Alan Parker (1944-) b. London, England.
Trained in advertising, the Islington born Alan Parker‘s first movie work was the script for teenage romance Melody (1971). He directed kid’s gangster parody Bugsy Malone (1976) before his breakthrough with Midnight Express (1978), a hysterical prison drama memorable for its bitten-off tongue. Parker has a habit of falling back on style, sometimes obscuring the excellent performances he gets from his leads, but notice how good Gene Hackman and Frances McDormand are among the sweaty rednecks of Mississippi Burning (1988) and appreciate the uncomfortable subtleties of Come See The Paradise (1990). Shoot The Moon (1982), Pink Floyd: The Wall (1982), Angel Heart (1987) and The Road To Wellville (1994) are all curates eggs, with some wonderful effects and performances lost among the shrieking. Fame, however, is an old-fashioned let’s-put-on-a-show picture perfectly remodelled for 1980, and Evita (1996) is better than anything that throws together Andrew Lloyd Webber and Madonna has any right to be. His one unassailably great movie is The Commitments (1991), truthful, irrepressible soul musical with a flavourful Dublin background.