it was probably 2 or 3 in the morning when I first stumbled across the wikipedia article on the french wirewalker phillipe petit, whose fame was crystallized in 1974 when he strung a wire between the two towers of the world trade center and spent upwards of 45 minutes walking, laying, bouncing, and dancing between them. his story worked perfectly as the introduction to a havc paper I was writing, and is now the subject of a fantastic documentary by james marsh, man on wire. petit is a mesmerizing individual, who speaks in a gallic-tinted kind of freeprose, and is able to describe his life as “a fairy-tale” with no hint of affect or saccarine hyperbole. I can’t say enough good things about the film, I reccomend it with no reservations what-so-ever.
another eccentric figure who excels in captivating speech is werner herzog (“It was not a significant bullet. I am not afraid.”) and also happens to be old friends with petit. they’re both interviewed in the newest issue of esquire, which is linked below.