Filmmaker Alan Parker, a towering figure in the UK industry, passed away this morning following a lengthy illness, the British Film Institute has confirmed. He was 76.
Two-time Oscar nominee Parker was best known for directing classic films including Bugsy Malone, Midnight Express, Mississippi Burning and The Commitments, as well as big-budget Madonna movie Evita. Across a glittering career, his feature films won 19 BAFTA awards, ten Golden Globes and ten Oscars between them.
Parker was a passionate supporter of the UK industry and a founding member of the Directors Guild of Great Britain. He was the founding Chairman of the UK Film Council in 2000, a position he held for five years, and prior to that he was Chairman of the BFI. He received a CBE in 1995 and a knighthood in 2002. He was also an Officier des Arts et Letters (France).
Alan Parker was born in Islington, London, February 14, 1944. He began his career in advertising as a copywriter but quickly graduated to writing and directing commercials. By the late 1960s he was one of the small, but hugely influential, group of British directors (including Ridley Scott and Hugh Hudson and Adrian Lyne) who revolutionized the look, quality and reputation of TV advertising by combining sophisticated, witty storytelling with cinema aesthetics for the first time. In 1980 he received the D&AD Gold President’s Award.
In 1974, he moved into long form drama when he directed the BBC film, The Evacuees, written by Jack Rosenthal, which won the International Emmy Award and a BAFTA award for direction; the first of Parker’s seven BAFTA awards.
Parker wrote and directed his first feature film, Bugsy Malone, in 1975. It was a unique musical pastiche of Hollywood gangster films of the 1930’s with a cast comprised entirely of children, including a knockout performance by Jodie Foster. The film received eight BAFTA film nominations and five awards.
Parker’s second film was the hugely successful and controversial Midnight Express (1977) which won two Oscars and six Academy Award nominations, including for Parker as Best Director. The film received six Golden Globe Awards and four BAFTA awards.
This was followed, in 1979, by Fame, a joyful and diverse celebration of youthful ambition in the arts, which won two Academy Awards, six nominations, four Golden Globe nominations and was subsequently adapted into a long-running television series.
In 1981 Parker directed the powerful family drama, Shoot The Moon, starring Diane Keaton and Albert Finney. That same year he also directed the seminal Pink Floyd – The Wall, the feature film adaptation of the phenomenally successful rock album.
In 1984, Parker directed Birdy based on the William Wharton novel, starring Nicolas Cage and Matthew Modine, which won the Grand Prix Special Du Jury at the 1985 Cannes Film Festival.
Parker’s next film, the occult thriller Angel Heart, made in 1986 and starring Mickey Rourke, Robert De Niro and Lisa Bonet, opened in the US amidst a storm of controversy caused by the ‘X’ rating imposed on the film by the MPAA.
In 1988 Parker directed the civil rights drama, Mississippi Burning, starring Gene Hackman and Willem Dafoe, which was nominated for seven Academy Awards including Best Director for Parker and winning for Best Cinematography. Parker was also awarded the D.W. Griffith Award for directing by the National Board of Review. The film was nominated for five BAFTA film awards, winning three. It also won the Silver Bear at the Berlin International Film Festival.
In 1989 Parker wrote and directed Come See The Paradise, a moving family story about the treatment of forcibly interned Japanese-Americans during World War II, starring Dennis Quaid and Tamlyn Tomita. A year later, he would make The Commitments, the story of a young, Irish, working-class soul band, which was awarded a Golden Globe Nomination for Best Picture and won Parker the Best Director prize at the Tokyo Film Festival, as well as BAFTA film awards for Editing, Screenplay, Director and Best Picture.
In 1993, Parker wrote and directed comedy-drama, The Road to Wellville, based on the novel by T. Coraghessan Boyle, and starring Anthony Hopkins, Bridget Fonda, Matthew Broderick, John Cusack and Dana Carvey.
In 1996, he garnered plenty of global headlines when he directed, wrote and produced Evita, based on the stage musical by Andrew Lloyd Webber and Tim Rice, and starring Madonna, Antonio Banderas and Jonathan Pryce. The much-discussed film won three Golden Globe Awards, including Best Picture.
