Alan Parker, director of Bugsy Malone and Mississippi Burning, dies at 76 – hollywood
British filmmaker Alan Parker, director of films starting from Bugsy Malone, a gangster comedy that includes youngsters armed with machineguns that fired cream, to the tense jail drama Midnight Express, died on Friday aged 76.
Parker, who additionally directed Fame, Mississippi Burning, Evita, The Commitments and different profitable motion pictures, died after a prolonged sickness, a spokeswoman mentioned.
Known for his eclecticism, Parker was equally comfy within the worlds of musical comedy and of hard-hitting true crime drama.
Bugsy Malone, Parker’s extremely authentic function movie debut in 1976, was a musical parody of Prohibition-era gangster motion pictures, carried out totally by youngsters. It featured a younger Jodie Foster because the glamorous singer Tallulah, and different baby actors who went on to have profitable careers.
Parker adopted up with Midnight Express, primarily based on the true story of an American man imprisoned in Turkey for smuggling cannabis. The movie gained two Oscars, together with one for Oliver Stone, who wrote the script.
Again transferring in a distinct route, Parker then made the gritty musical Fame, concerning the highs and lows of the lives of performing arts college students in New York – an enormous business success that spawned a spin-off TV collection.
He additionally directed the movie Pink Floyd – The Wall, which was impressed by the rock band’s hit album of the identical title.
Subsequent successes included Birdy, a drama about Vietnam War veterans, and Angel Heart, a sinister, atmospheric thriller set in New Orleans starring Mickey Rourke and Robert De Niro.
The actor Matthew Modine tweeted to say Being forged in his epic movie, Birdy, reworked my life. Alan was an important artist whose movies will reside ceaselessly”.
“INCREDIBLE RUN OF HITS”
Mississippi Burning starred Gene Hackman and Willem Dafoe as FBI brokers investigating the disappearance of three civil rights activists within the 1960s. The movie was primarily based on true occasions, though it deviated from the details in some essential methods.
Although broadly acclaimed on the time, garnering seven Oscar nominations and profitable one, the film was additionally criticised by some within the Black neighborhood. Critics objected to an absence of Black function fashions, and what they noticed as a slender deal with the white FBI brokers.
Parker later returned to music, with business success, directing The Commitments, a comedy a couple of short-lived soul band in Dublin, and Evita, primarily based on an Andrew Lloyd Webber musical and starring Madonna within the title function.
Lloyd Webber mentioned Parker was “one of the few directors to truly understand musicals on screen”.
Parker additionally made a movie model of Angela’s Ashes, primarily based on the bestselling memoir of the identical title by Frank McCourt.
British filmmaker Edgar Wright, director of Shaun of the Dead and Baby Driver, was amongst many figures from the world of cinema who named Parker as an affect.
“His incredible run of hits as a British filmmaker gave immense inspiration to me,” mentioned Wright, including that he had twice parodied Parker’s “beguiling” debut Bugsy Malone and needed one of many songs from that movie performed at his funeral.
Parker acquired honours in Britain for his achievements in filmmaking, together with a knighthood in 2002. His movies gained a complete of 19 British movie academy awards (Baftas), 10 Golden Globes and 10 Oscars.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, which awards the Oscars, known as him “an extraordinary talent”:
“His work entertained us, connected us, and gave us such a strong sense of time and place.”
Parker is survived by his spouse Lisa Moran-Parker, 5 youngsters and 7 grandchildren.