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For No Good Reason

For No Good Reason FFF 2014
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  • Directed by: Charlie Paul
  • UK/USA, 2012, 89 minutes
  • In English
  • East Coast Premiere
  • Rated R

The iconic work of Ralph Steadman is some of the most instantly recognizable in the world of modern cartooning. In 1969 he was paired on a magazine assignment with a writer named Hunter S. Thompson to cover the Kentucky Derby. Nothing could have prepared Steadman, the sober Brit, for the havoc-stirring Thompson, but their blend of sensibilities gave birth to what became known as “Gonzo” journalism. FOR NO GOOD REASON delves beneath the obvious (albeit incredibly evocative) work Steadman did with Thompson. While the give and take of their friendship certainly helped form his style, it was Steadman’s willingness to go further that truly makes his art stand out. This is most likely what led him to work so closely with William S. Burroughs towards the end of his life. A kaleidoscopic journey with Steadman and gonzo-heir Johnny Depp through the ups and downs of his expansive career, including travelling with Thompson to Africa for the Rumble in the Jungle, his outrage during the Nixon years, or going shooting with Burroughs, this crowd-pleasing documentary is touching, angry, and weird—all in equal measure. Fifteen years in the making, it’s sure to give insight into a man who has used his talents to challenge the status quo in ways most illustrators are never able to touch.