Thursday, April 16, 2009

Guerilla Adventure

Last week I saw one of the best movies I've seen a long time. Joyful, fun and all-together exhilarating, it might just be one of my favorite movies of all time.

Man On Wire is a documentary about the beguiling eccentric Philippe Petit, who decides as a young boy it is his dream to high-wire walk between the Twin Towers.

He sees a magazine article at the dentist's office about the construction of the two tallest buildings in the world, and - wonder of wonders! - they will be built side-by-side. A dream is born.

The zealous Frenchman grows up to become a world-class tight rope walker. And best of all, a convincing one.

We see Petit and his crew of accomplices successfully conquer the Cathedral of Notre-Dame in Paris and the Harbor Bridge in Sydney. But the World Trade Center? Just the idea of wire walking it is ridiculous (can't be done, they'll get caught), stupidly illegal (they'll hang him if he doesn't die first), death-defying (nice knowing ya Philippe) and downright insane.

But wow, how magnificent. What a treat it would be to know someone so spirited and adventurous.

As the adage goes, What would you do if you knew you couldn't fail.

"It's impossible, that's sure, so let's start working," he says.

The adventure is thrilling, amusing, and poetic.

Merci Philippe.

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