Sir Alan William Parker was an English filmmaker.
43 Facts About Alan Parker
Alan Parker's films won nineteen BAFTA awards, ten Golden Globes and six Academy Awards.
Alan Parker was appointed a Commander of the Order of the British Empire for his services to the British film industry and knighted in 2002.
Alan Parker was active in both British cinema and American cinema, along with being a founding member of the Directors Guild of Great Britain and lecturing at various film schools.
Alan Parker donated his personal archive to the British Film Institute's National Archive in 2015.
Alan Parker was born into a working-class family in Islington, North London, the son of Elsie Ellen, a dressmaker, and William Leslie Alan Parker, a house painter.
Alan Parker grew up on a council estate of Islington, which always made it easy for him to remain "almost defiantly working-class in attitudes" said the British novelist and screenwriter Ray Connolly.
Alan Parker said that although he had his share of fun growing up, he always felt he was studying for his secondary school exams, while his friends were out having a good time.
Alan Parker had an "ordinary background" with no aspirations to become a film director, nor did anyone in his family have any desire to be involved in the film industry.
Alan Parker attended Dame Alice Owen's School, concentrating on science in his last year.
Alan Parker left school when he was eighteen to work in the advertising field, hoping that the advertising industry might be a good way to meet girls.
Alan Parker's colleagues encouraged him to write, which soon led him to a position as a copywriter in the company.
Alan Parker took jobs with different agencies over the next few years, having by then become proficient as a copywriter.
Alan Parker credited Puttnam with inspiring him and talking him into writing his first film script, Melody.
Alan Parker credited his years writing and directing adverts for his later success as a film director:.
Alan Parker was born during one of those bombing raids, and said "the baby in that [film] could well have been me".
Alan Parker next wrote and directed his first feature film, Bugsy Malone, a parody of early American gangster films and American musicals, but with only child actors.
Alan Parker next directed Midnight Express, based on a true account by Billy Hayes about his incarceration and escape from a Turkish prison for trying to smuggle hashish out of the country.
Alan Parker made the film in order to do something radically different from Bugsy Malone, which would broaden his style of filmmaking.
Alan Parker then directed Fame, which follows the lives of eight students through their years at the New York City's High School of Performing Arts.
Alan Parker stated that after doing a serious drama like Midnight Express, he wanted to do a film with music, but very different from typical musicals of the past:.
Alan Parker calls it "the first grown-up film that I'd done".
Also in 1982 Alan Parker directed a film version of the Pink Floyd conceptual rock opera, The Wall, which starred Boomtown Rats frontman Bob Geldof as the fictive rocker "Pink".
Alan Parker directed Birdy, starring Matthew Modine and Nicolas Cage.
Alan Parker called it a "wonderful story" after having read the book by William Wharton.
Alan Parker adds that Parker's films manage to achieve a blend of "strong story and elegant frame", a style which he says typically eludes other directors who rely too much on the purely visual.
In 1991 Alan Parker directed The Commitments, a comedy about working class Dubliners who form a soul band.
Rather than pick known actors, Alan Parker says he chose young musicians, most of whom had no acting experience, in order to remain "truthful to the story".
Alan Parker's family was forced to move from the United States back to Ireland because of financial difficulties, which led to the family's problems caused by his father's alcoholism.
Alan Parker adds that "when Alan starts a project, it's going to be something very interesting and completely out of left field".
Alan Parker explained that doing a story like Angela's Ashes was simply his "reaction against a big film" like Evita.
Alan Parker said something to me that I always try to keep in my head every time I decide on what film to do next.
Alan Parker told me that making a film was a great privilege, and you should never waste it.
Therefore, when Alan Parker visited film schools and spoke to young filmmakers, he told them that the new film technology available for making films and telling a story is less important than conveying a message: "If you haven't got something to say, I don't think you should be a filmmaker".
Alan Parker produced and directed The Life of David Gale, a crime thriller, starring Kevin Spacey and Kate Winslet.
Alan Parker was married twice; first to Annie Inglis from 1966 until their divorce in 1992, and then to producer Lisa Moran, to whom he was married until his death.
Alan Parker died in London on 31 July 2020 at age 76, following a lengthy illness.
Alan Parker was nominated for eight BAFTA awards, three Golden Globes and two Oscars.
Alan Parker was a founding member of the Directors Guild of Great Britain and lectured at film schools around the world.
Alan Parker was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire in the 1995 Birthday Honours and Knight Bachelor in the 2002 New Year Honours for services to the film industry.
Alan Parker became chairman of the Board of Governors of the British Film Institute in 1998 and in 1999 was appointed the first chairman of the newly formed UK Film Council.
In 2005 Alan Parker received an honorary Doctorate of Arts from the University of Sunderland of which his long-time associate Lord Puttnam is chancellor.
The British Film Institute produced a tribute to Parker in September and October 2015 with an event titled "Focus on Sir Alan Parker" which included multiple screenings of his films and an on-stage interview of Parker by producer David Puttnam.