Man on Wire is a faultless fantastical film. Philippe Petit is so charismatic, and it’s such a killer story engulfing adventure, artistry and accolade, that the stage is set for exclaiming the magnificence of real life. Yet it is the subtleties of the film that makes it soar above most other factual theatrical releases. It’s a polished journey, which stirred in me a fierce jealousy that I have no desire burning nearly as deep as Phillipe’s dream to cross the tallest towers in all the lands. The romance, the spirit, the freedom!
I got the train back from Britdoc with the Producer, after his winning Best British feature, to add to his double win at Sundance (Documentary Grand Jury and Audience Award), and learnt the extent of the energy spent to make the film so perfect. For example, the amazingly fortuitous archive footage of the training wire was shot by a prolific cinematographer, but never developed. After discovering it in Phillipe’s dusty cellar, obtaining the rights to use it involved lawyers and religion and multiply witnesses. This is a film born out of the dedication of everyone involved, and must be seen.