Man on Wire

If I die, what a beautiful death!



The funny thing about a “New York Story”, is that it doesn’t have to take place entirely in New York. Hell, sometimes it doesn’t even have to¬†mostly take place in New York. Take this documentary, for instance. It’s told through interviews, re-enactments, archival footage, and still images. While much of it is about the derring-do that allowed this stunt to happen, the crux of it is the stuff of legend that could only happen in New York.

What’s amazing about this moment – the iconic image that the entire documentary builds up to – is the way it’s an act of defiance that isn’t completely defiant.

What we have here is a man who saw a city that was already a marvel, and watched it add two structures that would make it that much more marvellous. When he learned about them he didn’t think “I need to see them”…he thought “I need to be a part of them”.

Like King Kong, he stood tall with bravado and found a way to get every eye in the city to look his way. But rather than tempt rejection, he wrapped his arms around the icon and embraced it in a way few others would in the years it stood.

He approached New York in a way few ever had before him…and with that became a part of its legend, even after another part of that legend was gone.