I know this documentary, Man on Wire, came out years ago. Somehow, it stayed on my radar all these years as a film I wanted to see but never saw. I always remembered the blue cover and the tiny figure of a man, just a speck in the sky. I finally saw it the other day.
For those who haven’t seen the film, it’s about Philippe Petit, a wire walker who crossed (danced, tip-toed, conquered) a wire between the top of the Twin Towers in 1974. The film follows the journey from idea to execution. It is illegal to do such a dangerous stunt. To hear from the men and women involved in this enormous undertaking is fascinating.
Two ‘images’ struck me in the film. Both, just anecdotes. One from Philippe himself. He sat in a dentist’s office and saw a photo of the planned Twin Towers in a magazine. They hadn’t even been built yet and he envisioned a wire between the two. A wire he decided, at that moment, he would walk.
The second from his girlfriend at the time, Annie, who said Philippe had decided she would be his girlfriend, sent flowers, chocolates, made phonecalls, showed up at her door and asked for endless dates until she agreed.
This kind of certainty impressed me. To know what you want, to have such a singular purpose, and chase it until it is yours.
I thought it was an appropriate sentiment to bring to a new year.
Have you seen the film? Anything you wish you chase in this life?