Director: Alan Parker

Information about the director.

Works

Film:The Commitments (1991)

The Commitments

Alan Parker

An irresistible, comic drama from director Alan Parker (Evita, Mississippi Burning), overflowing and alive with passion, humor, and music, The Commitments showcases some old R&B standards in a new light. A headstrong, fast-talking, ambitious young Dubliner (Robert Arkins) fancies himself a promoter of talent, and sets about assembling and packaging a local Irish R&B band. His group of self-absorbed, backbiting, but stunningly talented individuals begin to succeed beyond his wildest dreams, until petty jealousies and recrimination threaten to…

Film:Mississippi Burning

Mississippi Burning

Alan Parker

Gene Hackman and Willem Dafoe star in Mississippi Burning, a well-intentioned and largely successful civil-rights-era thriller. Using the real-life 1964 disappearance of three civil rights workers as its inspiration, the film tells the story of two FBI men (Hackman and Dafoe, entertainingly called “Hoover Boys” by the locals) who come in to try to solve the crime. Hackman is a former small-town Mississippi sheriff himself, while Dafoe is a by-the-numbers young hotshot. (Yes, there is some tension between the two.) The movie has an interesting fatalism, as…

Film:Evita

Evita

Alan Parker

After more than a decade of false starts and several potential directors, the popular Andrew Lloyd Webber/Tim Rice musical finally made it to the big screen with Alan Parker (The Commitments) at the helm and Madonna in the coveted title role of Argentina’s first lady, Eva Perón. A triumph of production design, costuming, cinematography, and epic-scale pageantry, the film follows the rise of Eva Perón to the level of supreme social and political celebrity in the 1940s. Like Madonna, Perón was a material girl (she was only 33 when she died); she was…

Film:Fame

Fame

Alan Parker

Fame helped to launch the 1980s on a tide of aspiration, creating a successful television series, kick-starting the leg-warmer industry and inspiring us all with the idea that with talent, a lot of hard work, plenty of suffering and luck, anybody might, one day, become a star. Nostalgia inevitably endows Fame with its own golden glow for anyone in the region of 40. And as we drown in the karaoke-by-numbers of today’s cynical television talent shows, its touchingly innocent quality makes for a poignant and telling contrast.

In truth, director…

Film:Angela's Ashes

Angela's Ashes

Alan Parker

Because Frank McCourt’s bestselling, Pulitzer Prize-winning memoir Angela’s Ashes was dearly embraced by millions of readers, it was perhaps inevitable that Alan Parker’s film version would prove somewhat disappointing. McCourt’s book is blessed with subtleties of language and detailed observation that do not easily lend themselves to screen interpretation, and Parker’s film suffers from an overly literal, reverently somber approach that lacks the cumulative emotions of McCourt’s account of impoverished youth in Ireland. And where McCourt was able to…

Film:Birdy (1984)

Birdy

Alan Parker

Based on William Wharton’s transcendent novel of the same name, this film is about many things: friendship, war, and, of course, birds. The framing device is an effort by a horribly scarred combat soldier (Nicolas Cage) to break through to his best friend, Birdy (Matthew Modine), hospitalized after seemingly being driven mad by fighting in the Vietnam War. Cage then flashes back to their boyhood, where Birdy, a canary aficionado, was considered the school weirdo but managed to be a solid companion nonetheless. Directed by Alan Parker, it works best as a…

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