Alexander Mackendrick

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Alexander Mackendrick (September 8, 1912December 22, 1993) was a Scottish-American film director and teacher.


  • Every bit of a film ought to be a necessary part of the whole effect.
  • A true movie is likely to be 60% to 80% comprehensible if the dialogue is a foreign language.
  • Process, not product.
  • Though it will be only a couple of weeks before you are familiar with the basic mechanics of filmmaking, it will take a lifetime of hard work to master them.
  • Film writing and directing cannot be taught, only learned, and each man or woman has to learn it through his or her own system of self-education.
  • 'Talking about film is something of a contradiction in terms: it is already in the wrong medium.
  • You'll never be a great writer until you're willing to 'pull your pants down'.
  • If a film works it is never simply because it followed the rules. If it fails, however, it is almost certainly that the breaking of one or more rule is the root cause.
  • The great directors managed to dissolve and disappear into the work. They make other people look good.

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