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Category:    Home > Reviews > Documentary > Acrobatics > History > World Trade Center > Man On Wire (2008/Magnolia DVD-Video)

Man On Wire (2008/Magnolia DVD-Video)


Picture: C+†††† Sound: C+†††† Extras: B-†††† Film: B



When James Marshís Man On Wire won the Academy Award for the Best Documentary of 2008, I expected there to be a commemoration of the loss of the World Trade Center towers and celebration of the man who walked back and fourth eight times in mid air without a net enjoying one of the greatest wire-walks in history, but not enough people saw this solid documentary.That it happened is amazing and that it will never happen again is painfully sad.But there is a great story behind how it happened at all and is a must-see work you will be happy to out of your way for.


The walker is Philippe Petit, who had been doing magic tricks, balancing acts, juggling and all kinds of fancy work that would make him a perfect circus act, but he ha the personality to be the next Monsieur Hulot.Intercut with the goal of eventually getting the idea for and then going to actually wire and walk across mid air on a wire, they finally did this before construction on the towers were completed, but enough that the buildings had been topped.


It then becomes a character study of all involved, a look at how a group of unlikely people become obsessed enough to do something this great and risky, plus how Philippe (he was the one balancing the Oscar upside down on his chin when they won) made this his whole life.This runs 94 minutes and I was sad to see it end, but it is one of 2008ís best and it winning was one of the highlights of the night for this critic.Now you can see for yourself.


The anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image includes 1.33 X 1 full frame footage stretched at the sides (re-adjust to 1.33 on your set to see how good this can look) from every formats like analog NTSC video and 16mm.†† The newer footage is digital and likely High Definition, but it all works and is edited together exceptionally well.The Dolby Digital 5.1 and 2.0 Stereo mixes are about on par with each other, but this is well recorded either way and talk-based.


Extras include an interview with petit, animated short film The Man Who Walked Between The Towers and 1973 program on Petit called Philippe Petitís Sydney Harbor Bridge Crossing.Donít miss any of it!



-†† Nicholas Sheffo


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