Alan Parker, a successful and out of the world filmmaker who has list of commendable films to his credit including Bugsy Malone, Midnight Express, and Evita, passed away at 76. A Briton who gained a strong foothold in Hollywood, Parker was the man behind films like Fame, The Commitments and Mississippi Burning Together his movies were the recipient of 10 Academy Awards and 19 British Academy Film Awards.
Parker was born in London on Feb. 14, 1944, and, like many other aspiring British directors of his generation, including Ridley Scott and Adrian Lyne, kickstarted his career in advertising as a copywriter and began directing commercials. Following this, he eyed to conquer television with critically acclaimed 1974 drama The Evacuees, which went on to receive an international Emmy Award.
As luck would have it, he went on to write and direct his first feature, Bugsy Malone, an extraordinary and high-spirited musical pastiche of gangster films.
He continued to carve a strong niche for himself with 1978 feature Midnight Express, based on a true incident of an American’s harrowing incarceration in a Turkish prison for alleged drug crimes. It received two Oscars — including one for Oliver Stone’s script and Parker landed in the first of two best-director nominations.
Parker mastered exploring on numerous subjects and genres with utmost excellence. While Shoot the Moon (1982) and Angela’s Ashes (1999) were family dramas, Birdy (1984) was a tale of war and friendship, Angel Heart (1987) a mystical thriller and Mississippi Burning (1988) a powerful civil rights drama that was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including the best director.
Parker was also credited as a notable director for his musicals, a genre he both embraced and expanded. Fame (1980) was a gritty but a tale of celebrating life at a performing arts high school; Pink Floyd — the Wall (1982) was a surreal rock opera.
Parker also excelled highly in Britain’s film industry, serving as chairman of the British Film Institute and the U.K. Film Council. He was honoured by Queen Elizabeth II in 2002, and in 2013 received the British film academy’s highest honor, the BAFTA Fellowship.
The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences tweeted: “From Fame to Midnight Express, two-time Oscar nominee Alan Parker was a chameleon. His work entertained us, connected us, and gave us such a strong sense of time and place. An extraordinary talent, he will be greatly missed.”
As indianexpress.com mentions, Parker is survived by his wife Lisa Moran-Parker, children Lucy, Alexander, Jake, Nathan and Henry, and seven grandchildren.