsh says he sees his film as a "heist movie" and just as impressive as the high wire walk itself are the hijinx involved in sneaking into the high-security building and smuggling in the rigging.

Any film showing the twin towers will invoke the memory of 9/11 for many viewers, and perhaps because of this, there is no mention of the fate of the tower's in the film. The fact that the feat can never be repeated adds mystique to an event which awed the world 25 years ago. Several of Petit's friends tear up as they remember the beauty of seeing him seem to walk on air for nearly an hour, and even on film, it's easy to feel the vicarious thrill of watching the death-defying act.

"Man on Wire" will play at the Goldtown Nickelodeon Aug. 28-31.

-Katie Spielberger


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