CANADA – 2010 – 90 MIN – COLOUR - FEATURE - IN ENGLISH
A FILM BY JAY CHEEL
An apt mix of humour and humanity, BEAUTY DAY is a feature length documentary which chronicles the life and times of cable television star Ralph Zavadil.
The film combines broad comedic beats underlined by a subdued, introspective philosophizing on life, akin to Errol Morris' VERNON, FLORIDA or Chris Smith's AMERICAN MOVIE.
"BEAUTY DAY TOPPING EARLY POLLS AT HOT DOCS"
"Cheel weaves together factory work, alcoholism and personal tragedy with rooftop skiing, TV smashing and egg-snorting to create a complex and hilarious look at a sweet but troubled man who just happens to throw himself off ladders for fun."
- CHART ATTACK
"It’s a temptation to go for the obvious and mention it’s a beauty film, but that doesn’t do it justice. It’s truly a wonderful, detailed and completely engaging character-based story. I can’t wait until more people see it."
- ROW THREE
"If you're looking for Jackass 3D, you’ll be entirely disappointed. If you're looking for a reflection on film, what drives us to pursue our passions, and live life to the fullest — you’re in luck."
"Jay Cheel has really delivered in this memoir of a television pioneer living his life on the edge. A word of warning though – bring your gag reflex."
- FILM SCHOOL REJECTS
"If only there’d been a YouTube back when a St. Catharines hoser named Ralph Zavadil was thrilling local cable viewers with the very foolhardy stunts he performed in the guise of Cap’n Video. Though a clip of him breaking his back during one failed stunt won him a measure of pre-internet fame in the early ’90s, it was not Zavadil’s fate to become Johnny Knoxville (or even Steve-O). Funny and endearing, Jay Cheel’s doc gives him the attention he’s due."
- EYE WEEKLY
"Cheel expertly interweaves archival footage, finding surprising emotional beats that add texture and complexity to the man."
- NOW MAGAZINE
"BEAUTY DAY is not only one of the highlights of the Hot Docs festival, but it is also one of my favourite films so far this year. It is a film that will not only make you appreciate life, but it will also inspire you to let loose and embrace your inner “nutbar”, something we all need to do more often."
- BIG THOUGHTS FROM A SMALL MIND
"BEAUTY DAY is really a film about expression, about the need to find a voice in the world and about the stark realities of loneliness and friendship. As seen through the eyes of the original Jackass."
- SOUND ON SIGHT
"Serious goofing off is central to Ralph Zavadil’s world having its MoMA moment on Sunday and Monday with the world premiere screening of the documentary BEAUTY DAY."
- THE TORONTO STAR
"Roof skiing, egg snorting and rocket skateboard, but Canadian? This isn't Jackass, but Cap'n Video, the alter ego of one Ralph Zavadil, a St. Catharines man with a camera, a cable access show and tons of terrible ideas. The once small-town curiousity became (in)famous after a misguided self-recorded stunt landed him in the hospital and was distributed to news media outlets who portrayed him in the wrong light. As his antics post-accident became more desperate, his show was cancelled. But almost two decades later, the temptation arises again, and his long-time fans want to help. Can they do it? With all the flashy/cringe-worthy stunts, Beauty Day surprises as a really well-plotted character story and as the film progresses, Cap'n Video eventually taking a backseat to the more interesting story of Ralph Zavadil himself."
"BEAUTY DAY isn’t just one of the best films at HotDocs this year. It is one of the best films of the year."
"sidesplittingly funny and remarkably touching"
"...the best documentary about filmmaking since American Movie."
- CRITICIZE THIS!
"Ralph Zavadil, known as Cap’n Video, was being a jackass years before Wee-Man and Steve-O were doing it on MTV. Zavadil performed his idiotic and dangerous stunts on cable access television in the early ’90s in St. Catharines, Ont., including snorting raw eggs through his nose, tobogganing off of a rooftop and jumping from a ladder on to a swimming pool cover. The latter stunt failed and Zavadil landed on his head, breaking his neck. This accident, caught on film, opens the documentary. Cheel mixes old video footage from Zavadil’s show with fresh interviews as he follows the thrill-seeker’s rise, fall (literally and figuratively) and his quest to stage an anniversary special"
- THE NATIONAL POST