The astronaut and the funambulist

Two movies just seen, The Martian ( and The Walk (, exemplify the symbiotic relationship Hollywood now has with CGI. It is hard to conceive of anything that cannot be realized for the screen, with the possible exception of the human face, which still resists digital counterfeiting. At least, however, in these two cases the technology went to the service of the story: in the first case it was subordinated to it and could be ignored/taken for granted; in the latter case it cannot. The twin towers are there, before our eyes, under the characters’ feet, a physical presence. And yet not so. That is what fascinates about Zemeckis’s film, and is also gently subversive. As the softly glowing image of the twin towers sets on our movie screens, we are dimly aware that in addition to offering a visualization of James Marsh’s documentary Man on Wire, The Walk constitutes an adoring homily to WTC itself, a smack in the face of Al-Qaeda.The-Walk-Movie-2015