Time for another documentary, and, surprisingly enough, this one is also about an artist. About a very interesting artist. As in 'completely out of his fucking mind' interesting. Well, just look for yourself:
Ralph Steadman is the last of the original Gonzo visionaries.
Made over the course of fifteen years, “For No Good Reason,” explores the connection between life and art through the eyes of seminal British artist, Ralph Steadman. Insightful, humorous, and visually stunning, this is a study in honesty, friendship and the ambition that drives an artist.
That's the official preview they put on a site, but fuck that. Let's get to what is important here. Ralph Steadman is the man who made the illustrations to the 'Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas' book. And not only that - he pretty much created the visual style of the thing called gonzo journalism, just as Hunter S. Thompson created it as a literary style. Those two were great buddies, so most of the film talks about both Steadman and Thompson. And if that wasn't enough, we visit Steadman's studio together with Johnny Depp.
So, what does the movie talk about? Well, obviously, it talks about the life of this artist, about how he became popular, how he made his books, how he went on weird and quite bizarre adventures with Thompson. Actually, it really ends on a sad note, with Thompson's suicide and Steadman's depression following that event. Along the way you will be treated to some extremely weird visuals made by animating Steadman's pictures, by some film footage, and even by artist himself in the act of creating another weirdness.
Is it worth to watch? Well, it depends. If you are at least a fan of 'Fear and Loathing' - you will like this. If you don't care about gonzo journalism or have no emotional stakes is seeing a crazy bastard drawing the world like it really looks like - you don't have to bother watching. Quite honestly, there's really not much being said in the movie. Artist gets successful, artist makes his work relevant to the current global events, artist thinks if his work even has meaning now. Not much substance. But it is one of those cases - for me at least - when it's the journey that is worth it in the end. And this really is a decent window into the mind of a man peculiar enough to be interesting.
And, obviously, there's his art. Which is not really the style that I would always like, but the way he does it is really fascinating. And I get the feeling that even he has no idea what he is drawing until he is done. And that kind of raw uncalculated art is something you don't get to see or appreciate all too much. And he even found way to fuck around with polaroid pictures, which was extremely cool to even watch.
So yeah, I would definitely recommend this movie. It is a great story of great completely mad people.