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Alan Parker

Alan Parker

Alan Parker wrote and directed his first film, Bugsy Malone, in 1975. The film was a musical pastiche of 1920s gangster films with an entire cast of children. The highly original film received eight British Academy Award nominations and five awards.

His second film was the controversial Midnight Express (1977), which won two Oscars and six Golden Globe Awards and four awards from the British Film Academy. This was followed in 1979 by Parker's film Fame, a celebration of youth and the arts, which won two Academy Awards, six nominations and four Golden Globe nominations and was later adapted into a successful television series.

In 1981, Parker directed Shoot the Moon, starring Diane Keaton and Albert Finney, and the powerful Pink Floyd: The Wall, the feature film adaptation of the successful rock album which has become a classic of the genre.

In 1984, Parker directed Birdy, based on the William Wharton novel, starring Nicolas Cage and Matthew Modine, which won the Grand Prix Special Du Jury at the 1985 Cannes Film Festival.

No stranger to controversy, his next film, Angel Heart, written and directed by Parker in 1986 and starring Mickey Rourke, Robert De Niro and Lisa Bonet, opened in the United States amidst a storm caused by the X rating initially imposed on it 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, including Best Director for Parker, and which won for Best Cinematography. Parker was also awarded the D.W. Griffith Award by the National Board of Review for directing. The film was nominated for five British Academy Awards, winning three. It also won the Silver Bear at the Berlin Film Festival.

In 1989, Parker wrote and directed Come See the Paradise, a love story set against the internment of Japanese-Americans during World War II, starring Dennis Quaid and Tamlyn Tomita.

The Commitments, made in 1990, a story of a young Irish working-class soul band, was awarded a Golden Globe nomination for Best Picture and won Parker the Best Director prize at the Tokyo Film Festival, as well as British Academy Awards for Editing, Screenplay, Director and Best Picture.

In 1993, Parker wrote and directed The Road to Wellville, 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, based on the successful stage show by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice and starring Madonna, Antonio Banderas and Jonathan Pryce. The film won three Golden Globe Awards, including Best Picture.

In 1974, Alan Parker directed the BBC Television Film The Evacuees, written by Jack Rosenthal, which won the international Emmy Award and a BAFTA Award for direction.

In 1984, to celebrate British Film Year, Parker wrote and directed the provocative documentary A Turnip Head's Guide to British Cinema, which underlined Parker's fiercely independent and outspoken views as he lambasted the British film establishment and film critics. It won the British Press Guild Award for the year's best documentary.

Parker is also a novelist and author of the best-selling book written from his own screenplay of Bugsy Malone and Puddles in the Lane which was published in 1977. A collection of his satirical cartoons, Hares in the Gate, was published in 1982 and a new compendium, Making Movies, published by the British Film Institute.

A founding member of the Directors Guild of Great Britain, Parker has lectured at film schools around the world. In 1985 he was honoured by the British Academy with the prestigious Michael Balcon Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Cinema, and in November 1995 Parker was awarded with a CBE by Queen Elizabeth II for services to the British film industry.

During the shooting of Angela's Ashes Parker was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award by the Directors Guild of Great Britain.

In January 1998, Parker took up his post as chairman of the Board of Governors of the British Film Institute. In August of '99 Parker was appointed as first chairman of the newly-formed Film Council.


Note: This profile was written in or before 2002.

Alan Parker Facts

Birth Name Alan William Parker
OccupationDirector
BirthdayFebruary 14, 1944 (73)
SignAquarius
BirthplaceLondon, England, United Kingdom
Awards1992 BAFTA Awards: Best Direction (for The Commitments)

Selected Filmography

Evita
The Life of David Gale
Mississippi Burning
Angela's Ashes
The Commitments
Midnight Express
Commitments, The
Pink Floyd: The Wall
Angel Heart
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