It's the story of a French tightrope-dancer (not a mere walker) who limbered up on a wire over Notre Dame de Paris and the Sydney Harbour Bridge before taking on the newly-built New York Twin Towers in 1973.
It's a pretty cool stunt but the real story is the way his monomania sucked in a circle of friends to make this impossible dream happen. I won't spoil the plot, but there have been wars fought with less preparation and planning than went into this caper.
A highlight for me was the way he described the first step onto the wire - the moment when he shifted his weight from one foot anchored on a building to one on a swinging, dipping, twisting wire over a quarter mile column of air.
Why would anyone do that ?
Like Louis Armstrong said :
"If you have to ask, you'll never know."
Or as he put it :
"I did something magnificent and mysterious, and I got a 'why?' - and the beauty of it is that I don't have a 'why.'"
The very best Art forces you to change your ideas about what is possible, and by that standard this is great art indeed. A man walking on clouds certainly doesn't need a "Why?".
Speaking of great art, the soundtrack is amazing - Michael Nyman's greatest minimalist hits, including the jaw-droppingly awesome "Memorial". Also his equivalent from the century before - Satie's Gymnopédie and Gnossienne. And Fleetwood Mac's "Albatross" and "A Fifth of Beethoven" as a nod to the era of the stunt and just for laughs.