Friday Flick: The Balloon Highline

This clip is far from your average insane-people-filming-stunts-you’ll-never-do showcase. Nutty French troupe The Skyliners put up a slackline between two hot air balloons; after a few attempts, no one manages to walk the entire line before plummeting (to be saved by their parachutes, we assume, though we don’t see this part). They will try again soon, they promise.

The fact that they don’t complete the stunt hardly matters; you know they’re crazy enough to do it again and again until they do. (The circus clown aboard the balloon heightens the sense of wacko commitment.)

The same madcap troupe is the subject of feature-length I Believe I Can Fly (Flight of the Frenchies) where two friends test the boundaries of free flight. Pioneers in ‘highlining’ – a vertiginous combination of climbing, slackline and tightrope walking – The Skyliners travel from the Verdon gorge to the skyscrapers of Paris, and finally to the spectacular cliffs and fjords of Norway where the pair put years of training to the ultimate test.

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