Oscar History

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Posterized: BAFTA Honoree Alan Parker

Director Alan Parker, who our youngest readers will probably beunfamiliar with, used to be a prestige director. He's been retired for ten years but his taste in material was quite awards-baity. He's receiving the BAFTA Fellowhip (aka career tribute) in February at the BAFTA ceremony. Because the BAFTAs aren't aired live and weirdly only ever broadcast parts of that show who knows if we'll see it.

So I thought we should look back at his career through Posterized. (We haven't done one of those in a while!)

How many have you seen?

Bugsy Malone (76), Midnight Express (78), Fame (80)

Three arguable classics right off the bat? And 11 more movies after the jump

Shoot the Moon (82), Pink Floyd The Wall (82), Birdy (84)Angel Heart (87), Mississippi Burning (88), Come See the Paradise (90)The Commitments (91), The Road to Wellville (94), Evita (96)Angela's Ashes (99), David Gale (03)

How many of those 14 films have you seen? Which are your favorites? 

His filmography by the Oscar numbers: 2 Best Picture Nominees (Mississippi Burning & Midnight Express); 2 Best Director Nominations; 2 non Best Pictures with several nominations (Evita & Fame); 27 nominations for the filmography (in various categories); 6 Oscar wins for the filmography.

Angelas Ashes and The Life of David Gale were an unlucky #13 and #14 for Alan Parker, the former clearly intended for Oscar glory with a Christmas opening and based on a prestige book (it won only a best score nomination for perennial nominee John Williams) and the latter garnering possibly the worst reviews of his career and a quickly forgotten misfire for all three of its Oscar favored principles. But even so his filmography always felt unfinished to me. Why not one more picture? But perhaps that's because I had a soft spot for him given that nearly half of his filmography -- a pretty solid filmography overall, don'cha think? -- is musically inclined.



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Reader Comments (22)

I watched Evita, I also watched Fame after watching the remake of it few years ago when it hit cinema here (don't judge lol). I like Fame (the original one of course, but I don't hate the remake either, just that the orginal one is better). Out Here on My Own is one of my most favourite songs coming out from a musical. Is it considered bold to talk about gay in 1980?

January 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPJ

For some strange reason my father let me watch Fame as a child...I remember being absolutely disturbed by Irene Cara's tragic topless audition scene.

January 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSo Sue

Shoot the Moon is incredible! Such a great, unsung little gem, with a subtly wrenching, meticulously realistic script and inspired, award-worthy work from Diane Keaton, Albert Finney, and the late Dana Hill. And you never hear a word about it!

January 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMatthew

Evita was stunning. I could listen to that soundtrack on a loop. I know people like to take shots at Madonna's acting, but I thought she was perfect for it.

January 24, 2013 | Unregistered Commentereurocheese

If you go by Rotten Tomatoes's critic scores, then yeah, The Life of David Gale (which I've never seen) probably ranks as his worst. But if you go by RT's audience scores, or IMDB ratings, then The Road to Wellville is the obvious stinkburger. And having seen the latter, in the theater, I find it hard to imagine anything worse. (I think I saw Stargate the very same week. What an awful week that was.)

Seven out of 14.

January 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJ.P.

Absolutely agree with Matthew about Shoot the Moon. Should have been a huge Oscar player in almost every top category (including Dana Hill in Supporting Actress), but that aside, it's a fantastic, angry, sobering movie that people should investigate. Stands head and shoulders above the other Parkers I've seen, but that's only about half (and I do have time for the lurid bonkers-ness of Angel Heart, at least as I recall).

The misspelling of "Nicholas Cage" on the Birdy poster is a treat. Or did he formerly spell it that way? All the best people do.

January 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNick Davis

I've seen nine: Bugsy Malone, Midnight Express, Fame, Shoot the Moon, Birdy, Angel Heart, The Road to Wellville, Evita and The Life of David Gale. Of those my favorite would be Midnight Express followed closely by Shoot the Moon, one of Diane Keaton's best performances. After that I don't have any strong affection for the rest, Birdy, Wellville and David Gale were underwhelming, Evita left me cold and I hated Angel Heart. Bugsy Malone and Fame had there moments but one viewing was enough. I'll have to try to catch the others, the one I've heard the most positive things about is The Commitments so maybe I'll start there.

January 25, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterjoel6

if dana hill's shoot the moon performance had replaced kim stanley in frances the 1982 best supporting actress line up would be the greatest of all time

there was a brief period in my youth (the early eighties) when alan parker was my favourite director - basically from fame through shoot the moon to birdy - but he lost me at angel heart and never got me back

i liked bugsy malone, midnight express, the commitments and evita well enough; the rest i never bothered with

although i have watched fame more than enough times to make up for them

January 25, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterpar3182

Shoot the Moon is clearly his best picture, huh?

