British director Alan Parker has passed away at the age of 76 after a long illness. Parker’s exceptional directing skills always pushed the boundaries of the cinematic artform and his stories were met with big success.
Known for Bugsy Malone, Evita, Midnight Express, The Road to Wellville, and more, Parker was nominated for Best Director twice by The Academy, and five of his films were nominated for the Cannes’ prestigious Palme d’Or award.
His first feature film, Bugsy Malone received an overwhelmingly positive critical response despite the bizarre storyline. As a Depression-era gangster musical cast entirely with children who shot whipped cream at each other instead of bullets, it was an unexpected success. The New York Times said at the time, “That custard pies can maim and whipped cream should kill are only two of the ways in which some basic laws of the cinema are cheerfully junked in this wildly uneven but imaginative and stylish satire of 1920’s gangster movies. … which also includes a first-rate musical score and choreography, along with a cast of kids.”
Parker later went onto create the heart wrenching prison drama, Midnight Express and the concert musical Pink Floyd: The Wall. Unrestricted by genre, Parker freely switched between crafting catchy musicals, dramas, mysteries, comedies, and everything in between.
He has left his mark on the cinematic industry with his brilliant, colorful mind and will be remembered through his stories.