Sometimes, we watch one film and as soon as it's over, a song gets stuck in our heads that we…
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…
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'...
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.
Even better with multiple viewings!
Have you ever wondered what goes through the mind of a guy that records himself performing stupid stunts, one of which almost gets him killed and is seen around the world? Meet Ralph Zavadil, one zany Canuck.
Years before Jackass exploded onto the scene, Zavadil was risking his health and safety performing dangerous stunts and gross-out antics. He would do this from 1990-95 as Cap'n Video for a local cable-access TV show in the Niagara region of Ontario, Canada. His show got cancelled when he got too controversial.
Fast-forward to today and we find out what the Cap'n has been up to, thanks to director Jay Cheel. Before you think that this is just about…
After listening to Jay Cheel discuss various films on Film Junk for the past few years, it was a truly unique experience to see the film made by the film critic. Yes, I watched this because I enjoy his podcast, but it didn't take long for me to forget about Cheel completely. This is a wonderfully crafted documentary about an extremely entertaining Ralph Zavadil. Behind the Cap'n Video persona is a very interesting man with an amazing spirit and some faults as well. The cinematography, the editing, the music... Everything flowed wonderfully. The thing I appreciated the most was how honest the whole thing felt. Nice work, Jay.
Hilarious, touching, and incredibly Canadian. Feels like the non-musical counterpart to The Story Of Anvil. It's amazing how many Sleemans Cap'n Video drinks in this movie. Just guzzles them.
I am sorry to the whole world that it took me so long to watch this masterpiece.
The heart of Gerry. The mind of Terry.
Gracefully introduces a collage of story-lines, all of which are redeemed by the end. The 20th anniversary montage is the clear visual highlight, articulating the passion and ambition of Ralph and Robert with bombastic energy. But the more gentle character moments, and Ralph's general presence and cadence achieves something far more ambitious and rare. It's a film that generates such inspiring affection that it reinforces Ralph's hypothesis that we all have a little "Cap'n Video" stirring beneath our stiff exteriors.
I gotta get me one of those helmets.
1) Any film, documentary or otherwise, that has "Success" by Iggy Pop on the soundtrack is an automatic victory.
2) This guy Ralph Zavadil is one genuine motherfucker; often stupid, but always genuinely so.
3) There's a good mix of present day interviews and stock footage from the both Cap'n Video show and Ralph's own home movies.
4) Cutoff jorts abound.
I was very entertained by this one. 90 solid minutes. Well done Jay Cheel. YEEOW!
On the Film Junk podcast, of which I am a habitual listener, Beauty Day is constantly getting mentioned. One of the hosts is the director, and seeing as I personally find him the most entertaining of the three, I decided to give his film a shot. This is despite having no idea what it is about, of course.
Turns out it's about a Canadian guy being an idiot on camera. Sweet.
It starts with probably the funniest "fail" video I have ever seen. The subject of the documentary, Cap'n Video aka. Ralph Zavadil, attempts to jump into his pool from atop a very tall ladder. He misses and lands straight on the concrete (Trust me, it's funnier than my description…
Proto-Jackass Ralph Zavadil may have influenced a slew of more famous, more wealthy, crazy mother fuckers, but he will always be the original crazy-mother-fucker-with-a-video-camera. With a great soundtrack and an obvious affection for his subject, Director Jay Cheel crafts a wonderful film from the life of a unique and talented man. Film junkers unite.
- Reservoir Dogs
- (500) Days of Summer
- Pitch Perfect
- Pretty Woman
- For All Mankind
- 102 Minutes That Changed America
- Into Eternity
Every documentary I have seen (or at least can recall seeing) ranked. This list will constantly be updated and rearranged
- Abraxas, Guardian of the Universe
- Across This Land with Stompin' Tom Connors
- Adulterous Affair