Saturday, September 6, 2008

Life Defining Moments

Man on Wire (James Marsh, 2008)
My Winnipeg (Guy Maddin, 2007)

Guy Maddin's My Winnipeg will be the second non-fiction documentary to come to the Bytowne this month with Man on Wire that deals with personnel life defining moments. My Winnipeg is an exploration on Maddin's youth growing up in his home town of Winnipeg.

Philippe Petit and his compatriot's recalls their memories of Mr.Petit youth involving his passion with tightrope walking in Man on Wire. He started out in Paris by walking between the neighboring Cathedral of Notre-Dame dancing along a wire between two of its towers then went on to the Harbor Bridge in Sydney and then finally his 1975 high-wire walk between the World Trade Center in New York. The film is constructed through interviews with Philippe, his girlfriend of the time Annie Allix, his best friend Jean-Louis Blondeau and a few other accomplices as well as personal still photographs from the era documenting their efforts and well crafted re-enactments. It is essentially a heist film by focussing on the legal, technical, physical and psychological aspects of setting up the wire between the twin towers. An understated message of the film is the seductive ability of the criminal and dangerous goal that has everyone flocking towards Phillipe.

This tightrope walk was to be the last for Phillipe. Since a child he conceived a passion to walk between the trade center. Now that dream is over and there is the lasting impression of happiest he once had then in his life as he speaks unguarded about those day. His relationships with his girlfriend and friends ended with the evangelical feat. His walk permanently changed the public perception of the buildings when at the time were not to popular and now the film is bringing back some amazement and awe to a structure we can no longer relinquish.-David Davidson

Man On Wire (Bytowne Cinema, 324 Rideau Street, 09/05-09/14)
My Winnipeg (Bytowne Cinema, 324 Rideau Street, 09/12-09/16)


The 65th Venice Film Festival  came to a close September 6th and with a jury chaired by Wim Wenders announced the Golden Lion for Best Film to The Wrestler by Darren Aronofsky. Starring Mickey Rourke the film is a drama of a retired wrestler who decides to return to the ring for a last match.

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