Looking for an inspirational film to watch? We heartily recommend you give Sunshine Superman a try.
It seems a day doesn’t go by now without me seeing a daredevil wingsuit basejumper hurtling through my Facebook feed in the latest Go-Pro filmed YouTube clip (and I have to admit, I’m a sucker for them). Sunshine Superman is the story of Carl Boenish, the father of BASE jumping. Although the dangers in today’s sport are still very apparent, we see so many social media clips of the wingsuit brigade scraping their chins along alpine gullies that it’s easy to forget the discipline as a whole was invented less than 40 years ago. The furore caused when its pioneers in California (where else!) first started illegally jumping off Buildings, Antennae, Spans and Earth is easily forgotten too.
Fortunately for us modern day voyeurs, Boenish was not only an accomplished skydiver but also a professional cinematographer, so straight from the off the early jumps were stage-managed and filmed for the enjoyment of a wider audience. Of course back in the ’70s poor Carl couldn’t just clip on a Go-Pro, so most of his jumps were done with a weighty movie camera gaffer-taped to his helmet.
He really is an unlikely hero; geeky and ungainly but with an infectious enthusiasm that clearly spread to everyone around him. You won’t be surprised to hear that a film about the birth of one of the world’s most dangerous pastimes isn’t without its sad moments, but the story, the exhilarating action shots, the breathtaking scenery in Yosemite and the fjords of Norway and – for gear nuts like us – the array of old school sports and outdoor gear on show all make this a wonderful way to spend 90 minutes or so. Go watch it!