Anthony Bourdain. Where does one even START to explain the chef, author, tv presenter’s influence over his chosen fields? He wasn’t just your run-of-the-mill tv cook, as his body of work proves. He found something worth sharing in his world travels, bringing audiences across the globe into his brilliant but dark sardonic mind.
For some, he’ll forever be that lanky mf-er who knew the best dive bars, the greatest poetry, and how best to enjoy meat in tube form from every single known culture. His loss is still one we feel keenly, shocking but at the same time, absolutely not. We all knew, because he knew, that he would go out on his own terms. And he did, on June 8th, 2018.
But what I’m really here to talk about is Morgan Neville‘s “Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain.” Premiering during NYC’s famed Tribeca Film Festival, this isn’t your average documentary. Much like it’s subject, “Roadrunner” straddles the line between beautiful and heartbreakingly dark. It’s honest, it’s harsh, and it’s absolutely hard to watch. Not because it’s poorly made, quite the opposite- but the frank nature of Bourdain’s struggle with depression, with figuring out what he really wanted his life to be, is difficult to ‘enjoy.’
If you are someone who has a hard time with suicide, this is not the docu for you. Yes, there are amazing sequences with Tony’s friends, loves, and colleagues that make this a fitting tribute to his prose style, but the pain and sorrow he carried is everywhere in these scenes, too.
It is difficult to watch, in many, many ways. I won’t go into detail, but the section regarding Bourdain’s last girlfriend, Asia Argento, is….something. It will make you angry, it’ll make you sad, but more than anything, it will make you remember Tony and his legacy.
I’ll devote part of my weekend to sharpen all my best knives, drinking tiki beverages in his honor, and appreciating the stories he left us with.
“Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain” will release theatrically on July 16th, with an air date on both CNN and HBO Max to be announced at a later time.