REVIEW: FOR NO GOOD REASON
In a recent interview, artist Ralph Steadman, the subject of the documentary For No Good Reason, was asked what the film gets right about him. His immediate reply: “I thought it was all wrong, actually; the whole film from beginning to end was completely wrong. You could probably sue them for all the mistakes they made.” Director Charlie Paul was sitting right next to him. The conversation was then overwhelmed by a story about a mutant sheep named Zeno, and Paul began to tear up with laughter. “This is our next film.”
An affably morbid Brit whose sense of humor is better ascribed to the guillotine than the gallows, Steadman almost certainly intended his critical assessment of the film to be taken with a shot of gin and a smile; with a man like that, there’s a fine line between taking a shot and taking the piss. Nevertheless, Steadman’s mirthfully harsh response is as perceptive a review as a documentary subject has ever offered—For No Good Reason is an absolute mess from start to finish, a portrait of an artist that’s almost rendered redundant by his art. And yet, for all its failings, the film is engagingly in tune with the man who inspired it. As Steadman reflects at one point, “Life always was a bit on the meaningless side.” If nothing else, For No Good Reason takes him at his word.
READ THE FULL REVIEW ON THE DISSOLVE.