Movie Talk with Sir Alan Parker
ID: 3DD-01-0036
Format: HD

Sir Alan Parker discusses his film Bugsy Malone 1976 and how it was adapted for the stage and performed at London's Lyric Theatre as well as his film The Commitments also being staged in the West End. Busy Malone was inspired by old gangster films and musicals, he had decided to make it because he had four small children at the time. It's still a very popular film now, maybe thanks to Jodie Foster who became a big star and went on to film Taxi Driver shortly after. Parker says he doesn't think Bugsy should ever be re-made. Midnight Express 1978 was a gritty, tough prison movie - more his style - and the film he considers to be his debut. Parker admits to being mischievous and wanting to confuse critics. He says he has chosen film projects of broadly differing subject matters in order to do this. Fame 1980 is about the brutality and pain of trying to make it in the arts and become famous. It was very exciting to make throughout and took 3 days to film the famous dancing amongst the traffic scene in New York, they created a real traffic jam and took over the street until the police shut them down. Shoot the Moon 1982 a book by Bo Goldman. Parker co-wrote the screen play with Bo, he says it was a very personal and serious film about a family breaking up and an important part of his work. Pink Floyd 1982 The Wall which holds the narrative with only images and powerful music which pre dates MTV. Gerald Scarfe was the animator who created the animation side of the film. Angel Heart 1987 is the next film discussed, hugely atmospheric, filmed in the rough side of New Orleans and New York starring Mickey Rourke and Robert De Niro. Parker had never seen this new kind of acting before, he was used the British theatrically trained style but this was intuitive and instinctive. De Niro and Rourke were dangerous, it wasn't like shooting scenes with them it was more like a boxing match. Mississippi Burning 1988 was a politically sensitive film that Parker re-wrote to make more political. Gene Hackman was amazing in the film, a classic film actor. The Commitments 1991 set in Dublin was next and based on the book by Roddy Doyle who was very happy with how faithfully accurate the film was. Evita 1996 was where Parker spent time with Madonna who played Eva Peron they shot the film and then spent 4 months working on the music. Madonna was magnificent and real hard worker. Eva Peron was both loved and hated in Argentina, again another politically sensitive film for Parker. Parker then discusses his involvement in the British Film Industry. To get more British films made, especially the UK financed films from the likes of indigenous filmmakers Ken Loach and Mike Leigh alongside the many bigger-budget studio films made in Pinewood, Shepperton and Leavesden yet financed by America. He ends the interview with advice for any up and coming director, it's simply that they must always have something say.