On his shows, No Reservations and Parts Unknown, Anthony Bourdain often made references to moves. Here are some of Bourdain’s favourite movies and his television show episodes that they have influenced:
Bourdain’s Favourite Movies: Apocalypse Now
Director: Francis Coppola Starring: Marlon Brando, Robert Duvall, Martin Sheen, Frederic Forrest, Albert Hall, Sam Bottoms, Larry Fishburne, Dennis Hopper Genre: Epic War Year: 1979
based on Joseph Conrad’s novel, “Heart of Darkness”, “Apocalypse Now” was set
in Vietnam, instead of Congo. Anthony Bourdain visited both countries in his
shows No Reservations and Parts Unknown.
On Parts Unknown Asturias, Spain, Bourdain and his friend, Chef José Andrés recreate a scene from “Apocalypse Now” as a cartoon. The cartoon clip also featured their friend, Chef Éric Ripert. While in the Asturias, Bourdain had a meal with the movie’s director, Francis Ford Coppola, in Coppola’s boutique hotel, Palazzo Margherita. They had lampascioni, braciole di cotenna, casserole of lamb’s head, and assorted fruits and wine.
Bourdain’s Favourite Movies: Fitzcarraldo
Director: Werner Herzog Starring: Klaus Kinski, Claudia Cardinale, José Lewgoy Genre: Adventure-Drama Year: 1982
No Reservations Brazil (the Amazon) opened with Anthony Bourdain cruising on riverboat playing a record from a phonograph – the same record featured on “Fitzcarraldo” in a similar scene. Bourdain even wore similar clothing to that of Klaus Kinski’s character on that similar scene from the movie.
Bourdain’s Favourite Movies: GoodFellas
Director: Martin Scorsese Starring: Robert De Niro, Ray Liotta, Joe Pesci, Lorraine Bracco, Paul Sorvino Genre: Drama-Crime Year: 1990
is a gangster film set in New York. It follows the story of friends who start
as petty criminals who rise to being gangsters.
Parts Unknown Queens examined the multi-cultural facets of the easternmost New York City borough. In this episode, Anthony Bourdain visited one of the “GoodFellas” bars: Neir’s Tavern. He and one of the tavern’s owners discussed the bar scene from the movie over drinks.
Bourdain’s Favourite Movies: In the Mood for Love
Director: Wong Kar-wai Starring: Maggie Cheung, Tony Leung Genre: Romantic Drama Year: 2000
Anthony Bourdain worked with Christopher Doyle for this episode. Christopher Doyle is one of the cinematographers for “In the Mood for Love”. One can notice the lingering and intimate close ups by Doyle, reminiscent of the shots made on “In the Mood for Love” and other Wong Kar-wai movies. In this episode, Bourdain made several references to Wong Kar-wai, such as over Beef Brisket noodle with Doyle, and over Drunken Chicken and Claypot Fish Tripe with the owner of a dai pai dong where he dined.
Such is Bourdain’s interest in Seven Samurai and Japan that he featured the country 4 times on No Reservations. He also featured a Japanese izakaya on No Reservations New York City. On Parts Unknown, Japan was featured 3 times.
“The Conformist” is one of the films that inspired the Rome episode of Parts Unknown. In this episode, Anthony Bourdain featured facets of Rome beyond the popular tourist attractions. For example, he is seen having Peroni Red Label while in the Jersey Shore equivalent of Rome: Ostia.
Bourdain’s Favourite Movies: The Third Man
Director: Carol Reed Starring: Joseph Cotton, Alida Valli, Orson Welles, Trevor Howard Genre: Drama-Mystery Film Noir Year: 1949
Man” is about a man investigating the death of friend, uncovering corruption in
Vienna along the way.
On No Reservations Vienna, Anthony Bourdain is seen taking a ride on the Ferris wheel that was featured on “The Third Man”, where he said: “Near the end of his days, I’d be a little uncomfortable being on this thing with Orson Welles. That guy was big as a f***ing house.”
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