Ralph Steadman is a well-known artist and illustrator from Britain and a long-time collaborator of American writer Hunter S. Thompson. Steadman did all the illustrations for Thompson’s writings, including “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,” which first appeared in Rolling Stone magazine.
Thompson is credited with the term Gonzo journalism. Here is a wonderful, in-depth interview with Thompson from The Paris Review. But wait, what about an in-depth interview with Steadman, who captured all that intense, crazy energy of Thompson’s writings? That is the gap that Charlie and Lucy Paul’s documentary “For No Good Reason” fills in very nicely. The film takes you behind the scenes and into the life of Steadman, a prolific artist and illustrator. You actually get to see how Steadman starts on his painting projects and how that piece of art then takes an organic life of its own. An interesting aspects of the documentary is how Steadman photographs the progress of his paintings with a camera that is mounted on top of the aisle. Ever so often yo9u will see him reach out to the camera and go click and grab a photo of his work in progress. It also shows us a different side of Steadman – his love for gadgets and technology.
In the film we get to see a fairly in-depth side of Steadman and how his unlikely friendship with Thompson developed and how the two worked together. Besides working with Thompson, Steadman has worked on a number of different things, including a project on the legendary and gifted artist Leonordo da Vinci. One of the most interesting aspects of the documentary is how Steadman photographs the progress of his paintings with a camera that he has mounted on top of the aisle. What this does is gives us, the viewer, a sense of how that piece of art took shape. Besides Steadman, we also meet Johnny Depp, who was a good friend of Thompson and has acted in a couple of films based on Thompson’s books. They are “Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas,” and “Rum Diary.”
Here is a teaser from a longer interview we did with Charlie and Lucy Steadman about their documentary “For No Good Reason”that released on July, 2014 in the San Francisco bay area.