Melena Z. Ryzik in the New York Times writes slightly snippily about the trÃ¨s Whole Foods-ish snacks available at the somewhat newly opened IFC Center, "where the refreshments include truffle-butter-topped organic popcorn and Niman Ranch hot dogs." Karina Longworth at Cinematical finds these foodstuffs symptomatic of a larger issue:
I know what you’re going to say – "Jesus, it’s only butter – lighten up already." Sure, it’s only butter – but it’s NOT only butter. As far as I’m concerned, this is a huge issue of classism. When you order a bucket of popcorn at the IFC Center, you are immediately asked if you’d like "rosemary or truffled topping" – as if that was a totally normal question. Essentially, then, when you walk into that complex it is assumed that you have an answer to the question "rosemary or truffle?", and such an answer could only be based on previous culinary experience. This is absolutely absurd. Movies are supposed to be the great communal cultural experience of our time – appreciation thereof should have zero to do with whether or not you can afford a meal at Da Silvano.
We probably shouldn’t comment on this at all, because despite our having no involvement with the IFC Center itself, it’s still IFC…but, can we just say this? As silly and indulgent as the idea of rosemary- or truffle-topped popcorn is, we can’t see that it will chase away anyone who’s bothered to find the theater in the first place. We’d love the idea that random people wandered in off the street on inpulse to see "Tropical Malady" (ideal world!), which was playing last week, on a whim, but we doubt that’s the case. Ultimately, people go to a theater because they’re interested in a movie, and all the infused butter in the world couldn’t keep them away. The IFC Center may be a particularly cushy place to see a movie, but in the end it’s still just that.
On another note, Greenwich Village may have been a bohemian paradise once, but now that rent averages maybe $1100 a month to share a shitty apartment with three other people and one can’t even head down to the very Blockbustery-looking new Kim’s Video without running into Famke Janssen walking her dog, we’re going to guess that fancy popcorn isn’t quite so jarring to the nearby inhabitants. Which is why we live in Brook-lyn!
But enough. Over at Pullquote, the cinetrix shares her favorite popcorn sprucer (Sriracha hot chile sauce) and solicits other beloved in-theater munchies. Personally, we are physically incapable of seeing a movie in the theater without sneaking in a soda, even if we don’t want it, as ingrained in us by our thrifty mother.
+ Indie Snacking (NY Times)
+ The IFC Center and the ideological implications of truffle butter (Cinematical)
+ Butter-flavored topping (Pullquote)