Wednesday, July 23, 2008

Oh Happy Day!

You may know that one of my favorite picturebooks is The Man Who Walked Between the Towers written and illustrated by Mordicai Gerstein. I wrote an extensive analysis of The Man Who Walked Between the Towers in chapter four of The Joy of Children's Literature. I love sharing this book with children and adults...both audiences are mesmerized by the story of the French aerialist Philippe Petit's walk between the twin towers of the World Trade Center. And both audiences always want to know if it's really a true story. So, I show them Petit's audiobiography, To Reach the Clouds: My High Wire Walk Between the Twin Towers, which includes stunning photographs of his death defying feat!

Now there is a documentary about Petit's walk between the towers, Man On Wire, directed by James Marsh. The film won the 2008 Sundance Audience Award & Grand Jury Prize. It will be in limited release in the US starting July 25 (theatre locations and release dates); so limited that I will have to drive to DC to see it. After viewing the trailer (below), I am convinced that it will be worth the drive. I think it will be one of those memorable movies that grabs you emotionally on many levels.

Man on Wire trailer

Below is an interview with director James Marsh and Philippe Petit. In all of the times I have read The Man Who Walked Between the Towers and talked with audiences about the event, I've thought about what a rare and fascinating person Petit must be. The interview reveals some of his eccentric personality, which I loved.

Director James Marsh and Philippe Petit discuss Man On Wire at the 2008 Sundance Film Festival.

You can watch an interview with Mordicai Gerstein about The Man Who Walked Between the Towers on a NewsHour with Jim Lehrer. Eduscapes also has a nice page with links to book connections for The Man who Walked Between the Towers.

If you see Man on Wire please share your thoughts!

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