New Film Shows Hunter Thompson and Ralph Steadman on Wild and Crazy Ride #ArtTuesday
(1995 caricature of Hunter S. Thompson by Steadman, Sony Pictures Classics)
For No Good Reason, which will hit theaters on April 25, is a film that documents the wild collaboration between writer Hunter S. Thompson and illustrator Ralph Steadman. via ARTnews:
Over the course of several decades, writer Hunter S. Thompson and illustrator Ralph Steadman, partners in work (and sometimes in mischief), traveled together to report from Kentucky to Zaire to Honolulu. Why? “For no good reason,” the famed gonzo journalist often sardonically told Steadman, who recounts their adventures in a new documentary of the same title.
While the pair’s antics launched Steadman to international success, For No Good Reason centers on the art-making practices of this rather reclusive British artist. Unlike his late collaborator, Steadman has led a disciplined and drug-fee life in Kent, England. “We were like chalk and cheese,” the artist says in the film.
His caricatures, cartoons, and drawings depict human suffering and dread, always punctuated with sickly ink splatters. Such images provided the perfect complement to Thompson’s maniacal, self-sabotaging stories for Rolling Stone, Scanlan’s, and Running, and illuminated the novel Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas. Of his partnership with Thompson, Steadman notes, “I met up with the one man I needed to meet.”
The two were introduced on assignment in 1970—Steadman’s first trip to the United States—when Thompson was reporting from Louisville to write “The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved” for Scanlan’s. Steadman provided grotesque illustrations of racers and audience members alike, and the story garnered widespread attention for both men.
For No Good Reason, hitting theaters April 25, features interviews with friends and associates, including Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner and actor Johnny Depp, as they unpack how Steadman’s anarchic pictures gave a visual record of this celebrated collaboration.
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To keep you going until it comes out, check out this BBC documentary on Steadman and Thompson from way back in 1978 – in two parts