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Before the body-threatening antics of Jackass came crashing into public consciousness, there was Ontario's Ralph Zavadil, aka Cap'n Video, who cascaded off roofs into snowbanks, jumped off ladders into half-empty swimming pools, and drank eggs through his nostrils. Beauty Day is a rambunctious documentary about this irrepressible pioneer of local-access cable shenanigans who entertained and outraged viewers in the small city of St. Catharines-until a special Easter Show, featuring a fat rabbit and adorable puppies (none of which were hurt), got him kicked off the air for good. With a nod to Werner Herzog, Cheel follows the life and times of Cap'n Video and finds that the Cap'n is still quite a firecracker. Written by Laurence Kardish
I'm a regular listener to the Film Junk Podcast, of which Jay Cheel is a founding contributor. I ordered my copy of Beauty Day a month or two ago and finally got around to watching it this weekend. Given the long wait (the film premiered over a year ago), the availability of Cap'n Video shenanigans on the internet and my familiarity with the director I had a difficult time managing my expectations. Not to mention that I grew up with my own cable access lunatics (some are still going strong, something about war and info I think?) Luckily, all that didn't seem to matter, I love Beauty Day. Cheel does a great job of giving Ralph Zavadil aka Cap'n Video…
Fun, funny, fast, and beautifully shot. This is a documentary that I think will greatly reward rewatches because it makes you want to spend more time Ralph.
As an unashamed Film Junk fanboy and admirer of Jay Cheel, I am embarrassed that it took me so long to see Beauty Day.
My expectations for this were as high as they have ever been going into an initial viewing of a film, and I can happily report that I got exactly what I was hoping for.
Cap'n Video provides plenty of content, but it is Jay Cheels vision and direction that gives life to Ralph's story. The film is brilliantly edited (especially the opening), the cinematography is gorgeous throughout, the honesty is refreshing, the situations hilarious and terrifying at times, the friendships genuine and endearing... There are tragedies and pitfalls, but the resolution so satisfying.
It was a…
I'm a huge fan of Film Junk, and an even bigger fan of Jay Cheel. I was so excited to watch Beauty Day and see what Jay could do as a filmmaker.
I have to say I was really blown away. Cheel creates some beautiful and tender human moments. The film is incredible well paced, choosing to reveal particular story points and withhold others until later. Finally, the editing is excellently executed.
Beauty Day tells the story of Cap'n Video (the mid-90s precursor to the Jackass boys) and where his life is out now. It's a great little tale of purpose, nostalgia, art, humour and passion.
While the subject matter is perhaps a little stretched to cover the full 90-minutes, Cheel none the less makes the material gripping. I cannot wait to see what this up and coming filmmaker has to offer next!
What a beaut'...
Being from California, I had no idea who Cap'n Video was going into this documentary but that didn't hinder my enjoyment of it. Incredibly well put together with a very entertaining, likable and at times inspirational main subject in Ralph.
As a frequent listener to the Film Junk Podcast, it's very nice to finally catch up with cast-member Jay Cheel's feature film debut and it's even nicer to see how much of a success it was. Eager to see what else Jay does in the future.
Well done doc about a larger than life, functioning insane person. Everything about the subject of the film, seems like it has to be an act, but after a while I saw that he actually was Cap'n Video. People like him that actually do this in earnest, just for themselves are a dying breed.
Following his life is funny and sad, but I enjoyed every minute of the ride. Great editing and music choices to boot. I recommend this for anyone who wants to see what the life of a madman is like.
While his show might never have made it over to the UK the legacy of “Cap’n Video” certainly did thanks to appearances on clip shows and certainly for myself through the tape trading channels where recordings of his show featuring him constantly finding new and ever more unique ways to potentially maim himself as he performed stunts such as tobogganing off the roof of his house and most cringingly his attempt to take his pool cover off by jumping off a ladder only to land on his head which is also the clip that the documentary chooses to open with. Somehow despite breaking his neck attempting this stunt Zavadil not only survived but would go on undeterred with performing these…
Q&A with director and subject.
Still holds up as an entertaining character study that also gives a sense of the culture of his time and milieu. While it smoothly made its shifts into different topics in the story of Ralph's life, the narrative wasn't the tightest.
The experience was heightened by knowing it was to date the film's 5th anniversary, and also 7 years from the date I first came across the Film Junk Podcast (looking for reviews on Observe and Report). So it was nice to meet one of the hosts.
Quite a fun doc to watch (especially on the big screen).
В своих кинематографических предпочтениях, я всегда склонен выбирать художественные фильмы. Но в то же время, я всегда более чем рад засесть за хорошим документальным фильмом. Такой фильм может просветить тебя в той или иной области, заставить задуматься над некоторыми вещами. Не хуже любой другой комедии он может заставить тебя смеяться. А может сделать всё это одновременно, да к тому же в рамках 1 часа и 34 минут.
Beauty Day Джея Чила несёт очень верное послание. Если можете, делайте всё, чтобы жить. По-настоящему жить, а не идти сквозь дни как сквозь рутину. Фильм пропитан энергией главного героя картины, который за свои годы успел сделать столько, сколько не успевают сделать 90% населения планеты. Да, кому то его деятельность покажется идиотской. Но даже…
Koko, Jojo, Joko, and Kojo would be proud.
Avid Film Junk listener. Jay makes a beautiful documentary that is very reminiscent of The Wrestler and American Movie. I knew nothing of the main subject but was fascinated from start to finish.
Jay, when will this Beauty make it on baby blue? where it will reside directly next to my shitty batman films and the Big Lebowksi
Besides a few false endings its pretty tight.
This is a movie about one of the weirdest/craziest guys I have ever seen. Ralph, or rather Captain Video, did all sorts of crazy stunts just for laughs. The documentary featured clips from his original TV show (which pre-dates a lot of what Johnny Knoxville). It certainly was weird, but I think it would have helped my enjoyment if the main guy were more likable. It just kinda made me cringe a lot and wonder who watched this back in the day. Sure it was kinda funny at times, but overall, not my thing.
Sentence: I might need to take a break from documentaries for a while, haha!