For No Good Reason

British artist Ralph Steadman became synonymous with gonzo journalist Hunter S. Thompson in the 1970s, illustrating his classic Rolling Stone pieces and the Fear and Loathing books that came out of them. Since their collaboration the artist has enjoyed a highly productive publishing career whereas the reporter burned out and committed suicide, yet Thompson casts a long shadow over this 2012 profile of Steadman. Johnny Depp, who played Thompson in Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas (1998), serves as Steadman’s onscreen interlocutor, and the narrative dwells on Thompson and Steadman’s journalistic adventures (which were chronicled more successfully in Alex Gibney’s Gonzo: The Life and Work of Dr. Hunter S. Thompson). This is most worthwhile for its scenes of Steadman at work, flinging ink all over the place and turning the splatter marks into his signature grotesques; as he explains to Depp, he always hopes for “something as unexpected to me as it is to everyone else.” Charlie Paul directed; with Jann Wenner.