the sweet smell of success
I recently finished reading “On Filmmaking” by Alexander Mackendrick. Not only is the book filled with really great information about every process involved in making films, it’s written in a really concise, simple way that is easy to understand. It doesn’t fuss over analysis by breaking everything down into weird archetypes like STORY by McKee, but distills the necessary information down to a point. Plus, Mackendrick’s statements are given added weight by the fact that he actually directed many well-respected films. Sorry, McKee.
I got The Sweet Smell of Success from criterion as a result, and boy can he back his sh*t up! Great film. Sometimes I’m sad that films don’t get made in black-and-white anymore, because they look great in the hands of the right people. Props also to James Wong Howe. The criterion Blu-ray is packed with interviews and docs on Mackendrick and even a cinematography tutorial by Howe. The most striking thing is that Mackendrick is as perfectly concise and articulate in his speech as he is in his writing.
Anyway here are a few studies from the film. Damn delicious black-and-white.