Last time, Film School Friday taught loyal readers how to make the most of their summer vacation. The key lesson here was to avoid death, as everyone knows that summer is full of scary sharks and angry rednecks. Personally, I find that the best way to stay alive during these terrifying months is to spend every waking hour in a dark room, watching moving pictures with strangers. In other words, living life to the fullest!
Lesson #35 - How To Choose Cinema Snacks
Let's face it. Visiting the cinema is all about indulgence. It's a time to stop worrying about calories and stuff your face with crap. That's half the fun, right?
Hot dogs, sweets, nachos... every cinema seems designed to increase obesity statistics worldwide. Remember when they used to bring ice cream directly to your seats? You didn't even have to bother wasting calories getting up to browse their selection! Even popcorn is deceptive. Such a light and airy food substance must be healthy for you, right? If by healthy you mean it contains more butter than a herd of cows churned up in a tornado, then yes, popcorn is extremely good for you.
Independent cinemas may appear classier with their fine array of teas, cake and alcohol, but they're still leading you down the same dark path... DIABETUS! (you can thank Wilford Brimley for that misspelling). If you're going to devour the fatty goodness of basic cinema food, then join me in starting a petition to enlarge the size of the seats and if even that sounds like too much effort for your lardy ass, just buy two seats at once, drape your fat over the middle and eat your troubles away.
Of course, the alternative is to just eat healthily before the cinema, which will help you to live longer and see more films, although you can't deny that fruit and vegetables are far less satisfying. This is a dilemma. I feel as though we need to look for inspiration elsewhere...
America and the UK are slaves to food, there's no denying it, but perhaps another Western country has cracked the impossible task of combining health and satisfaction in one delicious cinema snack?
The Netherlands apparently eat more licorice than any other place in the world, so it's understandable that they'd eat it in cinemas too, but I hear their version is extremely salty, which is probably not the best for our weakening hearts. Spain enjoys sunflower seeds, which are good for you but gross and Israel eats falafel flavored crisps, which sounds like the opposite of health in every way. VIP audiences in Moscow even partake in a spot of caviar in some deluxe cinemas, but we can't all be lucky enough to eat sloppy fish eggs unfortunately. Hmmmmm, maybe Europe is not the best place to find good cinema snacks after all...
So we turn to Asia, a continent where eating chicken feet and insects is the norm. Chinese audiences love to eat salty plums in cinemas, which just sounds like they've taken something healthy and ruined it needlessly. You might as well just eat salted popcorn, right? In Japan, cinemas sell battered octopus balls and tiny fish baked in salt and soy sauce... with the skeletons still attached! I haven't tried the fish, but I will say that the octopus balls are a billion times better than they sound, although each could possibly be a tiny heart attack wrapped in gooey goodness.
All of these cinema snacks sound 'interesting', but I've finally found the one which hits the sweet spot, so listen up loyal readers. Come to South Korea, where they serve roasted chestnuts in the majority of cinemas. Both healthy and delicious, these tasty little morsels sure beat the dried squid which is also considered a popular 'treat' over here.
Alternatively, you could just sneak your own food in to the cinema and bring whatever the hell you want. Healthy? Artery destroying? You choose. Personally, I'm a big fan of a marmite and rhubarb milkshake, but to each their own! Just make sure your bags don't get checked at the door. Play it cool and remember: Health may be important, but bad food always makes bad movies better!
Remember to come back in two weeks for another edition of Film School Friday, where I will continue to pawn off faux expert advice on unsuspecting readers who actually trust my... ah shit!