Alan Parker

  • British director
  • Born February 14, 1944

Sir Alan William Parker (born 14 February 1944) is an English film director, producer and screenwriter. Parker's early career, beginning in his late teens, was spent as a copywriter and director of television advertisements. After about ten years of filming adverts, many of which won awards for creativity, he began screenwriting and directing films. Parker is noted for having a wide range of filmmaking styles and working in differing genres. He has directed musicals, including Bugsy Malone (1976), Fame (1980), Pink Floyd – The Wall (1982), The Commitments (1991) and Evita (1996); true-story dramas, including Midnight Express (1978), Mississippi Burning (1988), Come See the Paradise (1990) and Angela's Ashes (1999); family dramas, including Shoot the Moon (1982), and horrors and thrillers including Angel Heart (1987) and The Life of David Gale (2003).His films have won nineteen BAFTA awards, ten Golden Globes and six Academy Awards.

A lot of directors prefer the solitude of the editing process, but I revel in the craziness of what a film set is.

I've always been completely autocratic. I've never learned to be diplomatic or democratic.

Film-making is a physically hard job.

I'm a pluralist. I've always argued that as many different films as possible should be made.

The films that I do tend to polarise people's views.

Rain is also very difficult to film, particularly in Ireland because it's quite fine, so fine that the Irish don't even acknowledge that it exists.

I was once described by one of my critics as an aesthetic fascist.

I always argued against the auteur theory; films are a collaborative art form. I've had some fantastically good people help me make the movies.

Period recreation is very difficult unless you make a black-and-white movie.

I turn on the TV sometimes, start watching something and think: 'This seems quite good, a bit familiar.' Then I realise... It's one of my movies. It's a pretty odd feeling.

A great movie evolves when everybody has the same vision in their heads.

Most directors have little lists in their heads of people they really want to work with.

Making a film is so hard that if you don't have your main actors going along with the ride with the rest of the crew it can make your life very difficult.

Personally I am very much against the death penalty for several reasons.

I'm always afraid someone's going to tap me on the shoulder one day and say, 'Back to North London.'