. English 101
. MEN ON WIRE
. On August 7, 1974, the world witnessed “the artistic crime of the century.” After six years of meticulous preparation, reconnaissance missions, and numerous acts of espionage, twenty-four year old Philippe Petit walked 1,350 feet above ground between the World Trade Center’s Twin Towers. After an astonishing performance that lasted nearly forty-five minutes, he was immediately arrested and taken in for psychiatric evaluation. On account of worldwide appreciation for his performance, he was immediately released, and would only be charged with Trespassing and Disorderly Conduct. The details of his complaint read “MAN ON WIRE.”
. The 2008 film Man on Wire is a documentary that chronicles the extraordinary events leading up to Petit’s assault on the World Trade Center. It can easily be described as Ocean’s Eleven meets Evil Knievel, and director James Marsh capitalizes on this perfectly by re-constructing Petit’s story as a suspense-thriller that will keep viewers on the edge of their seats. Man on Wire, however, is about so much more than challenging common beliefs on high-wire walking, or the thrill of infiltrating the World Trade Center to do it. Marsh brought us his own vision; his film is a riveting docudrama reconstructed as a well-paced heist movie. But a heist is never simply about the crime itself -- it is also about its plotters. Marsh understood this better than anyone, and uses this to communicate to audiences the real meaning of Petit’s story: it is about friendship. By involving multiple cast members in his film, along with in-depth character development, he brilliantly uses Man on Wire to reveal the truly powerful, and oft-precarious nature of friendship.
. Petit could be described as eccentric, enigmatic, charming - even a conman - but “Inside Man” Barry Greenhouse couldn’t have described his affect on people any better. “He sort of draws you into his world” (Man on Wire). His magnetic persona...