Sunshine Superman

"An exhilarating flashback to the life and times of BASE jumping's daredevil popularizer." (Variety)

“Marah Strauch’s Sunshine Superman is a vertigo-inducing film. It’s a portrait of Carl Boenish, considered the founder of BASE jumping, and his wife, Jean. Carl filmed many of his exploits himself and is often shown with a camera mounted on his helmet. Sunshine Superman is constructed in part from the original footage, reenactments (some featuring Strauch herself), and interviews. The emphasis on record-setting daredevil stunts—with Boenish and his entourage invading an under-construction Houston skyscraper—gives the film a surface similarity to Man On Wire. Still, the upshot is much grimmer; even for those who don’t know Boenish’s story, his absence among the talking heads tips his fate.

“If Sunshine Superman doesn’t exactly inspire comprehension of the desire to feel like you’re “flashing through a 20-story building in one second,” it is immersive enough to induce panic. Boenish repeatedly says that he’s not looking to get people to do exactly what he does—just to inspire them to reach for their own dreams. That’s hard to argue with, but while this testament honors his vision, it’s also, perhaps, a movie about knowing when to quit.” - AV Club


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