F.I.L.M. of the Week (September 4, 2009)

4 09 2009

This week’s “F.I.L.M. of the Week” is “Man on Wire.”  It is truly one of a kind: a documentary that feels like a movie.  I seldom watch documentaries, but I decided to watch it a few months ago because it had won the Oscar for Best Documentary and it had received unanimous critical praise.  The filmmakers tell the story of Philippe Petit, the daring trapeze artist who walked on a wire between the World Trade Center towers in 1973.

It’s nothing like a History Channel special, which the average moviegoer seems to group documentaries alongside.  Rather than recounting the events through interviews and pictures, the filmmakers have a cast reenact the events.  They also make a clever move in crafting the movie as if it were a heist film.  The result is a breath-taking, captivating, and delightful movie (three words I thought I would never use to describe a documentary.)