Saturday, January 29, 2011

Man on Wire (2008)

“If I die,what a beautiful death”- Philippe Petit

There is no chance of really giving any spoilers to this film as the poster clearly tells you what this film is about. And I will say, its a MAGNIFICENT account of Philippe Petit's walk on a tightrope between the once famous Twin Towers in 1974. Philippe basically narrates the story but it does jump back and forth abit between his training, the actual planning of the event, his early years etc and then the re-enactments of actually illegally hauling tons of equipment to the top of the towers undetected. However, the story is very easy to follow and he tells it so well. He's very animated and dramatic besides being a funny guy. He also tells the story with such passion you can hardly contain yourself by the time he actually steps out into the clouds. We are also treated to some footage of when he walked over the Sydney Harbour Bridge and the Notre Dame de Paris but obviously these were minor feats compared to his Twin Tower walk.I'm not going to mention the suffering of a serious case of vertigo more than once in my chair, nor the involuntary kegels I kept getting every time the camera panned over the edge of the towers while watching this movie...

Rather you then me!!

He starts basically from the beginning when he heard about the towers being built and actually managed to convince himself they were being built especially for him. You also know from very early in the film that he was going to do this walk, regardless of what stood in his way and if it was the very last walk he ever took. He explains the intricacies involved in detail, such as the tightness of the rope, weather conditions 450m above the ground and of course, the problem of getting his wire from the one tower to the other. His friends who help him achieve this goal, also give very interesting details and interviews regarding the events.

I have to say, when he finally walks out on the rope, its very hard not to feel emotional or moved as it really is beautiful. I found it hard not to cry. For 45 minutes he literally danced, lay down, taunted the police and even saluted. There is no live footage of the actual stunt from the roof tops but the pics really do say it all. Over and above the actual story, I just want to mention that this film has some awesome footage of the building of the towers. I also tried not to think too much of what became of the towers and 9/11 but you cant help but think of the victims who where stuck on the top floors and jumped...this film puts in perspective just how high it actually is up there.

Having a chat with God?

The irony is not lost on me...

I lmao when he said after he came off the rope and was arrested on the spot by police, the most dangerous part of the whole episode was when he was handcuffed and almost shoved down a flight of stairs, nearly breaking his neck. I absolutely LOVE LOVE this film and have it on all my wishlists, this one is a definite keeper.

Please note that if you do download get this from somewhere, make sure you grab the .srt file too as a lot of it is in french and you will need the subtitles.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Exit Through The Gift Shop (2010)

Ive decided to do my first review on Banksy's Exit through The Gift Shop in honour of it being awarded an Oscar nomination. In all honesty, I had never even heard of Banksy before watching this documentary and jumped onto google right after i finished the film. He has an extraordinary history. Basically he is a famous graffiti artist from the UK who has never been seen(bar close associates), is extremely elusive nor does anyone supposedly know his true identity however, he leaves his mark all over the place. Apparently, should you wake one morning and discover you (or your establishment) has been visited by him during the dead of night, the value of your property could fly through the roof as his work seems quite valuable besides the fact, his art really REALLY is a work of genius (and I'm no arty farty).
One of Banksy's Murals
Exit through the Gift shop (despite the movie poster initially giving me no clues as to the content of the story) is a thoroughly enjoyable and riveting story, even if you are not into art. The film is actually about a french amateur film maker, Thierry Guetta who documents the graffiti artists around his city and then decides to track down Banksy who is a legend in his field. Banksy in turn lands up supporting Thierry when he tries his hand at art and turns the camera on Thierry.

It was hard for me to decide if Thierry aka Mr Brainwash (hmmmmm....) was genuinely naive or in on the joke as some of his art is totally outrageous but thanks to a massive campaign lead by top graffiti artists..Mr Brainwash seemed to have found success. This ads to the mystery around the film as to was Mr Brainwash created for the amusement of Banksy and co, or did they really believe he had some talent?? Can anyone just become an artist?? You can be the judge! Even though I was covering my eyes in embarrassment for Thierry in some parts, he is a genuinely likable character and I REALLY wanted him to succeed.Its also an awesome look into the lives of these nocturnal creatures that create art while we all sleep. Besides some truly hilarious LOL moments in the film, its was an eye opener in what people are willing to believe in the name of hot trends, pop culture and celebrities.

This one definitely deserves its Oscar nod and is a remarkable, funny and fascinating doccie. If you hadn't heard of Banksy and his friends before now, you will spend hours after watching the film, trawling the net for info...

PS: Ive tried hard not to add any spoilers as with any doc, the less you know beforehand, the greater the impact when you watch it but if you do watch this one, would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.


I have a blog. I feel all grown up. I was laying in bed last night, way past bedtime after I just finished watching The Oath (review to come at a later stage) when I decided I had to share. I'm just a *normal* person with absolutely no idea about how films are made, the arty side of things nor the direction. I just watch these films and am left with no one to discuss the movie or the impact they have on me, hence the blog ;-)

Unfortunately, living in South Africa, we get no festivals like Sundance, Cannes etc etc and finding some of these gems in Dvd stores are as rare as your 2yr old sitting still for 5 minutes. So you might want to read my review before you add these Dvd's to your uTorrent Take2 wishlist. I'll share my thoughts on docs ranging from politics to the every day man, that I found totally fascinating or just dead boring. Some have me thinking for days, others have me falling asleep 30mins in.

If you have any suggestions for films of interest or need help getting your hands on anything you would like to watch, please let me know. Hehehe, I'm hoping one day to be able to discuss the films with others in the comments but I will add spoiler alerts should it ever come to that!!

Lastly, please note that all views that I share on this blog will be my personal opinion as I have absolutely no credentials when it comes to reviews, just my own thoughts.

TFR!! *insert smiley face*
PS: I'm new to blogging ok, I'm sure there will be plenty stuff-ups along the way but could someone point me in the direction of the smiley faces? lol.