Man on Wire

"The artistic crime of the century"

7:30 p.m. Friday, Sept. 27, 2019
Page Hall, UAlbany downtown campus
135 Western Avenue, Albany
Free and open to the public

(United States, 2008, 94 minutes, color)

Directed by James Marsh. 

 

Shown in association with Philippe Petit’s visit on Thursday, October 3. 

This Oscar-winning film examines what is often called “the artistic crime of the century.”

On August 7th 1974, a Young Frenchman named Philippe Petit stepped out on a wire illegally rigged between New York's Twin Towers (World Trade Center), then the world's tallest buildings. After nearly an hour dancing on the wire, he was arrested, taken for psychological evaluation, then brought to jail and finally released.

 

Following six and a half years of dreaming, Petit spent eight months in NYC planning the execution of the coup. Aided by a team of friends and accomplices, Petit had to find a way to bypass the WTC's security; to smuggle the heavy steel cable and rigging equipment into the towers; to pass the wire between the two rooftops; to anchor the wire and tension it to withstand the winds and the swaying of the buildings. The rigging was done under cover of night in complete secrecy.

 

At 7:15 AM, Philippe took his first step an the high wire 1,350 feet above the sidewalks of Manhattan...

Classic Film Series

James Marsh's documentary brings Petit's extraordinary adventure to life through the testimony of Philippe himself and some of the co-conspirators who helped him create the unique and magnificent spectacle that became known as "the artistic crime of the century".

About The Classic Film Series

The NYS Writers Institute’s Classic Film Series, presented with support from Marc Guggenheim, UAlbany Class of ‘92, features screenings of domestic and international films of distinction and film festivals devoted to the work of particular directors, producers, or screenwriters.

The series has included rare films culled from archives and private collections, pre-release screenings from major studios, contemporary international offerings, as well as classics made in the U.S. The Institute will launch the Albany Film Festival in March 2020.

Some of the filmmakers and screenwriters who have visited the Institute have included Hal Ashby, Hector Babenco, Costa-Gavras, Tomas Gutierrez-Alea, James Ivory and Ismail Merchant, Neil Jordan, Spike Lee, Albert Mayseles, Gordon Parks, Sr., Raoul Peck, D.A. Pennebacker and Chris Hegedus, Bob Rafelson, Phil Alden Robinson, Wallace Shawn, Ron Shelton, Christine Vachon, Agnes Varda, and Robert Wise, and Doug Wright.

Classic Film Series