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 Posted:   Aug 6, 2020 - 12:39 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

Based on the best-selling autobiography by Irish expatriate Frank McCourt, ANGELA’S ASHES follows the experiences of young Frankie (Joe Breen) and his family as they try against all odds to escape the poverty endemic in the slums of pre-war Limerick. The film opens with the family in Brooklyn, but following the death of one of Frankie's siblings, they return home, only to find the situation there even worse. Prejudice against Frankie's Northern Irish father, Malachy McCourt (Robert Carlyle), makes his search for employment in the Republic difficult despite his having fought for the I.R.A., and when he does find money, he spends it on drink.

Pierce Brosnan and Stephen Rea were considered for the role of Malachy. Liam Neeson was originally cast in the role, but dropped out. Interior church scenes were shot in a Dublin studio. Because of its controversial content, the production was denied permission to shoot in any Limerick churches.

Alan Parker directed and co-wrote the film. The picture was released in Los Angeles and New York on December 25, 1999. The movie was released nationwide on January 14, 2000. Considering how successful the book had been (translated into 25 languages and published in 36 countries), on a budget of $25 million, the film was a huge disappointment at the U.S. box office, taking in only $13 million. John Williams’ score was released by Sony Classical in the U.S. and by Decca in most of the rest of the world.

 Posted:   Aug 6, 2020 - 2:22 AM   
 By:   Thor   (Member)

Very sad news. Parker has always been a favourite of mine. I didn't know he was ill; 76 is way too young to die.

 Posted:   Aug 6, 2020 - 10:23 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

In THE LIFE OF DAVID GALE, “Professor David Gale” (Kevin Spacey) is convicted of rape and murder and sits on death row in Texas. He offers an extensive and exclusive interview in the three days prior to his execution to journalist “Bitsy Bloom” (Kate Winslet), promising to reveal all. Gale and “Constance Hallaway” (Laura Linney) have been important players in the campaign against the death penalty for some time, and now, the divorced Gale is trying to rescue his once glorious reputation for the sake of his young son. But is that his only motive?

Many of the protest scenes and scenes inside the penitentiary were filmed on location in Huntsville Texas. All of the extras are local citizens, including actual Correctional Officers who simply wore their personal uniforms for filming.

Alan Parker directed this 2003 release. After adding advertising and promotion costs, the $38 million production took a loss, grossing just $39 million worldwide. The film also took a drubbing from some critics, with Roger Ebert, for example, giving the film zero stars.

Alan Parker's two sons, Alexander Parker and Jake Parker composed the score for the film. His younger son, Alex, composed and performed the end credits track. Decca released the soundtrack CD.

 Posted:   Aug 6, 2020 - 11:58 AM   
 By:   Bob DiMucci   (Member)

Following the release of THE LIFE OF DAVID GALE in 2003, Alan Parker retired from filmmaking. During a Master Class at the Bari International Film Festival in 2015, Parker stated, "I won't direct another film. Directors do not improve with age; they repeat themselves, and while there are exceptions, their work generally does not get any better. This is the reason why I have decided not to make any more films."

Just a few years ago, Parker remarked that, “I'm very suspicious of people who make films just for festivals. The most difficult film to make is a film that has creative integrity and reaches a wider audience. If you're making a personal, intellectual, serious, art film that will only be seen at festivals, it's okay, but it's not really what cinema is supposed to be. Particularly if you're making a political point. Because if you're making a political point, you want to reach the biggest audience you can.”

Over a thirty-year career, Alan Parker directed just14 feature films. But a number of them linger in the memory. A few both made a political point and reached a wide audience. And that is as good a legacy as one can hope for. Farewell, Alan.

directing Antonio Banderas in EVITA

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