Alan Parker, Director of Midnight Express, Fame, and The Commitments, Dies at 76

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What do motion pictures as numerous as Bugsy Malone, Birdy, Shoot The Moon, and The Highway to Wellville have in widespread? Not a lot apart from their director, Alan Parker, the good British expertise who handed away on Friday in response to a representative. He was 76 years previous.

Parker’s profession started directing commercials, together with a notable spot with Joan Collins and Leonard Rossiter for Cinzano. His first theatrical function was a traditional “solely within the 1970s”-type of challenge, Bugsy Malone, wherein pre-teens like Scott Baio and Jodie Foster play gangsters and molls in a 1930s-style crime musical. To retain its G-rating, all of the machine gun motion was modified to pie fights. The movie debuted at Cannes in competitors, and acquired a number of Golden Globe and BAFTA nominations.

Two years later, in 1978, Parker launched Midnight Categorical, a tremendously profitable based-on-a-true-story story of an American caught smuggling cannabis out of Turkey, then ensnared in that nation’s brutal jail system.

The movie starred Brad Davis, was Oliver Stone’s first substantial screenwriting credit score (for which he gained an Oscar), and featured an Oscar-winning electronic score by Giorgio Moroder. (The movie was nominated for 4 different Oscars, together with greatest image, greatest director for Parker, greatest modifying, and greatest supporting actor for John Damage.) Although maybe not as prime of thoughts amongst cinephiles presently, the phrase “Turkish prison” was one thing of a meme in its day because of this movie.

In 1980 Parker directed one other sensation, the musical Fame. Set at New York Metropolis’s Excessive Faculty of Performing Arts (which has since merged with Excessive Faculty of Music & Artwork to turn out to be the Fiorello H. LaGuardia Excessive Faculty of Music & Artwork and Performing Arts) it’s the ur-theater child textual content, that includes classics like “Hot Lunch Jam,” “I Sing The Body Electric,” and the quintessential traffic-stopping title observe, sung by Irene Cara.

Fame gained two Oscars (rating and music), was nominated for 4 extra, and stored a complete technology in jazz fingers.

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