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Alan Parker, director of ‘Fame,’ ‘Midnight Express’ and ‘Evita,’ dead at 76

Acclaimed UK director Alan Parker, a towering determine within the UK trade, handed away this morning following a prolonged sickness, the British Movie Institute has confirmed.

Two-time Oscar nominee Parker was finest identified for guiding basic movies together with “Bugsy Malone,” “Midnight Specific,” “Mississippi Burning” and “The Commitments,” in addition to big-budget Madonna film “Evita.”

Parker was a passionate supporter of the UK movie trade and a founding member of the Administrators Guild of Nice Britain. He was the founding Chairman of the UK Movie Council in 2000, (a place he held for 5 years), Parker carried out a imaginative and prescient to place the UK movie trade on a brand new highway to inventive and industrial success. Previous to that he was Chairman of the BFI.  Sir Alan obtained the CBE in 1995 and a knighthood in 2002. He was additionally an Officier des Arts et Letters (France).

Parker was additionally beneficiant in sharing his time, information and expertise with younger and creating movie expertise. He was a long-time supporter of the Nationwide Movie and Tv Faculty, and in later years he taught there often in addition to at different movie faculties around the globe.

In recent times, after retiring from the trade, Parker renewed his creative ardour with silk display screen printing and portray.

Alan Parker was born in Islington, London, February 14, 1944. He started his profession in promoting as a copywriter however shortly graduated to writing and directing commercials. By the late 1960s he was one of many small, however vastly influential, group of British administrators (together with Ridley Scott and Hugh Hudson and Adrian Lyne) who revolutionized the look, high quality and popularity of TV promoting by combining subtle, witty storytelling with cinema aesthetics for the primary time. In 1980 he obtained the D&AD Gold President’s Award.

die Foster and pie, Pinewood Studios, 1975

In 1974, Parker moved into long-form drama when he directed the BBC movie, “The Evacuees,” written by Jack Rosenthal, which gained the Worldwide Emmy Award and a BAFTA award for route; the primary of Parker’s seven BAFTA awards.

Parker wrote and directed his first function movie, “Bugsy Malone,” in 1975, a novel musical pastiche of Hollywood gangster movies of the 1930s with a solid comprised completely of kids. The movie obtained eight BAFTA movie nominations and 5 awards. The movie was produced by Alan Marshall and co-executive produced by David Puttnam, (each of whom had began their careers with Parker in promoting).

Parker’s second movie was the vastly profitable and controversial “Midnight Specific” (1977) which gained two Oscars® and 6 Academy Award nominations, together with for Parker as Greatest Director. The movie obtained six Golden Globe Awards and 4 BAFTA awards.

This was adopted, in 1979, by “Fame,” a joyful and various celebration of youthful ambition within the arts, which gained two Academy Awards®, six nominations, 4 Golden Globe nominations and was subsequently tailored right into a long-running tv sequence.

Alan Parker on the set of "Fame."
Alan Parker on the set of “Fame.”©MGM/Everett Assortment

In 1981 Parker directed the highly effective household drama, “Shoot the Moon,” starring Diane Keaton and Albert Finney. That very same yr he additionally directed the seminal “Pink Floyd – The Wall,” the function movie adaptation of the phenomenally profitable rock album, which has turn into a basic of the rock-opera movie style.

In 1984, Parker directed “Birdy” primarily based on the William Wharton novel, starring Nicolas Cage and Matthew Modine, which gained the Grand Prix Particular Du Jury on the 1985 Cannes Movie Competition.

Parker’s subsequent movie, the occult thriller “Angel Coronary heart,” made in 1986 and starring Mickey Rourke, Robert De Niro and Lisa Bonet, opened within the US amidst a storm of controversy attributable to the ‘X’ ranking imposed on the movie by the MPAA.

In 1988 Parker directed the civil rights drama, “Mississippi Burning,” starring Gene Hackman and Willem Dafoe, which was nominated for seven Academy Awards® together with Greatest Director for Parker and profitable for Greatest Cinematography. Parker was additionally awarded the D.W. Griffith Award for guiding by the Nationwide Board of Evaluate. The movie was nominated for 5 BAFTA movie awards, profitable three. It additionally gained the Silver Bear on the Berlin Worldwide Movie Competition.