In 1999 Parker wrote and directed Angela’s Ashes based on the Pulitzer Prize winning, best-selling memoir by Frank McCourt, starring Emily Watson and Robert Carlyle. Parker’s final film was The Life of David Gale, the 2003 thriller about the cruel politics of capital punishment in the US, starring Kate Winslet, Kevin Spacey and Laura Linney.
Parker was also the author of the best-selling novel written from his own screenplay of Bugsy Malone, published by HarperCollins. In addition he wrote two other published novels, Puddles In The Lane, (1977) and The Sucker’s Kiss (2003). He was also an adept cartoonist and painter.
In 1984 Parker was honored by the British Academy with the prestigious Michael Balcon Award for Outstanding Contribution to British Cinema. In 1998 he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Directors Guild of Great Britain and the Lumiere Medal from the Royal Photographic Society. He was awarded the 2013 Bafta Fellowship.
Parker is survived by his wife Lisa Moran-Parker, his children Lucy, Alexander, Jake, Nathan and Henry, and seven grandchildren.
This Friday, Kevin MacDonald’s acclaimed 2012 documentary film Marley will be re-released via virtual cinemas and drive-ins across the country as part of the year-long celebration of Bob Marley’s 75th anniversary. According to film’s distributor Blue Fox Entertainment, information about digital screenings of Marley can be found on MarleyMovie.com starting July 31. (Appropriately enough, Jamaica celebrates Emancipation Day on August 1, one day after the film’s re-release.)
The emotional and inspiring story follows Robert Nesta Marley from his upbringing in the rural Jamaican village of Nine Mile through his journey to Kingston’s tough Trenchtown neighborhood, where his musical career began. Featuring rare concert footage and exclusive interviews with Marley’s family and close friends, MacDonald’s goal was to get behind the legend and show us Marley the man.
At Marley‘s Jamaican premiere at Kingston’s Emancipation Park in April 2012, I was one of the privileged few who attended the special screening that was open to the public. There were many VIP guests, including his wife Rita Marley to Island Records founder Chris Blackwell, who signed Marley to an international record deal, and of course Kevin McDonald himself.
LOS ANGELES – July 26, 1978: Jamaican singer and songwriter Bob Marley and wife Rita Marley, July 26, 1978 at The Daisy In Beverly Hills, California.(Photo by Ginny Winn/Michael Ochs Archives/Getty Images).
“In this moment of time it’s good for us as Africans and Jamaicans to be here and watch this memorable program tonight,” Rita told the crowd in her opening remarks. “I don’t want to talk too long because Bob has so much things to say. Be prepared because I cried,” she added. “But don’t cry as he said ‘No Woman No Cry.’”
“I think people have a very wrong idea of Bob,” said MacDonald, who called the screening one of the nights of his life. “Everyone thinks he just smoked and the inspiration came to him and he strummed his guitar. No—he worked hard hard hard.” The film also highlighted the fact that Bob’s biracial background led him to be ostracized by some of his fellow Jamaicans.
Rita Marley and director Kevin Macdonald at the 2012 premiere of Marley – A Definitive Story at Emancipation Park, New Kingston. | Photo credit: Courtesy of the Jamaica Gleaner
After the screening Marley’s longtime friend and art director Neville Garrick explained why Marley touched so many people. “Bob Marley is a man that came from humble beginnings,” he said. “Through the color of him skin he get persecuted—red bwoy, half cast all that—but that just make him stronger. Him say ‘I’m not on the white man side and I’m not on the black man side. I’m on God side.”
By overcoming great hardship in his life, Marley became a universal symbol of triumph over adversity. “I think he lift the spirit of people universally that you can make it if you try,” said Garrick, who chose Marley’s “Redemption Song” as the most important in his entire catalog. “Emancipate yourselves from mental slavery,” Marley sang on the track. “None but ourselves can free our mind.”
