Man On Wire bored and enchanted me

Man On Wire is a 2008 documentary that supposedly inspired the feature Hollywood film (releasing in October) starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt, Ben Kingsley and 100 Foot Journey’s Charlotte Le Bon.

Throughout watching this documentary,  I was trying to figure out the angle from which the director was coming or his purpose in creating the film the way he did. This documentary by James Marsh tells the story of a man who walked on wire, literally, starting with practice just a few metres above ground and moving up to 410m when he walked between the twin towers. Although a documentary is meant to represent what is much closer to reality than a typical Hollywood blockbuster, there is still an element of story-telling done in such a way to entertain the viewer.

This was certainly true for IMDB: Man on Wire (2008). The film was filled with scenes that re-enacted parts of Philippe Petit’s story of planning and eventually walking on a wire between the World Trade Centre’s twin towers. There was dramatic music and moments of what I think was purposed to be tense silence in scenes that contained Philippe and his team sneaking into the building, and hiding from a security guard under a blanket for a couple of hours.

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Not the Messiah, he’s a very naughty boy – blasphemy or not?

Eric Idle (Baritone), Rosalind Plowright (Mezzo), William Ferguson (Tenor),  Shannon Mercer (Soprano) and Christopher Purves (Bass). The five soloists in the show.  Photo source:
Eric Idle (Baritone), Rosalind Plowright (Mezzo), William Ferguson (Tenor), Shannon Mercer (Soprano) and Christopher Purves (Bass). The five soloists in the show. Photo source:

Not the Messiah, he’s a very naughty boy is not strictly speaking a documentary. My local DVD store categorised it as such though, so I took the opportunity to watch something different to increase variety in the small repertoire of film reviews I’ve done. I have recently resolved to watch films or TV shows  with as little blasphemy or swearing as possible. I value my relationship with Jesus Christ and don’t enjoy hearing certain things, so if I can avoid it, I will.

With that wonderful intention, I looked at the little ‘B’ attached to the PG12 age restriction on the back of the DVD cover. What could that mean? I asked the man at the cash desk who tried to look it up and could not find the answer. I cycled home after paying a mere R10 to watch the ‘documentary’, and it clicked into place! Considering the topic of the film, ‘B’ must mean blasphemy! Oh dear. I looked it up for myself and my conclusion was confirmed. Needless to say, I approached the watching of this film with caution and suspicion while enjoying the well-crafted opera.

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Frozen Planet thawed my heart

By Roxanne Daniels

I was getting tired of the films made about a non-existent human population group who look perfect, do not act perfectly and still seem to , by the world’s standards achieve the perfection of life. It became unhelpful for me to get lost in these unrealistic Hollywood films, I still watch them, but with caution. And I decided to try and watch more documentaries about our planet instead.

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