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Anthony Bourdain RIP

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  • RobW
    replied
    Originally posted by Flynnie View Post
    I love Bourdain's visits to Montreal and Quebec, but then I love Montreal and Quebec.
    Yes! That was one of my favourites.

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  • Flynnie
    replied
    I love Bourdain's visits to Montreal and Quebec, but then I love Montreal and Quebec. He's just living it large in what is possibly his favourite place outside his beloved New York City. The only other place that seems to come close for him is Buenos Aires. He's great on San Francisco too, which is high praise from me because I will shit on anybody's portrayal of San Francisco if one second of it feels phony. He is one of the few people that gets that the heart of San Francisco is not some dilettantish, hippie town.

    That said, I think his NYC episodes are a little underwhelming. That's the kind of bad Tony that rants about hipsters despite being the Platonic ideal of an older hipster and he seemed to kind of struggle at explaining his own backyard (although his New Jersey episode of Parts Unknown is great).

    Also, bizarrely, I don't believe he ever did a Boston episode on any of his shows despite doing a fantastic Massachusetts-NOT-Boston episode of Parts Unknown.
    Last edited by Flynnie; 09-06-2021, 12:00.

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  • RobW
    replied
    I hadn't realised it was the anniversary of his passing yesterday. I watched the Mexico City episode which was good and as a result bought some mezcal and figured I ought to eat more Mexican food.

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  • BallochSonsFan
    replied
    I have a bit of a love/hate relationship with Bourdain's shows. The best ones are absolutely fantastic. Tony gives you an uncompromising, warts and all glimpse at a place and it's people. His worst shows tended to be really contrived. It wasn't unknown for Tony to become holier than thou and to talk down about the typical every day reality for a lot of people in the places he visited. I think he was probably at his worst when he was doing shows about North American cities and regions. He could appear very arrogant when he was on very familiar ground. The North American episodes of Parts Unknown are the ones I tend to skip when I find myself watching the series on repeat viewing. Tony and his friends indulging themselves in Montreal or Quebec and generally acting like self-indulgent brats just isnt my thing.

    I can't say that I remember seeing the infamous Romania show but his one in Glasgow was just horrendous. Sitting in the Rogano restaurant pontificating about Glasgow poverty with so called comic Janey Godley was almost a parody of the city. When they moved that episode to a highland shooting lodge, it allowed Bourdain to engage in some 3rd rate pseudo-Hemmingway garbage. Having just finished the London episode, I'd also suggest that Mark Peter White (because Marco Pierre is pretentious nonsense) and going for a pint with Nigella in some posh London gastro-pub is hardly showing viewers the real, recognisable London.

    Those criticisms aside? When he got it right it was often exceptional viewing.

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  • Nefertiti2
    replied
    this tribute from a UK based Burmese food writer on Bourdain in Burma

    https://twitter.com/meemalee/status/1402551921173536769?s=20

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  • ursus arctos
    replied
    He wrote about that

    Maybe the best single example of this was the ROMANIA show, where absolutely everything was fucked up beyond all hope or recognition: wrong fixer (the inexplicably addled Zamir), unfriendly populace, officials looking for backhanders, and guides with other agendas who did their best (in the hope of portraying their country in a desirable light) to ensure that absolutely every genuine moment was quickly smothered under a thick scrim of artificiality, falsehood and staginess. It was a nightmare to shoot. An utter failure on all our parts—and yet it became a timeless classic of Travel Gone Wrong—unintentionally hilarious. It may have made all of us Public Enemies in Romania (and the subject of scandal and speculation in their national press)—and it may have been terribly unfair to the country and to the many Romanian expats who tuned in, looking to see something beautiful of their beloved homeland…
    But it was an accurately gonzo—if unflattering– account of what it’s like to make an utter failure of a show, a masterpiece of incompetence on our part—and misguided good (and bad) intentions on the part of some of our hosts. It was at the same time our greatest failure as professional travel and food television producers—and our greatest success as technicians—and absurdists. We might never be able to repay the good people of Romania for our offenses against their national pride; but no small number of them recognized at least the worst of their country. I can assure you, by the way, that what we DIDN’T and could NEVER have included in the show would have been even more painfully hilarious. To this day, in the hours after a shooting day, veteran crew members sit in hotel lobbies around the world, and tell the young ones about what really happened there.

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  • ad hoc
    replied
    My first experience of Bourdain was just after I moved to Romania and there was a social media explosion of anger at his visit here - he hired a Russian fixer to take him round and he played up the Dracula shit heavily, and had all these unlikely encounters with people in traditional folk costume. I remember back then watching that and thinking "who is this jerk?" It took ages before I watched other things he'd done and realising that he was great in pretty much all ways. I still have no idea what happened in that Romania show, and how he allowed himself to do something so beneath him. I'm in two minds about whether I'd like to see that episode again

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  • G-Man
    replied
    Oh, Bourdain absolutely is the greatest food traveller of all time. There is no contender in sight.

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  • Gerontophile
    replied
    I met him once, fleetingly, and he was nothing more than ... inclusive. He had no idea who I was. But he asked the right questions. And for that, I will die on the hill of "greatest food traveller of all time", and if such a thing does not exist, well, there you go, he fucking invented it.

