"He had to be extraordinary where most of us settle for just being adequate," said legendary filmmaker D.A. Pennebaker of Bob Dylan, the subject and "star" of Pennebaker's iconic '60s documentary "Don't Look Back."

"He had to be extraordinary where most of us settle for just being adequate," said legendary filmmaker D.A. Pennebaker of Bob Dylan, the subject and "star" of Pennebaker's iconic '60s documentary "Don't Look Back."

But Pennebaker could've just as easily been speaking about the brilliant chefs in "Kings of Pastry," the tasty new serving ofcinema veritehe made with Chris Hegedus, his partner in life and art.

In a phone conversation with the two great filmmakers, Hegedus explained to me that "Kings" - a highly entertaining and engrossing never-before-seen peek into the exalted pastry portion of the Olympic-like quest for French artisan excellence called the MOF (Meilleurs Ouvriers de France) - was a movie about more than cookingthe world's most to-die-for pastries.

"It was the kind of story we like, where people are really passionate and know how to do something really well and are taking a huge risk to try to fulfill some kind of life's dream," she said.

Held only every four years, the MOF is a furiously multi-tasking,life-changing competition that literally causes nightmares for its sweetly skilled, wildly obsessed and cruelly overtaxed participants.

Following three intense and masterful chefs (and their concerned familiesand friends) through practice rounds and a gruelling three-day baking test, "Kings" is layered with humor (the curdled lips of insanely precise judges) and iced with a kind of bomb-squad tension (perfectionists meticulously constructing - and manually transporting - stunningly elaborate and preposterously fragile confectionary sculptures) that led an enthusiastic critic to call this movie"the culinary 'Hurt Locker.'"

As usual, the documentarians capture these dramatic real-life moments with their famous stay-out-of-the-way approach to moviemaking. Or as Pennebaker said, "The camera really is the viewer, you're kind of a sidekick [who waits] to see what will happen [when] fate becomes an active participant. When you edit, you're creating the theater of it."

There's no denying that the theater of "Kings of Pastry" traffics in glamorously sensual, hardcore food porn. In fact, before my preview DVD reached its shattering climax, surprise ending and wistful resolution, I had to race off to Pistacia Vera for a beautiful pastry fix.

Fortunately, if you see the delicious "Kings" Sunday, you won't have to face that over-aroused distraction.