January 25, 2013 | Unregistered Commentercal roth

I would generally rank Parker barely a notch above Ron Howard. Or at least I would if Shoot the Moon (flaws and all) wasn't just so damn mind-blowing. I'm glad it didn't get much Oscar play. Association with Ampass would only dilute it.

And really if ever you doubt Diane Keaton's range or magnificence, just track down this movie.

January 25, 2013 | Unregistered Commentergoran

I've seen Angel Heart (which I love more and more with repeat viewing and contemplating), Mississippi Burning, The Road to Wellvillle and ca. the second half of Bugsy Malone.

January 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDominik

Posterized! I love this section. I've seen them all but Shoot the Moon and The Wall.

Favorites: Evita, Fame and The Commitments.

January 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy Sue

I've seen 7.
My favorites of those I've seen are The Commitments and Come See The Paradise.

January 25, 2013 | Unregistered Commenteradri

8 here. Midnight Express, Fame and Commitments are my favs. I always felt he coasted a little on the success of Midnight Express, never really living up to the potential this film showed (it was HUGE when it opened, considered groundbreaking (Fame as well)). Evita was fun if flawed although I liked how he opened up her back story at the beginning. I was at a lecture he gave once where he talked about how Cage was mesmerized by Modine's "method" work and tried to adopt it during the filming of Birdy. And I think the order is Pink Floyd and then Shoot. He said he did Shoot with no music after Pink which was all music. Release dates might be a different story.

January 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterHenry

Shoot the Moon is the best because it features one of the all time great performances by Diane Keaton.

January 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJ.

1. FAME - was 16, from a small town in Saskatchewan, my closest friends ditched me and went to see BLUES BROTHERS. This was one of those 'movie moments' for me, an experience I will never forget. When the students rise up to join in "I Sing The Body Electric" I burst into tears. As a movie B- . As a cultural moment in my junior homosexual life? A+++

2 BIRDY - for Matthew Modine
3 MISSISSIPPI BURNING - for Gene Hackman
4 SHOOT THE MOON - for Diane Keaton
5 MIDNIGHT EXPRESS - for the score (but it was an interesting film, too)
6 PINK FLOYD: THE WALL - for "Comfortably Numb"
7 EVITA - for "Another Suitcase, Another Hall" and Madonna was very good (not great)
8 THE COMMITTMENTS - good but not memorable (I know people who love this movie - mostly straight dudes)
9 ANGEL HEART - hated it, but I did see it.

January 25, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterhepwa

Parker used to be one of my faves. He had a great run in the late 70s and early 80s, where he did mostly quite admirable work and demonstrated virtuoso versatility. Shoot the Moon featured superlative acting from Albert Finney and Diane Keaton. Diane's scene in the bathtub is part of her career highlight reel. Both should have been nommed for Oscars. Angel Heart is a guilty pleasure and one of Mickey Rourke's finest hours. Mississippi Burning, with all of its faults, was notable for its great visual style and a huge comeback performance for Gene Hackman, who should have won Best Actor. Evita is a stunning work of art. He needs to come back to the director's chair.

January 25, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbrookesboy

7 of them. Midnight Express, Fame, Shoot the Moon, Angel Heart, Evita, Mississippi Burning and Angela's Ashes. Definitely Fame and Midnight Express were two of my favorites, seeing them as a young (seriously closeted) gay male. (That shower scene was really frustrating!) I must have missed something with Shoot the Moon, I found it dull and undramatic. Angela's Ashes was really depressing, and I never really liked Evita as a musical or a movie. Good music, though.

January 25, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterforever1267

I think Shoot The Moon and Birdy are seriously underrated. I remember thinking both were quite cool at the time.

I never had any doubt of either Diane Keaton's or Albert Finney's acting range. Shoot, I have posters of Annie Hall (at home) and Two For The Road (in my office).

And to whoever was asking, both Midnight Express and Fame were revelatory in their gay depictions for the time. I think in both cases they were more or less "offhanded" revelations. After all, the gay people didn't immediately kill themselves or murder a small child or anything...

January 25, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDave in Alamitos Beach

These comments have made me REALLY want to see SHOOT THE MOON and made me realize I really should write about some of his movies that i love (like Birdy & Bugsy Malone & Evita)

January 25, 2013 | Registered CommenterNATHANIEL R

The only movies I've seen are Angela's Ashes and The Commitments. The Commitments would be my favorite. I saw Angela's Ashes a long time ago, but I remember liking it. I saw The Commitments for the first time a few years ago, and really liked it. I've seen it a few times since then and it gets better every time I see it.

January 26, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMeghan

I've seen most of his films. He should have done more musicals- "Evita" has aged very well.

January 27, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJaragon

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