||The film director Alexander Mackendrick began his career at London's Ealing Studios in 1946, where, after spending several years working on storyboarding scripts, he directed some of that studio's most celebrated comedies, including WHISKEY GALORE and THE LADYKILLERS. His Hollywood career included the legendary film noir, THE SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS, but he retired from filmmaking in 1969, citing an inability to become a "deal maker." Hollywood's loss was the film world's gain, however, as his subsequent career teaching film at California Institute for the Arts benefited generations of students, who gained both from his classes and from the publication of this remarkable collection of his notes, ON FILM-MAKING. Mackendrick teaches that film happens in the head as much as on screen, in the minds of both the viewer and the movie's creator. In a series of illuminating and invaluable chapters centered on dramatic construction and film grammar, Mackendrick uses examples from movies like Orson Welles's THE THIRD MAN and his own SWEET SMELL OF SUCCESS (which he self-effacingly characterizes as a failure) to illustrate subjects like screenwriting and character relationships. These refreshing and readable master classes are an exercise in conveying both technique and enthusiasm for one's craft. Aimed at the aspiring student but also of great benefit to the ordinary film enthusiast, they both demystify moviemaking and highlight the processes involved in every aspect of a film's creation.