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Sometimes, film programmers make mistakes. It happens. Twice, while programming Cinequest, we discovered that we'd passed over films that were nominated for the Oscar. I once passed up a film by a legendary documentary director that just hadn't added the titles to their film yet. It happens.
I passed on Sriracha.
Griffin Hammond's documentary that details the impact of my third favorite sauce made my long-list, but when we get two dozen documentaries that were all incredible (including an eventual Oscar nominee) you've gotta make the hard cuts. I believe my notes were pretty clean - "Starts amazingly strong, goes a bit too much into the voice of the director. Also, I know really wanna make my Chili-Garlic Chicken."
(OK, here's the recipe - 6 boneless, skinless chicken, one small jar Huy Fong Chili Garlic sauce, 1/2 cup dark brown sugar, salt and pepper. Throw the chicken into a zip-lok bag, add the sugar and sauce, massage it until it's all covered and put into the fridge for a day or two. Grill it up, add salt and pepper to taste before you serve)
The story of Sriracha is phenomenal, and fascinating, but as a film programmer, you've got to consider things like the tone of the program (in our Doc program that year, it would have stuck out like a sore thumb as we had a lot of heavy docs, and two comedy docs, but nothing that really played like a informational, which is what Sriracha is at its heart. The story is amazing, and some of the techniques employed are phenomenal, and as a Hulu view, it's more than ideal. It just didn't quite fit in with the doc program. Plus, it was longer than anything we programmed that year, which is also often on consideration.
Still, go and watch it because it's really well-done (especially the intro segment) and will make you want to drown a bowl of pho in delicious spicy saucy goodness.
You can find more at http://srirachamovie.com
Klaus at Gunpoint
A Film Journal dedicated to all film.A segment of Office Supply Publishing.