    I have HBO Max, and I am gagging on the Kenyan* horsehair.

    *It wasn't. I can't remember which country. Might have been Namibia, so apologies to all.

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  • Nefertiti2
    replied
    He died three years ago


    A tribute here

    https://twitter.com/NicholsUprising/status/1402384241539887105?s=20

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  • Satchmo Distel
    replied
    Eventually to be shown on CNN and HBO Max.

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  • Incandenza
    replied

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  • Gert from the Well
    replied
    I just remembered he was published by Rebel Inc., his short story Chefs' Night Out is included in the Rovers Return anthology. Anyone who shared a publisher with Nelson Algren, Jim Dodge, John Fante and Sadegh Hedayet has got to be a good writer.

    Leave a comment:


  • Bordeaux Education
    replied
    I finished PU a month or two ago as well as Kitchen Confidential and the book version of Cook's Tour over lockdown. All glorious glorious stuff if always tinged with sadness that such a wonderful person (albeit knowingly flawed) has gone. Now trying to work out when I inevitably pay for all the rest of his stuff that I can't get off Netflix and Amazon Prime. Again, I must thank you, EIM, for the recommendation. To coin a phrase, it has been a game-changer. Not least, as so much of the music from the programme is going to make it into my next DJ set post lockdown

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  • EIM
    replied
    I'm rewatching Parts Unknown from the start and it's still a bloody delight. A glorious celebration of food, people, music, excess, and the world. I miss Anthony Bourdain deeply despite never knowing him, and I believe the world is a worse place without his voice.

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  • G-Man
    replied
    Bourdain was a fundametally decent guy who could be a total asshole, but knew it that he was being an asshole, and would apologise for being an asshole when that was necessary. That came across in his books, in which he describes behaviour that was not entirely admirable, and which he admits was not admirable. He had that cool factor that comes with not giving a fuck when no fuck needs to be given, and giving plenty of fucks when those needed distribution.

    Bourdain looked like he'd karate-kick a racist bastard giving him lip.

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  • EIM
    replied
    He's sort of everything I'd like to be, or think I am but aren't. There's no bullshit there. He'll do 45 minutes on wanky, inaccessible food in Noma, Copenhagen, Michelin star stuff that doesn't appeal to me, and he'll enjoy it. But then he'll do four episodes on eating chicken feet by the side of a road with a cold beer and be even happier with it.

    Taking happiness from the small things, while remaining deeply affected by the big things? That resonates man.

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  • San Bernardhinault
    replied
    Someone should have filmed this. I'd have watched a short documentary series on EIM-Watching-Bourdain.

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  • Hot Pepsi
    replied
    You could start a religion.

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  • EIM
    replied
    I'm nearing the end of my journey with Anthony Bourdain, as there's only a few episodes left of Parts Unknown left for me to watch on Netflix. I've become obsessed with him during lockdown, and vicariously travelling the world has kept me saneish.

    Watching it all post his death has contextualised it differently to if he were still alive. Added a layer of dramatic irony and poignancy. It's triggered something of a crisis in me. All my favourite things are finite. No more of my favourite TV. No more releases by my favourite band. No more goals from my favourite footballer. And while his programmes show that there are endless brilliant new things to discover, I will genuinely, properly miss him when I'm finished watching.

    Nothing else recently has inspired me more than him. Inspired to cook, to eat, to drink, to travel, to talk, to create. He has revealed and confirmed some fundamental truths. Power is corrupt. All good movements be it culinary, musical, political, or whatever comes from the people. Change therefore comes from the people. People, largely, are the same the world over. They want the same things. Safety for them and their loved ones, freedom to live and create, grilled meat on a stick, and a cold beer.

    The world is a big place, but paradoxically a small one. I suddenly feel a great affection for it. The system is fucked, stacked against us, and it's getting worse and harder to change. But wherever there is bad, there are amazing people doing extraordinary things to help others and bring about change. And that's pretty fucking inspiring, isn't it?

    Plus I really want some noodles.

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  • Bordeaux Education
    replied
    Just resurrecting this thread to say that, inspired by EIM's mention of him and having lock down time, I have just binge watched the first 6 episodes and like everything I have seen so far. He is much more thoughtful and considered than I expected with none of the gonzo character that I expected. Indeed, it is only in the Columbian episode that he does anything resembling being a dick by falling off his ATV after insisting on not wearing a helmet and, let's face it, we have all done worse I am sure. I am very much looking forward to the more-lauded episodes such as the Palestine one. Needless to say, Kitch Confidential still remains untouched.

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  • beak
    replied
    There's enough disgust to go around!

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  • WOM
    replied
    Originally posted by Satchmo Distel View Post
    I won't link because the betrayal of trust by the "friend" is disgusting.
    Wait...she's trying to deny sex with a minor AND pin the payoff on a dead man, and you think the friend who's setting the story straight is the disgusting party?

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  • Satchmo Distel
    replied
    A "friend" of hers has released texts w/images that put the issue beyond reasonable doubt. I won't link because the betrayal of trust by the "friend" is disgusting.
    Last edited by Satchmo Distel; 23-08-2018, 08:25.

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  • WOM
    replied
    Ah...the 'blame the dead guy' strategy.

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