The Sneak vs. the St. Louis International Film Festival
Sneaking Food Into a Regular Movie : Tuesday at Fairmount Park :: Sneaking Food Into the St. Louis International Film Festival: The Breeders' CupThe event for which all my sneaking has prepared me -- and, hopefully, better prepared you -- begins this Thursday, November 12. Here are some tips to get you into marathon shape this week.
2. Limber up before you go. Seriously aspiring to sneaking food into the International Film Festival requires more physical commitment than stuffing a burrito in your pocket and heading down to the multiplex. Since some shows may sell out, you have to be flexible about food temperature or take special precautions in your packaging to allow for the possibility of a delay. The safest course of action is to plan a movie menu where proper temperature is not important to enjoying the food itself.
Also, remember that this isn't just any matinee; You'll want to class it up a bit. Sneaking tote looking threadbare? Tie a large scarf low on one of the handles to give it both added bohemian flair and conceal the sharp corners of takeout boxes. The weather this week is ideal for wearing an open trenchcoat, the Cadillac of pocket-sneaking, which won't draw a second look at Webster University or the Art Museum the way a backpack might.
Rusty at sneaking? You'll want to practice your walk and patter. The best concealment of food in a theater is a cloak woven of the warp of your confidence and the weft of theater employee indifference. Your walk, then, should exude a certain comfort, a greater belonging to the theater than any other person in the crowd. Think of it as a polite but firm physical declaration of your right as an American to eat food where you damn well please.
Patter, contrastingly, should be humble and inquisitory. The SLIFF is largely staffed by festival volunteers, especially at the non-commercial theater locations. Smile at them and ask a question about the movie as you walk in, concealing the size of your bag by tucking it behind your torso or dropping it below the normal sight line. Ask them which film the next day they most want to see. This is not only a generally nice thing to do that generates good cinematic karma, it also keeps their eyes on your pleasant, smiling face rather than your bulging, fried-rice smelling pockets.