NORTH ADAMS -- Directed by Chris Hegedus and D.A. Pennebaker, the inspiring film "Kings of Pastry" follows a group of French pastry chefs in their quest for culinary perfection as they compete for the title of one of the "Best Craftsmen in France." An official selection of the Los Angeles Film Festival, the film shows as part of MASS MoCA’s Thursday night Cinema Lounge series on Thursday, March 7, at 7:30 p.m.
The prestigious "Meilleurs Ouvriers de France," or in English, the "Best Craftsmen in France," pits the most talented artisans against one another, all for the glory of being declared one of the best by former President Nicolas Sarkozy. The film is a mind-boggling plunge into the never-before-filmed cooking competition: 16 French pastry chefs gather in Lyon, France, for three intense days of mixing, piping, and carving everything from delicate chocolates to six-foot-tall sugar sculptures.
Seasoned chef Jacquy Pfeiffer, co-founder of Chicago’s French Pastry School, journeys back to his childhood home of Alsace to practice for the competition. Regis Lazard, who is only competing for the second time, and Philippe Rigollot, the only female owner of a three-star restaurant in France, also enter the contest. These chefs and several others work under the constant scrutiny and critical palates of master judges who evaluate their elaborate pastry creations.
Iconic directors D.A. Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus, creators of "The War Room" and "Don’t Look Back," are one of today’s most respected and unique documentary teams. Their minimally intrusive filmmaking style results in candid portraits of real-life drama, with action that is often character-led. Their documentary "The War Room," about Bill Clinton’s first presidential campaign, was nominated for an Academy Award, and the HBO special they co-directed with Nick Doob, "Elaine Stritch at Liberty," earned three Primetime Emmys.
"Kings of Pastry" screens on Thursday, March 7, at 7:30 p.m. Tickets are $9 for adults or $5 for students. MASS MoCA members receive a 10-percent discount. Tickets are available through the MASS MoCA Box Office from 11 a.m. until 5 p.m.
Tickets can also be charged by phone by calling 413-662-2111 during Box Office hours or purchased online at www.massmoca.org.