TIFF 2013 Review: For No Good Reason
For No Good Reason
Johnny Depp – of course it’s Johnny Deep – brings to the world a documentary of a friend and idol, artist Ralph Steadman. He is the illustrative half of a rebellious and iconic partnership formed in 1970’s with journalist Hunter S. Thompson that beset Vegas and the Kentucky Derby, among others, with booze, drugs, and chaos.
Perhaps you don’t know his name, but Steadman is prolific and his work rather memorable if downright unforgettable, merely for the fact it’s so startling. It was gonzo journalism from Thompson and poison pictures from Steadman that made the pair famous decades ago, and Steadman recounts some fun tales of debauchery and subversion.
It is more an introduction, however, and a sort of notice that declares Steadman is not simply a cartoonish, and he is still working hard. Thus it’s entirely a platform for Steadman to share stories and show off his skills; but what stories and skills indeed! Watching him create from start to finish one of his peculiar, alarming works is most fascinating, as he casually drops paint randomly on a canvas and proceeds to layer and blend and unearth a scene.
Most welcome is the animation to Steadman’s eerie, disturbing pictures, giving appropriate life and regard to the work as fantastical music plays underneath. Now in his 70’s, Steadman still is full of life, though does embrace a bit of a curmudgeonly side. This all may not be especially illuminating, but it’s a fun jaunt.
Monday September 9 – TIFF Bell Lightbox 3 – 7:15 PM