Director Alan Parker, who brought films like Fame and Angel Heart to life, has died at the age of 76. Parker passed away on Friday after fighting an illness for some time according to the British Film Institute (via THR), and our thoughts are with his family and friends at this difficult time. Parker was a two time Oscar nominee, and left a huge impression on the film world with films like Fame, Mississippi Burning, Midnight Express, and more, though his filmography is quite varied with films like Bugsy Malone, The Commitments, and Evita, which he worked on with Madonna as Eva Peron.
He would also make waves with his work on Angel Heart, which he worked on with Mickey Rourke, Robert De Niro, and Lisa Bonet. The film was a horror-thriller that the MPAA gave an X rating, something the MPAA doesn't dish out too often.
He wasn't afraid to push boundaries though, and that fearlessness showed up in many of his films, even if they weren't taken to that extreme degree.
Parker's actually been retired from the movie business since 2015, calling it a day on an industry he had been involved in since he was 24 years old.
"I've been directing since I was 24, and every day was a battle, every day it was difficult, whether you're fighting the producer who has opinions you don't agree with, the studios, whoever it is," Parker told BFI. "Film … is hugely expensive, and the moment it gets expensive, you've got people you have to serve."
"You duck under the ropes and you get into the ring and I've been punching out all my life to fight for the work," Parker said. "Everybody's who's ever worked with me knows I fight for our right to make our movie the way we want to do it."0comments
Despite leaving the business, his work on films like Fame has stood the test of time, as that particular film has set the stage for a new musical, a series, and even a new film. For those unfamiliar, Fame told the story of several students attending the High School of Performing Arts as they navigated personal relationships and trying to make it in the world of music, dancing, and theater.
Our thoughts are with Parker's family and friends at this difficult time.