aI always enjoy watching a documentary. It makes me to discover a new world. Especially logically well-developed documentaries give me a new stream of thoughts and allows me to discover another way to look at the world. The movie Man on Wire gave me this type of experience, helping me to re-discover the adventurous part of me that I hide deep inside of my soul. Man on Wire is a documentary directed by James March about a Philippe Petit and his journey to walk across in the middle of the World Trade Center on a wire back in 1974.
What made me interested in the film in a point of view of student who is freshly leaning elements of film is how the director managed to tell this story without making the audience confused of timeline. Often times in our lives, when we are listening to such a long story like Petit’s journey, we get lost in time frame. On the top of that in the movie, there is no necessarily main stream of story. Different types of footages and films drive the story by putting them together as a unit.
However March has used different visual effects and devises to give distinctive feelings for the audience to focus on the story. This movie shows interviews of Philippe Petit, interviews from Petit’s friends, his girlfriend, Annie Allix, and other people who were involved in the scene. As well as footages from Petit’s own camera, re-directed past sequences, scenes from the news, also animation as transitional device between scenes. The director March has given distinguishable color differences to each types of footage in the order of how currently there were filmed.
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All of the interviews that were filmed while March was directing the movie are in modern style, high-definition color, which gives an impression of present. In the past sequences, the footages from the news and Petit’s footages during planning how to walk on the WTC are in color film with dimed colors. This gives the distinctive visual effect between the past prior to the construction of WTC. All of the sequences before WTC is in black and white and has noises all over the film.
This gives impression that it is in the farther past. However the sequences of Petit and his crew getting into the WTC is in high-definition black and white with no noises on the film, this gave me an impression that this event happened a long time ago, yet still has powerful impact on people’s soul while drawing a parallel with the passion of interviewees talking about the story. One more visual devise that was used in the film that I found interesting was the use of vignette.
Vignette effect was used in the sequences that were prior to the time Petit had a passion to walk across the twin towers. This device also makes it easy to follow the flow of the story. Without those visual devises, because of the big scale of the story, it wouldn’t be easy to enjoy the film. The portion that touched my heart and made me aware of the part of in my soul that used to dream such things that are not possible in the point of view of adults was the expression that the interviewees still have inside of them when they talk about this event.
Although as a result, this event did not make any of them in a better position, their memories of achieving what had seem impossible made me admire of their heart what was once beating enormously to make their dreams come true. As there is a saying ‘even an old house dreams of the open field’. I wish I could be free of fear and live for a dream that inspires other people like Petit has.
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