For No Good Reason | Salt Lake City Weekly
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  Rated R · 89 minutes · 2014

It’s a damned shame when filmmaking decisions get in the way of profiling a fascinating artist. The subject here is Ralph Steadman, the British illustrator whose surreal images became iconic through his collaborations on the seminal 1970s “gonzo journalism” articles by Hunter S. Thompson. Director Charlie Paul captures some amazing creative work by Steadman—manipulating Polaroid photos; finding a twisted animal in a casual splash of ink—as well as the ferocious anti-authoritarian, activist spirit that inspired him and fueled his simpatico connection to Thompson. But it’s an organizational mess, haphazardly jumping between topics and throwing in amateurish stuff like showing a phone every time the subject of a phone conversation comes up. And then there’s the pointless presence of Johnny Depp (who played Thompson’s surrogate in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas), interacting with Steadman as a de facto interviewer, though in fact he only seems present to utter dumbfounded variations on “That’s amazing.” Kudos, I suppose, for making me want to pick up a book of Steadman’s astonishingly corrosive art, if only to avoid all the nonsense surrounding it here.


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Director: Charlie Paul
Producer: Lucy Paul
Cast: Johnny Depp

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