The Beautiful, Horrifying Art of Ralph Steadman
'For No Good Reason' documents the reclusive artist's method with a little help from Johnny Depp.
Equal parts Hieronymus Bosch, Jackson Pollock, and Otto Dix, Ralph Steadman is best known as the man behind the nightmarish cartoons that accompany much of writer Hunter S. Thompson's work. The new documentary, For No Good Reason, offers an inside look at Steadman's artistic process as well as the man himself.
Frequent cinematic Thompson portrayer Johnny Depp (Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas, The Rum Diaries) plays the audience surrogate in For No Good Reason, asking relevant questions and giving Steadman someone to show off to. Director Charlie Paul patiently sits back and simply watches the two men interact while cutting the film with animated transitions and old interviews with the likes of Terry Gilliam and Richard E. Grant. The result is a relaxed look at a surprisingly normal man who somehow conjures nightmares by blowing paint everywhere.
"Things happen." Steadman says.
For No Good Reason also doubles as a neat catalogue of Steadman's work. It doesn't bother trying to encapsulate the man's life in 90 minutes. Instead the scope is small, intimate even, and you get the sense you're being led around on your own personal tour at the Steadman Museum of Insane Art (long overdue in this writer's humble opinion).
For No Good Reason is definitely worth a look for anyone who loves those weird Fear and Loathing drawings and any art lovers in general. Steadman's work is uniquely evergreen, seeming as modern today as it was back in the '70s. Check out some of Steadman's best work, featured in For No Good Reason: