Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain (2021)
Director Morgan Neville, with Won’t You Be My Neighbor? (the highest-grossing biographical doc of all time) and 20 Feet From Stardom (winner of the Academy Award for Best Documentary Feature) under his belt, certainly knows how to make a compelling, deep-diving biopic. But it’s difficult to think of a subject more potentially slippery than Anthony Bourdain, the beloved “celebrity chef” (he would have hated being called that) who rose to stardom with a brutally frank book about life in the restaurant world, became the host of several travel/food shows that broke completely from the mold of luxury travel/food shows, and tragically died by suicide in 2018. How do you eulogize a world-famous cipher? Should you even try?
Whatever else Bourdain was, he was honest; as private and conflicted about his fame as he was, he seemed to wish to be known. More to the point, he knew he had an audience, and he felt it was vital to use that fact responsibly, to bring attention to people and parts of the world he thought deserved it. So maybe the best way to honor him is just to put him on the screen, one last time. Chef, writer, adventurer, provocateur — Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain is an intimate, behind-the-scenes look at how an anonymous chef with a two-pack-a-day grumble and a Hunter S. Thompson attitude became a world-renowned cultural icon. This unflinching look at Bourdain reverberates with his presence, in his own voice and in the way he indelibly impacted the world around him.
These screenings are presented by Newgentek and FusionPrep. Tampa Theatre thanks them for their support!