HomeReviewing Roadrunner: A Film about Anthony Bourdain

Reviewing Roadrunner: A Film about Anthony Bourdain

The chef culture is a completely different extension of celebrity culture that exists on such a different wavelength it almost feels as if it isn’t there in the first place. It is very much there in its manic, raging, obsessive, egotistical corner under the Sun and if you were to uncover without much effort some of the insider happenings of this world, you will certainly find enough to fill up a tabloid newspaper and spoiler alert, a lot has already been covered.

Just look at Gordon Ramsay for starters, with his rapier sharp wit, always disheveled floppy hair and a stomach of iron( he claims it is weak but judging by the horrendous, not always of course, dishes he has to eat while judging on shows, I doubt if it is weak), basically occupies a permanent beach chair on the news and in magazines, his interviews on GQ are exactly like him on the shows, talk about consistency eh?

And let us not forget his falling out with Marco Pierre White, the hulking, 6 foot 3 inch star chef that owns a chain of 8 restaurants, with one that was titled The Restaurant Marco Pierre White, that lasted long enough to solidify his Michelin fame and he has the dubious achievement of making the tough as nails Gordon Ramsay cry, a fact Ramsay has since confirmed. Their fame was permanently documented in the now well known Piers Morgan diaries, the three men being united by the fact that they have survived endless scrapes and come out on top.

Anthony Bourdain, another of these luminary chefs, who committed suicide a few years back and recieved an outporing of fame that the rarest of men have gotten. He is back in the news after a documentary titled Roadrunner, The Anthony Bourdain Story is now streaming on Netflix and once again has revived the magic this gaunt, 6 foot 4 inch, sardonic mouthed chef-meets-comedian weaved whether it was on shows exploring exotic locations and cuisines or writing books that became bestsellers. 

The striking part of this particular film is that it runs like a Jean Luc Godard film, punctuated by jump cuts and no unnecessary flamboyance, with montages of his role models like William S Burroughs, Ernest Hemingway, Hunter S Thompson, Bob Dylan and Iggy Pop, which evidently influenced him in the same recalcitrant way they were famous for. The second thing is the footage is not edited much( like a Godard movie, it is chaotic, but artistically so) it presents the dark humor, absurdist commentary and the blunt honesty of the man just as he was in real life, plus it chronicles his evolution from non famous to famous without any hitch. Thirdly and lastly, it is 1hr59m long, which is perfect timing, neither too short nor too long and can be watched in one sitting if you intend to do so.

Above all, now I must learn to cook as my mother insists since the last few weeks repeatedly and maybe see for myself the Bourdain experience. 

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