In 1989 Parker wrote and directed “Come See the Paradise,” a shifting household story in regards to the remedy of forcibly interned Japanese-People throughout World Struggle II, starring Dennis Quaid and Tamlyn Tomita.

In 1990 Parker directed “The Commitments,” the story of a younger, Irish, working-class soul band, which was awarded a Golden Globe Nomination for Greatest Image and gained Parker the Greatest Director prize on the Tokyo Movie Competition, in addition to BAFTA movie awards for Enhancing, Screenplay, Director and Greatest Image.

In 1993, Parker wrote and directed comedy-drama, “The Highway to Wellville,” primarily based on the novel by T. Coraghessan Boyle, and starring Anthony Hopkins, Bridget Fonda, Matthew Broderick, John Cusack and Dana Carvey.

In 1996, Parker directed, wrote and produced “Evita,” primarily based on the stage musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, and starring Madonna, Antonio Banderas and Jonathan Pryce. The movie gained three Golden Globe Awards, together with Greatest Image.

Alan Parker directs Madonna on the set of "Evita" in 1996.
Alan Parker directs Madonna on the set of “Evita” in 1996.Everett Assortment

In 1999 Parker wrote and directed “Angela’s Ashes,” primarily based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning, best-selling memoir by Frank McCourt, starring Emily Watson and Robert Carlyle. Parker’s ultimate movie was “The Lifetime of David Gale,” the 2003 thriller in regards to the merciless politics of capital punishment within the US, starring Kate Winslet, Kevin Spacey and Laura Linney.

Alongside his film profession Parker additionally proved extremely adept at working throughout different artwork kinds:

In 1984, to rejoice ‘British Movie 12 months’, Parker was commissioned by ITV to make a private documentary function in regards to the trade he liked. The following movie, “A Turnip Head’s Information To The British Cinema,” underlined Parker’s credentials as an outspoken champion of British cinema. The movie was an enormous success for ITV when it was broadcast and it aggravated the British movie institution tremendously. Subsequently, the movie went on to win the British Press Guild Award for the yr’s finest TV documentary.

Parker was additionally the creator of the best-selling novel written from his personal screenplay of “Bugsy Malone,” printed by HarperCollins. As well as, he wrote two different printed novels, “Puddles In The Lane,” (1977) and “The Sucker’s Kiss” (2003). He was additionally famend because the movie trade’s personal cartoonist with a satirical and biting, wit. Three collections of his cartoons have been printed: “Hares within the Gate,” (1982), “Making Films,” (1998) and “Will Write and Direct for Meals,” (2005), a compendium of 20 years of observations on making movies in Britain and in Hollywood.

In 1984 Parker was honored by the British Academy with the celebrated Michael Balcon Award for Excellent Contribution to British Cinema.

In 1998 he obtained the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Administrators Guild of Nice Britain and the Lumiere Medal from the Royal Photographic Society.

Parker has additionally obtained Lifetime Achievement awards in Chicago, Munich, Prague, Warsaw and Lodz. He holds honorary doctorates from Sunderland College, the College of East Anglia, Southampton Solent College and College Council of Arts, Spain.

In January 1998, Parker was appointed Chairman of the Board of Governors of the British Movie Institute, and in August 1999 he was appointed first Chairman of the UK Movie Council, a place he held for 5 years.

In November 1995 Parker was awarded a CBE by HM The Queen for companies to the British movie trade and he obtained his knighthood in 2002. He was additionally made Officier des Arts et des Lettres by the French Authorities.

He was awarded the 2013 BAFTA Fellowship.

The identical yr he succeeded István Szabó as President of the European Federation of Movie Administrators: FERA.

In 2018 Parker donated his vital non-public archive of scripts and dealing papers to the BFI Nationwide Archive.

Alan Parker handed away on 31 July 2020 after a prolonged sickness.

He’s survived by his spouse Lisa Moran-Parker, his youngsters Lucy, Alexander, Jake, Nathan and Henry, and 7 grandchildren.


James M. Lowe
Explorer. Passionate creator. Typical writer. Tv guru. Freelance thinker. Web maven.

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