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Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain (2021)

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Morgan Neville, Producer/Director, is releasing a documentary on Anthony Bourdain in theaters on July 16.  It's a behind the scenes look at Anthony Bourdain.  The beloved raconteur, writer, chef, and adventurer.  Warning - "There's no happy ending."

Morgan Neville is an academy award winning filmmaker for his documentary 20 Feet From Stardom.  So it looks like Anthony Bourdain's story is in very competent hands. 

I'll need a couple of boxes tissue.

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Watched Roadrunner this weekend.  Just reminded me how much I miss Bourdain.  It's well done, and I'm glad it's not some by rote life celebration because he was more complicated than that.  I guess it's just depressing period because we all know what happened.   

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I can’t believe there aren’t more comments on this movie.  I finally watched it recently.   I must say that it was a lot different from what I expected.  I don’t think I knew much about Anthony before.  It’s a unfortunate the way things went towards the end.  I would have preferred to see more from the crew after his death, but perhaps that was too personal to divulge.  

I also wondered why they never mentioned the payout by Tony on behalf of his girlfriend. Maybe, there were legal reasons for that.  

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It was interesting that his friends seemed to imply that his relationship with Asia Argento was a cause (among others) of his spiral at the end. Seeing the relationship play out on screen, I would argue that it was not a cause, but a symptom.

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On 6/17/2022 at 6:58 PM, AimingforYoko said:

Seeing the relationship play out on screen,

Well we didn’t see the relationship play out on screen, we only saw a brief snap shot of what was, which in no way provided the full view of what the relationship was like. That’s not to say that the relationship was to blame for his suicide but I don’t think enough of it was shown to make a determination about its influence (or not) on his decision to die.

 Bourdain appeared to have done it all, becoming successful without even trying but seemed to find himself at a crossroad at the end and seemed to be searching for purpose and happiness. Which is so ironic considering the life he led and achievements he had, but an “exciting” life and outstanding achievements doesn’t equate to being happy. I think there was always a darkness within him, which he kept under control and at bay with one obsession or another ie drugs, cooking, traveling/work, but for whatever reason, at the end of his life he could no longer keep it at bay. I do wonder when did the turn happen? When did the darkness within begin to win, which ultimately led to his end? 

This documentary was well done. Like others, I’m surprised more people haven’t watched and commented. 

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  An unauthorized biography will be coming out on Anthony Bourdain's last few days. The NY Times has an article on it here.


Mr. Leerhsen said Mr. Bourdain’s inner circle and even some of his international fixers and former line cooks refused to speak with him for the biography, in part because Mr. Bourdain’s longtime agent, Kim Witherspoon, told them not to. Ms. Witherspoon did not respond to a request for an interview for this article. Laurie Woolever, Mr. Bourdain’s assistant, declined to speak about the book.

Mr. Leerhsen said that such resistance from the Bourdain camp helped open other doors for him. “A lot of people were willing to talk to me because they were left behind by Tony and by the Tony train,” he said, adding that some were moved to speak by their anger over the damage Mr. Bourdain had done to his daughter.

One person close to Mr. Bourdain who hasn’t pushed back against the book is his wife, Ms. Busia-Bourdain, who controls his estate. The book’s most revealing material comes from files and messages pulled from Mr. Bourdain’s phone and laptop, both of which are part of the estate.

Some of the primary sources seem to be Ottavia and Nancy his first wife. As mentioned before, a lot of people disliked Asia Argento and her influence on Tony's life.

I have very mixed feelings about it since it seems like a money grab from Simon & Shuster on Bourdain's fame. I find it very sad that Ottavia and the estate have allowed this to happen even though they never officially sanctioned it. They did assist with it. I think it's lurid that there is so much speculation and capitalization on the death of a man who had a history of addiction, depression, and other struggles.

I really miss Tony's writings and how amazingly he hosted a travel show. I've read most of his books and he was a fantastic nonfiction writer. It's actually hard for me to watch things now after he's passed. I do watch old Parts Unknwon eps and they feel classic.

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The more I learn, the worse it seems.  I actually wish I hadn’t learned about Anthony’s relationship with Asia.  His investment in her is perplexing and disturbing.  Recent revelations confirm this, imo.  

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1 hour ago, SunnyBeBe said:

The more I learn, the worse it seems.  I actually wish I hadn’t learned about Anthony’s relationship with Asia.  His investment in her is perplexing and disturbing.  Recent revelations confirm this, imo.  

It's very depressing. I've followed Bourdain's career from his early days on "A Cook's Tour" and he was open about his addiction issues  with drugs and likely women. Depending on who he was with, they enabled him or likely in this case, exploited him. He was on drugs with his first wife and it sounded like him and Argento had a really unhealthy dynamic too. Right before he met her, Ottavia and his daughter had influenced him to briefly quit smoking and he got into Brazilian jiu-jitsu because Ottavia was into MMA. He looked really lean and a bit gaunt in the mid 2010s but at least he was more careful about what he ate and drank.

Not excusing what he did for her. He was an adult in the public who had been honest about his struggles in the past. I think his close friends and family knew this was a downward spiral but they couldn't get through to him. In this case, the estate and Ottavia want to point fingers at Argento even unofficially with the book. There's a lot of frustration, anger, guilt, and messiness after a death like this.

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