18 January 2011

Man on Wire, A Movie Review

We’re cuddled staring at the television, and the Frenchwoman’s eyes pierce through at us as she remembers the man on the tightrope, her lover on the wire. And she stood below on the ground below the twin towers looking up to see his small black silhouette against the vast sky, floating, dancing on air because the wire was too thin to see from 104 floors below, or maybe it was more floors. I don’t remember that part of the documentary. I remember the Frenchwoman’s eyes as she gazed through the camera to tell us, It was beautiful, the most beautiful thing, and she gasped. It was all in French, with white subtitles flashing a translation of her words, but not her gasps.

I turned to him and asked if he thought, like I did, that the story was perfect in French. I’m glad this is in French, I said. All of it was in French, the story of how Philippe Petit saw an article about the twin towers to-be. At sixteen, he read the article in a dentist’s office and tore it out of the magazine after drawing a thin line with his pen between the two towers. And in French, the documentary narrated through the making of his plans, his practicing, and of his girlfriend who stood always on his back lawn watching him practice across the high wire strung between two platforms in his back yard, practice across the bridge in Austrailia, and across the towers of Notre Dame. She stood below in his backyard and then years later, she watched him walk eight times between the towers, and it was beautiful, like French.


Caitlin said...

And then immediately after he got down from the line between the towers he went off and slept with a bunch of other women. Beautiful.

No, I really really liked that film when I saw it at Sundance.

Laura said...

Okay, yeah, that was kind of a really stupid thing he did.