Stephen Holden sees the film Man on Wire as a metaphor for New York City’s Tribeca Film Festival:
n Aug. 7, 1974, Mr. Petit, then 24, tiptoed onto a cable suspended 1,350 feet above the ground and crossed it eight times in 45 minutes before the police forced him down. Peter Scarlet, the Tribeca festival’s artistic director, describes Mr. Petit’s feat as epitomizing the festival’s precarious “balancing of art and commerce.”
In this year’s festival, which begins on Wednesday and runs through May 4 at theaters around New York, that balance has tilted more toward art, although there are still plenty of bells and whistles. It demonstrates that the festival is finally settling into its own identity and establishing itself as a major international showcase.