A silent film snack starts with the wrapping
What is the ideal film snack? This is a question that is brought up for discussion from time to time, most recently by Kermode and Mayo’s film review podcast. The focus this time is the audio quality of the food. It must be silent. Or as the Wittertainment’s Code of Conduct states:
No eating of anything harder than a soft roll with no filling. No one wants to hear you crunch, chew or masticate in any way. Nachos cause special offence and are of the devil”.
I think most of us already have agreed that popcorn is out of question. Apart from crunching and smelling, it also has the nasty ability to slip out of the container and spread in the room until everything in it has an extra coating of oil and salt. I don’t care about how big part of the revenue that comes from the popcorn sales and how much they would have to raise the ticket price unless they had it: popcorn is for home movies and should be banned from theatres.
In a previous post I mused over various snacks and came up with the idea of fresh blueberries. After trying it a few more times over the last year, I still stand by this recommendation, although you need to eat them very carefully so you don’t mash them or drop them, which might have disastrous effects in terms of stained clothes.
There is one problem with the blueberries though: they come in a hard plastic box, which may cause some rustling sounds as the berries move around unless you’re careful. And this brings us over to the topic of this post.
The importance of the wrapping
It appears to me that Simon and Mark in their current discussion are putting too much emphasis on the food texture, overlooking the importance of the wrapping. Even the softest marshmallows can give away sounds of torture if you put them in cellophane bag. The way to the perfect silent film food always begins with the container. A snack is only as silent as the wrapping around it.
Finding a silent bag isn’t as easy as it may sound. A soft plastic bag that looks ever so innocent can turn out to be a ruthless killer of theatre silence.
So I gave it some thought and came up with the following idea: if you want a soundproof bag for your film snacks you need one in cloth. Since it might get a bit dirty by whatever you put in the bag, you will need one in a not-too-exclusive and easily washable material.
Why not sew it yourself? It’s easier than you may think. Take a piece of old cloth you may have at home, for instance a worn-out sheet (which I always keep since they’re perfect for window cleaning purposes). If you don’t know how to make it, use this little guide intended for children.
If you’re a frequent movie goer you could make a few of them while you’re at it, ensuring that you always have a fresh one ready.
Once you have a perfectly silent bag, the issue of what you’ll put in it will become a lot less urgent. I wouldn’t go as far as to put crisps in it but most sorts of candy should be safe wrapped in cloth, provided that you don’t chew it, but let it melt slowly in your mouth.
The search for the perfect silent film snack will continue, at Kermode’s show and elsewhere. What kind of bag would you bring to the theatre? And what would you put in it?