Film Picks: Roadrunner, European Film Festival, The Worst Person In The World

The director shows a generous summary of the qualities that made Anthony Bourdain (left) a beloved public intellectual. PHOTO: THE PROJECTOR


Roadrunner: A Film About Anthony Bourdain (NC16)

119 minutes, showing at The Projector, 4 stars

Oscar-winning film-maker Morgan Neville (music documentary 20 Feet From Stardom, 2013) looks at the life and legacy of late American celebrity chef, writer and television host Anthony Bourdain.

Using clips from Bourdain's travel and food shows, such as No Reservations (2005 to 2012) and Parts Unknown (2013 to 2018), as well as interviews with friends such as painter-musician John Lurie and chef David Chang, Neville presents a portrait of a man who appeared to have it all - a daughter, a new love, the adulation of fans, and the love and respect of his peers - but ended his life by suicide in 2018.

The director shows a generous summary of the qualities that made Bourdain a beloved public intellectual. There is moving evidence of his biting humour, acute awareness of his flaws and curiosity about the food of other cultures, especially in home cooking and street food.

Highlights include behind-the-scenes clips of an on-the-road Bourdain tossing insults at camera operators and producers who try his patience, showing his capacity to be both funny and terrifying.

Film screenings

European Film Festival

Stills from the film I'm Your Man starring Maren Eggert (left) and Dan Stevens. PHOTO: EUROPEAN UNION FILM FESTIVAL

This year's edition features 24 films from 23 nations and includes I'm Your Man (M18, 107 minutes, screens May 14, 5.30pm), a blend of science-fiction and romantic comedy.

Germany's entry for Best International Feature Film at the Oscars this year tells the story of Alma, a scientist coerced into sharing her home with Tom, a robot designed to make her happy. Alma is played by German actress Maren Eggert, while Tom is played by British actor Dan Stevens, who starred in the period series Downton Abbey (2010 to 2015) from 2010 to 2012.

Where: The Projector, Level 5 Golden Mile Tower, 6001 Beach Road
MRT: Nicoll Highway
When: May 12 to 26
Admission: $15, with concessions for students, seniors and other groups
Info: European Film Festival's website


The Worst Person In The World (R21)

127 minutes, showing at The Projector, 4 stars

Renate Reinsve (centre) stars as Julie, a person of contradictory impulses born into a middle-class family. PHOTO: OSLO PICTURES

Norwegian film-maker Joachim Trier uses the tricks of romantic cinema - slow motion, close-ups, landscapes and musical swells - to playfully assert that those who listen to their hearts are listening to the voice of an idiot.

The opening scene gives a quick sketch of Julie (Norwegian actress Renate Reinsve, in a stellar performance), a person of contradictory impulses born into a middle-class family. At university, she can dump one course in favour of another in a heartbeat - an approach she also takes with boyfriends.

A few years later, Julie appears to have found stability. She lives with Aksel (Anders Danielsen Lie), a creator of graphic novels. She hopes to be a writer. Soon, she again feels the tug - she must find her authentic self, even if it costs her everything.

The film was nominated in the Best International Feature Film and Best Original Screenplay categories at this year's Oscars. At the 2021 Cannes Film Festival, Reinsve won Best Actress.

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