Longtime Bob Marley collaborator Neville Garrick poses on arrival for the Los Angeles Premiere of ‘Marley’, a film by Kevin MacDonald, on April 17, 2012 in Hollywood, California. The definitive life story of Bob Marley opens nationwide in the US on April 20. AFP PHOTO/Frederic J. BROWN (Photo credit should read FREDERIC J. BROWN/AFP via Getty Images)
“We are special. It’s our movie. It’s made here. It’s about us,” said Dr. Carolyn Cooper, professor Emeritus at the University of the West Indies and author of many books on reggae culture, who turned out in a dazzling African-inspired dress. “I think this film is really a wonderful way to affirm the cultural power of Jamaica to think that a little island can produce such great people and Bob Marley’s music in particular transcends time and space. Anywhere in the world you go and you say Jamaica, they say ‘Bob Marley.’ I think of ourselves as Island people with a continental consciousness,” she added. “We are not limited by this small island we know we come from a vast continent.”
Cindy Breakspeare, mother of Bob’s youngest child Damian Marley and former Miss World, described watching the film as an emotional rollercoaster. “Anything to do with Bob is always larger than life,” she said. “It is always unifying and the music is so powerful. I think that Kevin really captured the journey from the beginning right through to the end of his life.”
MISS WORLD 1976: 21 year old Cindy Breakspeare, Miss Jamaica, is enthroned at the Royal Albert Hall in London, after winning the 1976 Miss World beauty contest. (Photo by PA Images via Getty Images)
The final scenes of the film were particularly painful for Cindy, who was there by Bob’s side during his last days. “He was really suffering and his locks were gone,” she recalled. “I just go back to the night when we cut them and what that felt like, and going to Germany to visit him there, and finally coming to Miami the day before he passed with Damian to see him for the last time.”
“It was really really hard to see such a great human being losing their life,” she remembered. “I won’t know anybody like that in my life that again. The closest is my son and his music inspires me too, but I won’t be lucky enough, I don’t believe, to be that close to that kind of greatness again in my life. That doesn’t come along that often.”
Beyonce’s new song ‘Already’, featuring Major Lazer and Ghana’s Shatta Wale is buzzing online following its recent release and a music video which contains amazing indigenous dance steps.
The talented songstress shared the clip via Instagram as she revealed that the shooting started in her backyard.
She also said that some scenes were shot in Shatta Wale’s hometown, Ghana.
The singer performed a number of Nigerian and African dances in the video, including the popular Leg work and Gbese dance moves.
In the music video, Beyoncé moves through number of locations, from one where she appears with body paint in a tree, to a warehouse where she’s flanked by dancers.
It also features scenes of dancers from around the world interwoven throughout the clip, highlighting the upcoming film’s inspiring celebration of being Black, from its elegant choreography and fashion to the global locations.
Anthony Davis got the Los Angeles Lakers off to a strong start and they recovered from squandering an early lead to finish with a 103-101 win over the L.A. Clippers in a choppy first seeding game of the NBA restart. Davis led all scores with 34 points, but it was LeBron James who had the game-winning basket.
Considered questionable heading into the day because of lingering discomfort as a result of being poked in the eye last weekend, Davis quickly went to work against the interior of the Clippers’ defense.
He drew four shooting fouls within the first seven minutes of the game and went on to pour in 14 points as the Lakers held a 35-23 lead after the opening quarter. LeBron James had five assists as he largely played facilitator, which was a theme that held throughout the night.
Kawhi Leonard picked up two early fouls but quickly found a rhythm and began to turn the tide upon checking back in during the second quarter. Leonard proceeded to score 11 of the Clippers’ 17 points during one stretch.
It was reminiscent of Leonard taking over against the Lakers’ reserves during a regular-season matchup. Paul George also helped stabilize the Clippers and he sparked them early in the second half.
The Lakers led by as many as 14 points, only for it to be cut to two by the start of the third quarter. George connected on back-to-back 3-pointers early on, giving the Clippers their largest lead of the game at 61-55.
The Lakers deficit continued to grow until James connected on a 3-pointer with 6:50 remaining for their first basket in the third quarter. That wound up marking the start of a small rally for the Lakers, which was aided by George and Patrick Beverley each pick up four fouls.
Davis scored eight points in a flurry, helping the Lakers cut the Clippers lead to just 77-74 heading into the fourth quarter. At that juncture, Davis and Kyle Kuzma (10 points) were the only Lakers in double figures.
