An advertising gofer-turned-writer and director, Alan Parker began his film career through his association with producer David Puttnam, another ad man with cinematic aspirations, who hired Parker to write the screenplay for the preteen romance Melody (1971). After a stint directing television commercials and short films for the BBC, Parker made his first movie, Bugsy Malone, in 1976. He joined the front ranks of young filmmakers two years later with the fact-based thriller Midnight Express, a brilliant and brutal retelling of the experiences of a young American who escaped from a Turkish prison where he had been incarcerated for drug possession. Both an exposé of government corruption and an indictment of American pomposity, it earned lavish acclaim and a number of honors, including a Best Director Oscar nomination for Parker.
The director followed this success with the megahit Fame in 1980. A box-office smash, it spawned a long-running TV series and became a fixture in the American… read more