The Survivor. "When your family is murdered, and the home you had made together is destroyed, and you yourself are beaten and left for dead — as happened to Bill Petit on the morning of July 23, 2007 — it may as well be the end of the world. It is hard to see how a man survives the end of the world. The basics of life — waking up, walking, talking — become alien tasks, and almost impossibly heavy, as you are more dead than alive. Just how does a man go about surviving such a thing? How does a man go on? ... Why does one man come undone while the next finds a way to make it through?" [more inside]
When Man on Wire won a Grand Jury Prize: at Sundance this year, many could hazily remember Philippe Petit's high-wire walk between the World Trade Center Towers in New York in 1974 (previously) but few knew the extent to which the entire endeavor was a wacky multinational caper. [more inside]
On this day in 1974 French stuntman Philippe Petit walked a tightrope strung between the still-unfinished (and largely unrented) towers of New York's World Trade Center. In the course of a single morning, the unexpected -- and illegal -- actions of a daring young Frenchman and a few of his confederates would change public opinion about the troubled towers, which were courting financial disaster and facing a barrage of architectural and social criticism (pdf).