True to his style of play, James found a way to still impact the game. He found Kuzma for a 3-pointer, forced the Clippers into a turnover on a shot clock violation, and connected from behind the arc.
A 17-3 run helped the Lakers open a 91-80 lead that was cut to one point but never lost. George’s 3-pointer tied the game with 28 seconds remaining, but James answered by following his own shot for a game-winning putback.
On Wednesday, ESPN reported that the NBA’s youth program in China was allegedly plagued with human rights abuses.
Now, Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-TN) is targeting the NBA for the report, since the league gave her a “completely inaccurate” statement about the youth program, according to Fox News.
Fox News reports that the ESPN report cited a letter Blackburn received from NBA deputy commissioner and chief operating officer Mark Tatum, which was a response to her inquiry about reports that the league was still operating its training centers in Xinjiang, the Chinese province which Blackburn noted as “one of the world’s worst humanitarian zones.”
Tatum had told the senator that the NBA hadn’t been involved with the Xinjiang basketball academy for more than a year and that the relationship had been terminated. However, two sources disputed this to ESPN.
ESPN reported that “[O]ne coach said the league was still seeking other coaches to move there well into the summer and that the league’s statement to Blackburn was ‘completely inaccurate.’ They were still trying to get people to go out there. It didn’t end because [Tatum] said, ‘We’re gonna end this.’”
A Blackburn spokesperson told Fox News that the senator “intends to follow up with the NBA promptly to get to the bottom of the league’s presence in Xinjiang.” Blackburn said of the ESPN report that it “is disturbing and the NBA needs to voluntarily correct the record of their involvement.”
Tatum stated to Fox News that “the league ended its involvement with the basketball academy in Xinjiang in June 2019 and that it is ‘re-evaluating the NBA Academy program in China,’ calling the allegations from ESPN’s report ‘disturbing.’”
Tatum added that “[W]e launched this not-for-profit elite player development initiative in 2016 by working to support three existing basketball development centers in China operated by local sports authorities. Our role was limited to providing three coaches at each academy, none of whom have been alleged to have engaged in any wrongdoing.”
It is no secret that the NBA has been close with China and that it is completely hypocritical when it comes to human rights abuses, as we learned from the deeply negative backlash to the Houston Rockets’ general manager tweeting “Free Hong Kong,” while the league pretends now to stand against racism and “police brutality.” Because the Left has no standards, and is quite shameless about it as well.
General Hospital (GH) spoilers reveal that Sam McCall (Kelly Monaco) will look a little different in upcoming new GH episodes since she has been replaced temporarily by Lindsay Hartley.
According to Daytime Confidential’s sources, Lindsay Hartley will serve as a temporary recast. Hartley will slide in the role of Sam, but she’s only supposed to stick around for a couple weeks.
There’s no confirmation on why Monaco wasn’t available, but the good news she’s expected back on set in the near future. In the meantime, Lindsay Hartley fans will enjoy her fleeting visit to Port Charles. This certainly isn’t Hartley’s first rodeo in the soap world.
Passions watchers will remember Hartley for her role as Theresa Lopez-Fitzgerald, which she portrayed from 1999 to 2008. From 2009-2010, Hartley played Arianna Hernandez on Days of Our Lives. Next, Hartley portrayed Dr. Cara Castillo on All My Children. She was on AMC from 2010-2011 and then reprised the role of Cara in 2013.
Hartley was also featured on The Bay as Sammie Sullivan back in 2014. Her most recent projects include playing Dr. Landford in The House on the Hill and the role of Brooke Jenkins on Deadly Daughter Switch.
Hartley has one more film in post-production called Dawn of 5 Evils, but it’s her upcoming run as Sam that GH fans are most interested in!
When new episodes resume, General Hospital spoilers say Sam will continue to deal with two main problems: parole restrictions and the threat Cyrus Renault (Jeff Kober) poses.
Sam and Jason Morgan (Steve Burton) are being kept apart by these issues, but we all know they manage to sneak visits anyway. It’ll be interesting to see Hartley’s version of Sam in some new “JaSam” scenes.
As other GH news comes in, we’ll provide the latest updates. How do you feel about Lindsay Hartley as a temporary Sam McCall recast? Are you looking forward to her spin on Sam?
