British filmmaker Alan Parker, director of flicks starting from Bugsy Malone, a gangster comedy that includes kids armed with machineguns that fired cream, to the tense jail drama Midnight Specific, died on Friday aged 76.
Parker, who additionally directed Fame, Mississippi Burning, Evita, The Commitments and different profitable films, died after a prolonged sickness, a spokeswoman mentioned.
Recognized for his eclecticism, Parker was equally comfortable within the worlds of musical comedy and of hard-hitting true crime drama.
Bugsy Malone, Parker’s extremely authentic characteristic movie debut in 1976, was a musical parody of Prohibition-era gangster films, carried out solely by kids. It featured a younger Jodie Foster because the glamorous singer Tallulah, and different little one actors who went on to have profitable careers.
Parker adopted up with Midnight Specific, 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.
Once more transferring in a distinct path, Parker then made the gritty musical Fame, in regards to the highs and lows of the lives of performing arts college students in New York – an enormous industrial success that spawned a spin-off TV sequence.
He additionally directed the movie Pink Floyd – The Wall, which was impressed by the rock band’s hit album of the identical identify.
Subsequent successes included Birdy, a drama about Vietnam Warfare veterans, and Angel Coronary heart, a sinister, atmospheric thriller set in New Orleans starring Mickey Rourke and Robert De Niro.
The actor Matthew Modine tweeted to say Being solid in his epic movie, Birdy, remodeled my life. Alan was an important artist whose movies will stay endlessly”.
“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 info in some essential methods.
Though broadly acclaimed on the time, garnering seven Oscar nominations and profitable one, the film was additionally criticised by some within the Black group. Critics objected to a scarcity of Black function fashions, and what they noticed as a slim give attention to the white FBI brokers.
Parker later returned to music, with industrial success, directing The Commitments, a comedy a few 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 many few administrators to really perceive musicals on display screen”.
Parker additionally made a movie model of Angela’s Ashes, primarily based on the bestselling memoir of the identical identify by Frank McCourt.
British filmmaker Edgar Wright, director of Shaun of the Lifeless and Child Driver, was amongst many figures from the world of cinema who named Parker as an affect.
“His unimaginable 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 wished one of many songs from that movie performed at his funeral.
Parker obtained 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 Movement Image Arts and Sciences, which awards the Oscars, known as him “a unprecedented expertise”:
“His work entertained us, related us, and gave us such a robust sense of time and place.”
Parker is survived by his spouse Lisa Moran-Parker, 5 kids and 7 grandchildren.