As a part of the Outside-in Cinema screenings in Experimedia here at the Library, on Wednesday 6th October at 6:30pm you can watch the recent documentary Man on wire. The film tells the story of trapeze artist Philippe Petit’s legendary traversal between the Twin Towers in New York City in 1974. His own account of the attempt – that he was in the process of writing as the World Trade Centre fell – can be found in the Large Books section of the Arts Reading Room shelves.

To reach the clouds

Australia also has it’s very own world famous funamblist, though, who is well worth researching if you’re curious about this particular form of circus arts: Con Colleano. The wizard of the wire, an account of his life story, can be requested from storage via the catalogue for use anywhere within the Library.

The wizard of the wire

Looking back even further, a name that appears in many listings of tightrope masters is The Great Farini, who, amongst other feats, traversed Niagara Falls in 1860 with a washing machine strapped to his back. An account of his many dangerous attempts can also be requested via the catalogue for use within the Library.

The great farini

Beating Farini by a year was the great Charles Blondin, a French master of the wire who was the first to cross Niagara Falls in 1859, and then proceeded to do it again and again with increasingly bizarre theatrical elements; apparently he even cooked an omelet half way across one time!

Kodansha, 1997

Kodansha, 1997

But remember, don’t try any of this at home!

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