Jordan Henderson has been crowned Football Writers’ Association (FWA) Footballer of the Year for the 2019/20 season.
The Liverpool captain saw off stiff competition from Manchester City’s Kevin De Bruyne and Manchester United’s Marcus Rashford, as well as team-mates Virgil van Dijk and Sadio Mane, to claim the honour.
Liverpool’s dominance in the league was reflected in the voting as Trent Alexander-Arnold and Alisson Becker also received votes, but it was Henderson – with more than a quarter of the votes – who was the clear winner.
Reflecting on his win, Henderson said: “I’d like to say how appreciative I am of the support of those who voted for me and the Football Writers’ Association in general.
“You only have to look at the past winners of it, a number of whom I’ve been blessed to play with here at Liverpool, like Stevie (Gerrard), Luis (Suarez) and Mo (Salah) to know how prestigious it is.
Football Writers’ Association chair Carrie Brown explains why Jordan Henderson deserved to be crowned the FWA Footballer of the Year for the 2019/20 season
“But as grateful as I am I don’t feel like I can accept this on my own.
“I don’t feel like anything I’ve achieved this season or in fact during my whole career has been done on my own.
“I owe a lot to so many different people – but none more so than my current team-mates – who have just been incredible and deserve this every bit as much as I do.
“We’ve only achieved what we’ve achieved because every single member of our squad has been brilliant. And not just in matches. Not just in producing the moments that make the headlines and the back pages but every day in training.”
Henderson’s contribution to Liverpool’s success has been recognised by football writers across the country
Henderson became the first Liverpool captain to lift the Premier League trophy, as they ended a 30-year wait for a top-flight title.
Henderson has registered four goals and five assists in a league campaign in which Liverpool have only tasted defeat on three occasions and his instrumental contribution has been recognised by football writers across the country.
Kevin De Bruyne and Marcus Rashford were beaten to the accolade by Henderson
Ten other players received votes from FWA members including last year’s winner Raheem Sterling, Aaron Wan-Bissaka, Sergio Aguero, Adama Traore, Danny Ings, Jack Grealish, James Maddison and Jonny Evans.
The Footballer of the Year trophy has been awarded since 1948 when Sir Stanley Matthews was its first recipient.
Klopp: ‘Exceptional’ Henderson fully deserves award
Liverpool manager Jurgen Klopp says Henderson deserves the individual accolade after captaining the club to their first league title in 30 years.
“The question always for footballers is what makes you the player you are? Is it the talent or the attitude? The answer is probably a mix and Hendo is probably the perfect answer for that,” said Klopp.
“He was always a really skilled boy. I saw videos of him when he was young, I think (Alex) Oxlade-Chamberlain found them somewhere and shared them with all of us. He was already an exceptional player.
Jurgen Klopp says Henderson deserves to be named FWA Footballer of the Year after an ‘exceptional’ season for Liverpool
“But then at the highest level you have to be ready to fight every day and that is what he did. With all the things that people said about him in the past, before I came, I don’t know what it was exactly… but he made his way and it is absolutely deserved.
“Yes there are other players that have an exceptional season, 100 per cent, but if you want to have a guy who really fought his way through… it is absolutely deserved.
“One of the best players in the league and this year everybody acknowledged that. I am really happy about that, it is so well deserved. I am really happy for him and proud of him because he is an exceptional person.”
Henderson has shrugged off the doubters
Sky Sports’ Nick Wright…
At 30, having added a Premier League title to the Champions League trophy he lifted in June, he is emerging as one of the most decorated captains in Liverpool’s recent history. Jordan Henderson, more than any other player, has been the driving force behind their success.
Henderson is now FWA Footballer of the Year and his importance to Liverpool is universally acknowledged. But before all this, he had to withstand years of near-relentless criticism.
Henderson has been doubted and disparaged like few others. His move to Liverpool in 2011 was met with mockery. He was not up to it, they said. Overpriced and not good enough for England either. In his 2013 autobiography, Sir Alex Ferguson even questioned his running style.
There were plenty who doubted he would ever achieve that status. Plenty who would have scoffed at the very thought of it. But Jordan Henderson was not one of them.