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Extraordinaire!

June 6, 2009

Man on Wire is an exhilarating, soaring, uplifting, wonderful work of art. It is the kind of film that inspires one to achieve their dreams –and what makes it so special is the same thing that makes sport so special to me – it’s real. It happened. It’s not a Hollywood production, it was produced by BBC and Discovery. It’s a compelling mixture of interviews, archival footage, and historical re-enactments. For a change those re-enactments are actually true to life because the same men who are being portrayed are narrating their stories! There is little creative license that the director (James Marsh, who did a fantastic job!) could take with a scene where Philippe and his friend were hiding from the police underneath a tarpaulin – camera angle and lighting at most!

Testimony of Sgt. Charles Daniels, one of the first policemen at the top of the Twin Towers:

“I observed the tightrope ‘dancer’—because you couldn’t call him a ‘walker’—approximately halfway between the two towers. And upon seeing us he started to smile and laugh and he started going into a dancing routine on the high wire….And when he got to the building we asked him to get off the high wire but instead he turned around and ran back out into the middle….He was bouncing up and down. His feet were actually leaving the wire and then he would resettle back on the wire again….Unbelievable really…”

This is about the triumph of the human spirit – about achieving the impossible. And I credit none other than Philippe Petit himself for that. What a man. He narrated most of his story himself and he told it with such vigor, such elan, such joie de vivre, such energy, that one could not help but be spellbound by this sparkling man’s sheer charisma. He had a dream, and despite his knowledge that it was impossible, he went for it. He was not afraid of failure, and refused to be tied down, quite literally. He has immense confidence in his own abilities and he exploited his God-given talents to the fullest in his incredible feat – practically defining self-actualization. I have never seen anyone who fits that description more perfectly. We’ve read about such people, we’ve seen them in movies – this man has lived in that state, and continues to do so.

Philippe Petit

And it is his spirit that has inspired me to rewrite this post from scratch after a Firefox crash wiped out all of it – because this story can help people reach great heights – and this is why you should watch this.

Man on Wire-Theatrical Poster

“What a beautiful death to die in the arms of your passion.” – Philippe Petit

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10 Comments leave one →
  1. severnyproductions permalink
    June 6, 2009 4:13 am

    It does look fascinating. I could never bring myself to try that so anyone that would deserved the upmost respect. I’ll keep my eye out for it

  2. June 6, 2009 4:24 am

    As I told a friend, I had to push myself to watch it, and I almost dozed off. But after the first fifteen minutes, I couldn’t take my eyes off the screen. If, like me, you are a dreamer, then you must watch this.

  3. June 10, 2009 1:11 pm

    Would you take Ibra for Eto’o +30 mil as is being reported? I wouldn’t. Eto’o to Man City and Benzema to Camp Nou would be more acceptable.

    • June 10, 2009 2:16 pm

      I’m doubting Barca will be able to find ANYONE who runs as much as Eto’o does. But I hate Eto’o’s attitude and his propensity to screw up finishes.

      And Ibra will never run anyway. He’s a brilliant striker but more of a soloist than a team player.

      Benzema is a real monster…but I haven’t seen him apart from Champions League and he (again) doesn’t run enough…

      Villa and Benzema would be my ideal strikers…in that order…Torres is better than both but he’s too happy at Anfield.

      I think we need good backup fullbacks and midfielders more than anything else..we were lucky that Xavi wasn’t REALLY injured this season, and we didn’t have multiple midfield injuries at once. When Iniesta was out, Keita slotted in pretty well and we had an easy run in the Liga where Busquets (who I am not really a fan of) and Gudjonsen et al played a bit. We really need more backup for Xavi and Iniesta. Fabregas is too big a player to sit on the bench (well,he’s overrated methinks) and we really need an extra * creative* midfielder.preferably non-Belarussian 😉

  4. June 10, 2009 10:45 pm

    Midfield should be ok methinks — Iniesta was injured for a while and Barca survived. Busquets will be able to take more of a role this year. One big signing is needed there (Maschers?) and that’s it.

    I agree Villa would be perfect but FCB are not getting him. He’ll go to highest bidder, either Real or Man City.

    Ibra will run once Guardiola lights into his ass.

    • June 10, 2009 11:53 pm

      Iniesta was injured and it is then that Barca suffered their worst period of the season (consecutive Liga losses). Xavi was lucky not to be injured. Mascherano is hardly creative – he’s a solid defensive midfielder in the mould of The Yaya and Senna, that’s all. And Busquets is similar, but worse. I don’t rate him highly. He never DOES anything with the ball, he just takes and returns passes to Xavi and whoever finds him in space. At best he’s a decent DM – and my whole point is that Barcelona need someone on the bench/in the squad who can take the ball forward, who can create attacks,a playmaker.

      I don’t think anyone argues our need for a new fullback-preferably someone who can play both sides! Who do you think will come in there?

      I’d love to see Ibra if he can contribute the way Eto’o did..

  5. June 11, 2009 3:36 am

    Don’t know why you don’t rate Busquets. He went off the boil during the latter half the season, but it was his first full year in the team so that’s to be expected. He will be much improved next year, and his distribution will improve. Trust me.

    I’m least worried about the backline. Pique/Puyol/Marquez returning. Milito back from iunjury. Henrique probably back from loan. This glut in the CB position probably means Puyol might well be shifted to a permanent full back position, or at least be rotated. Abidal is solid, and Dani Alves except for May had a fucking awesome season. Don’t know if the Cashley Cole rumors are true, but if they are great, if not, not too bothered.

    Fucking Hleb was such a massive disappointment. He’s exactly the type of player who could fill the role you’re talking about.

    I have a feeling Pep will play more of a faux 4-4-2 next year, especially if Eto’o leaves and we don’t get an Ibra type replacement. Maybe 4-4-1-1 with Messi in the hole, and Iniesta, Xavi, Yaya, Busquets playing in midfield. This will lessen their load.

    • June 12, 2009 2:13 am

      Well, you will be completely justified in saying ‘you heard it first from US at fiverupees!’ if that 4-4-2 DOES pan out because that would be different to say the least.

      Ah, well, of course I hope Busquets improves. Barca’s biggest weakness this season was their lack of squad depth IMHO.

      Well, hate to be a devil’s advocate, but Puyol is old and slowing, Milito is not even making the preseason, got operated on again, Marquez too has a long term injury (I don’t think he’s going to be able to start the season on time) and we just do not have backup on the fullbacks. Silvinho was essential. I’m worried about injuries, not form/ability.

      Yeah, Hleb’s failure really screwed us.

      What do you make of Kaka and Ronaldo in Real now? I just came online after a full day and got the shock of the week with the Ronaldo news. Goddamnit. I can’t decide whether to be upset or happy. On one side, you have arguably the strongest attacking lineup in the world on paper – Kaka, Ronaldo, Robben, Raul, Higuain, Rudi, and Sneijder – that’s like the fantasy teams we build on Winning Eleven/Pro Evo. On the other side, it’s the fact that Real Madrid suffered defensively and not offensively this year. It was their poor defense and midfield which cost them the title – poor Juan de Ramos had fixed those to the best of anyone’s ability. Leaving everything aside, this is just ludicrous – kudos to Platini for pointing out how absurdly unfair this is. I hope Real Madrid STILL end up trophyless! 😀

  6. June 12, 2009 12:00 pm

    I have a post planned on the Real moves, so I won’t ruin the surprise. Short version: Kaka good for them, Ronaldo good for us. I was frankly THRILLED that they signed him.

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