Powerful “Roadrunner” Documentary! A Candid, Inside Look At Anthony Bourdain’s Troubled, Spiritual Life On The Road…

Anthony Bourdain Was A “Roadrunner”…

I just saw one of the most powerful, candid and intimate looks at the late Chef Anthony Bourdain….warts and all – but vital to try and understand his life and legacy.

About the title:

“always on the run…always moving”

It is explained at the top of the film that a Roadrunner is “always on the run…always moving” – and that explains the life of Anthony Bourdain as well…here’s the trailer for the film:

First, this isn’t a film about food – or about travel. It’s much more than that.

It’s the story of a restless soul who had personal demons, so even though he achieves fame we discover that he never had personal happiness….it’s the story of how all of us struggle to navigate the ups and downs of life…

You no doubt know Anthony Bourdain from his many travel shows that for decades took him around the world – exploring food, culture and politics with his unique, sometimes caustic point of view:

He became a Star when he wrote a candid, hilarious and insightful book about the world of food, restaurants, and “life on the line”…it’s brilliantly written and incredibly insightful…

The documentary is stuffed with a wealth of clips from his shows, along with private moments shown for the first time, and lots of terrific interviews – with him, his staff, and the friends who knew him best, including with estranged wife Ottavia Busia, who gives a heartbreakingly candid interview about her life with Bourdain…now, as for the elephant in the room:

Asia Argento’s “Non-Interview!”

One of the controversial aspects of the film is that Director Morgan Neville did NOT try to interview the Actress, who Bourdain left his wife for – more in a moment:

Chef Anthony Bourdain and actor Asia Argento attend the 2018 Women In The World Summit at Lincoln Center on April 12, 2018 in New York City. / ANGELA WEISS/AFP/Getty Images)

The last third of the film is filled with candid and troubling material of Bourdain and Argento – many things I was unaware of – and the “Roadrunner” Director has said that he didn’t feel an interview would add anything and would possibly distract from the rest of the film – and I agree.

Based on how this story unfolds, we have many voices who do a beautiful job of not only discussing Asia’s influence on Bourdain in the final months of his life, but also give us a unique perspective on Bourdain at that time as well: the Producers, Directors, Editors and friends who knew and worked with Bourdain for years – even decades…

I respect Neville’s decision, as well as all of his choices in the film…it’s a powerful and honest look at a tortured soul…currently in theaters and available to rent on various streaming services like Apple and Amazon…

I own every single one of Bourdain’s books…and his death was a shock to all of his fans…if you want to see more of his words, click my story here:

Perhaps one reason this film resonated with me is that, in 1993, a few years before Bourdain’s book, I created a travel series for E! called “Wild On…”

This is Brooke Burke, who was the third Host of the show – which ran for more than 8 years and 150 episodes…at one point, I took the Adult Film Star Jenna Jameson to Singapore and Bangkok to audition for the role:

We filmed with Sylvester Stallone, Bruce Willis and more, and a lot of the behind-the-scenes moments from “Roadrunner” took me back to that time – you can see that story by clicking on the link here:

If you enjoy this story, please feel free to share on social media – and you can get all of my stories about food, travel, movies, music and pop culture by clicking here:


Please leave a comment and let me know what you think of this!

Categories: Art, Books / Media, cookbooks, Cult Movies, documentary films, Exotic Travel, Food, food blog, Great Films, Hollywood, Memoirs, Movies, Pop Culture, Talent/Celebrities, Travel, Travel Adventures, Travel Memoir, TV Show

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16 replies

  1. Many big names are big because they’re outrunning their demons. It’s so sad. Of course the preschool teacher in me wants to time travel back to their childhood and fix things.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Yes, you no doubt see things in your students at that age that need to be addressed early…did you watch the series of documentaries that began with “7 Up”? A Director did films on a group of kids every severn years…I think the last one was “63 Up” and all but one of the subjects is still involved…fascinating to see how life directs you in good and bad ways…

      Liked by 1 person

  2. Your love of food is well documented on your site. I enjoyed Bourdain throughout the years. I am excited to watch this.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I’ll definitely be watching this John. He was definitely a larger than life personality.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I remember Anthony Bourdains from your previous article, John. It seems to me that a lot of artistic people are ‘haunted’ by their own personal demons and are just not happy. It is a terrible shame. I remember you mentioning this series before too. I’ll have to revisit the post.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Robbie, that’s exactly what the film shows: a tortured soul trying to outrun his demons…but you never can…it’s a fascinating movie that celebrates his talent without shying away from the dark side…thanks for reading and commenting as always, hope all is safe there!


  5. I had never actually heard of him before reading your earlier blog posts about him, John.
    Best wishes, Pete.

    Liked by 1 person


  1. Cooking Anthony Bourdain’s “Bacon-Wrapped Garlic Pork!” My “52 In 22” Cooking Challenge Honors A Great Chef And Author! – johnrieber
  2. Anthony Bourdain’s “Bacon-Wrapped Pork Tenderloin” Recipe! My “52 In 22” Cooking Challenge Honors A Great Chef!  – Bite! Eat! Repeat!
  3. Joanna Lumley’s “Nile”! An Incredible Travel Show! Joanna’s “Bar-B-Que Of The Body!” – johnrieber

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