Philippe Petit made his walk between the towers of the World Trade Center over 40 years ago. He stayed up on that wire for 45 minutes, made 8 passes between the towers, got down on his knees, and he even laid down on it! But it's more than that one feat - it was a placeholder for a much broader philosophy of risk and creativity, and evidence of who the man really is.
The Walk, a feature film retelling that story of Philippe Petit's high wire walk between the twin towers of the world trade center, is now playing on an IMAX screen near you. Here's America's Greatest Living Film Critic David Edelstein:
"My sympathetic imagination was so engaged that I was literally afraid to turn my head left or right for fear of losing my balance, and when [director Robert] Zemeckis swiveled the camera, I caught sight of people in front of me clinging to their companions. Does Zemeckis downplay the wind? Perhaps. But I’m not sure my stomach could have handled wind. As it is, viewers are reportedly getting sick."
For me, Petit is less about that one feat and more about the philosophy that underlay it. Today, we're bringing back an interview I did with Petit about his ideas.
Listen to his philosophy about living life "on the edge of life" from "Man On Wire":
***This show originally aired on May 15, 2014***
- Philippe Petit is a wirewalker, busker, magician, and author of the new book, Creativity: The Perfect Crime