Dates for the CNN/HBO Documentary…
Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain will be shown June 11 at the Tribeca Film Festival (which runs June 9–20 in New York City), then July 16 it will open in theaters. After its theatrical run peters out, it will be available on HBO Max and eventually shown on CNN. As of today, the trailer isn’t available yet. Hypebeast.com reports that the film will include unaired footage from Parts Unknown.
I wonder it that could be bits of the never-finished Florence episode Tony made with his soon-to-be-cheating girlfriend the week before he took his final, fatal trip to France with Eric Ripert.
World Travel: An Irreverant Guide Hits Bestseller Lists…
Work has kept me from diving into this book, but it came out of the gate strong.
Surprisingly, it did not make The New York Times’ corresponding list that week at all.
At Amazon, it ranked No. 3 for all nonfiction its first week and seems to be holding steady.
And in Canada it debuted at No. 1 in International Bestsellers among Canadian independent booksellers, according to the Vancouver Sun.
Author Laurie Woolever continues her media blitz with a dedication that would make Tony proud. She did a Texas Public Radio podcast that went online April 23.
On April 26 she talked to Anthony Mason on CBS This Morning. Chef Daniel Boulud also appears in the interview and remembers his jitters filming Parts Unknown in his French hometown with Tony.
Finally, My Post-Mortem on the Reelz Autopsy Episode…
I’ll just hit what got my attention. If you’re unfamiliar with the details of Tony’s passing, dip into the Cats Working archives for June 2018 and find my series of posts as the story unfolded.
Dr. Michael Hunter didn’t seem to have any more information than we all had. The show did include one lovely photo of Nancy as a teenager I’d never seen. (I didn’t capture it because I’m respecting Nancy’s privacy as atonement for outing her identity on A Cook’s Tour years ago.)
However, the show failed to mention Tony’s 20-year marriage to Nancy and gave the impression he was single until Ottavia. It also implied that Parts Unknown was his only TV show.
The biggest “get” was Tony’s friend Michael Ruhlman on camera, but he didn’t say anything remotely revealing. He did confirm that Tony seemed tired and unhappy his last few years (i.e., girlfriend years), and seemed to become more insecure as his fame grew.
Dr. Hunter called this “Imposter Syndrome.”
Hunter discussed and dismissed Bourdain’s well-known habits as suspects, drugs and drinking, except as substances that would make someone more prone to depression.
He homed in on jet lag, and speculated that Tony was using Ambien, another depression trigger, but also discounted that as a contributor. (An appropriate dose of prescription medication was found in Tony’s bloodwork, but never named.)
Where Hunter really screwed up was saying several times that autopsy results were “never revealed.” No autopsy was ever done.
The show skirted right up to “rumors of an affair” involving the girlfriend days before Tony’s death, but only as another reason he’d be depressed, not a contributing factor.
The one bit of homework that impressed me was that Hunter claimed to find 19 instances between 2005-2017 where Tony had joked about hanging generally, or hanging himself in the shower.
I suspect the recreation of Eric Ripert charging into Tony’s room to find him in the bathroom was inaccurate. I believe a hotel worker entered first, and I’ve never seen any mention of exactly where Tony did it.
Hunter finally attributed Tony’s death to emotional pressure from the girlfriend situation, traveling and being away from his family, and long-standing suicidal ideation linked to depression. Hunter concluded that Tony “thought his depression was unworthy of treatment or insurmountable.”
Bottom line: Autopsy, The Last Hours of… filled in no blanks for me.
BONUS: I just came across this good article at Mashed about Bourdain that’s a pretty accurate, comprehensive glimpse of him.