Aim for the Roses

Canadian filmmaker John Bolton entwines the stories of two other passionate Canucks into this “musical docudrama,” as he calls it, about obsession and self-actualization. In 1976, daredevil Ken Carter declared he would jump a mile over the Saint Lawrence River in a rocket-powered car and land on Ogden Island in a bed of roses. In 2010, double bassist and composer Mark Haney completed a conceptual album, after which this film is titled, about Carter and his storied attempt. Carter and Haney pushed their respective art forms to the brink, and Bolton follows suit, pairing archival footage and interviews with reenactments and fantasy sequences that are staged like music videos. Echoing the strange intersection of classical music and stunt driving, Bolton’s confluence of highbrow and lowbrow elements is inelegant at times, but also the basis of this 2016 film’s untidy appeal.