The Snoot Letter
Issue #14 – April 27, 2020
Hello friends, I hope you’re staying healthy and happy. These are weird times, and it can often feel like our bodies and souls are under 24/7 assault. I hope the Snoot Letter can be a brief respite from that situation.
I have a long list of classic movies that I haven’t seen. It’s compiled from the various “best of all time” lists out there, and I’ve been chipping away at it during the quarantine. One thing I’ve come to realize is that a lot of the classic movies I’ve avoided watching are the ones that are depressing, brutal, or otherwise hard to watch right now.
So, a question for you: What are your favorite classic movies that are fun and/or uplifting?
I’m going to put together a list to include in next week’s Snoot Letter, and I’d love to have your suggestions.
This weekend, Jess and I went to the drive-in movie theater! The Mission Tiki Drive-In is currently open near Los Angeles during the quarantine, and I can highly recommend the experience.
I’ve had a few people reach out to me to understand the process, and to figure out if they will feel safe attending a drive-in. I can’t speak for all drive-ins, but here’s what the process was like at the Mission Tiki…
You can’t buy tickets online, so you have to buy tickets at the theater. The process is very similar to a tollbooth. You wait in a line of cars, and then pay via credit card at the entrance. You say which double-feature you’re there to see, and give them your credit card. It costs $10 per person in the car. This is the sole point of direct contact in the entire experience. If you are comfortable with food deliveries or curbside pickups right now, this feels like a similar level of exposure.
The drive-in was relatively busy, and I suspect that this will continue to be the case. If you want a good spot, then get there early. I believe they start letting people in about an hour before the showtime. We got there about 45 minutes early on a Saturday, and got a prime spot. Make sure you bring your own snacks and go to the bathroom before you leave home, as I’m pretty sure their facilities are closed right now. You don’t have to stay for both movies in the double-feature, but I think it’s a big part of the fun.
Also, make sure you turn off your headlights!
The drive-in doesn’t have the technical purity of going to a great movie theater, but there is an inherent charm to the experience that I highly recommend. I suspect Jess and I will be going once a week until the quarantine ends, the theater shuts down, or they run out of movies we haven’t seen.
I’ve been thinking recently about a phrase that gets bandied around a lot in the film industry. The concept of “great taste.” You hear it all the time. So-and-so exec has “great taste” in material. Such-and-such agent has “great taste” in directors.
I think the concept of “great taste” as used in the film business is a somewhat meaningless term. It’s almost always used to describe someone who goes out of their way to work with people who are already considered great artists. It’s not hard to have “great taste” if you’re just saying yes to working with someone who already won an Oscar. In my opinion, the person who truly has great taste is the one who saw the potential in the Oscar-winner before they won any awards. But I don’t think this is something Hollywood does a particular good job of tracking or caring about.
I don’t think there’s a solution for this, but my cynical advice is that if you care about appearing to have great taste, make sure you work with people who are already well respected creatively. It’s an easier path than trying to identify quality talent before anyone else does.
Catch you in May, my friends. Be kind to yourself and your quarantine-mates. Do you have any friends who you think might like this newsletter? Please feel free to send your friends my way.
~ Keith Calder
This Week’s Recommendations