Alan Parker to be public face of British film industry
Wednesday 30 July 1997
Parker, who is returning to Britain after a decade in the US, said yesterday he had taken on the role because there was a new government that supported the British film industry.
"The sole reason I've taken the job on is because of the new Government, which I support. Never in my memory have we had a government that has been as engaged with the film industry. It is very enlightened."
His appointment is unlikely to be welcomed by Peter Greenaway, the celebrated director of The Cook, The Thief, His Wife and Her Lover, whose films Parker once said he could make with his eyes shut.
The British Film Institute itself has in the past been a prime target for Mr Parker's disdain. He called it a little fiefdom where "something that's pretentious and shallow and obscure is described as art".
Yesterday he was rather more complimentary, saying: "My criticisms of the British Film Institute were some time ago and then I went off and went to live in America. The BFI is a much unloved and misunderstood institution."
Mr Parker said his core interest would be education. "Maybe we could educate people to go and see more than the next Arnold Schwarzenegger film."
The British Film Industry is the agency charged with promoting and developing the arts of cinema and TV. It said it believed Mr Parker was the right man for the job.
"His knowledge of the industry, skills in film making and dynamism will help the BFI move forward confidently into the 21st Century," said BFI director Wilf Stevenson.
Mr Parker made his name in the Seventies as a director of TV advertisements. His first big film, Bugsy Malone, got him noticed in Hollywood, where he made Fame in 1980. Since then he has made serious films like Birdy and Mississippi Burning, as well as lighter fare, such as The Commitments and Evita. Paul McCann
- 1 Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
- 2 Martha Stewart accuses Snoop Dogg of 'smoking for four hours' during Justin Bieber Roast
- 3 I might be an MP, but that doesn't stop me fighting sexism with my breasts
- 4 Google April Fools': company unveils backwards search engine and huggable digital assistant
- 5 April Fools' Day 2015: The best hoax news stories from around the internet
University of Cambridge: Remains of 1,300 scholars are found under building
April Fools' Day 2015: The best hoax news stories from around the internet
April Fools' Day 2015 live: The best pranks and fake stories from around the world
Turkey power cut: Prime Minister says nationwide blackout could be caused by terrorists
Jeremy Clarkson 'could be given minder' ahead of a potential Top Gear return
Ukip supporters are 55 or older, white and socially conservative, finds British Social Attitudes Report
Street preacher quoting from the Bible fined for calling homosexuality an 'abomination'
Woman filmed launching racist tirade against men on the Tube for speaking in 'own lingo'
Katie Hopkins attacked me on Twitter — so I reported her to the police for inciting racial hatred
The West has it totally wrong on Lee Kuan Yew
David Cameron calls Labour 'hopeless, sneering socialists' while announcing 7-day NHS plans
Negotiable: Ashdown Group: The Ashdown Group has been engaged by a highly resp...
Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: You will also work alongside their seasoned sa...
£15000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you looking for your first step into...
£25000 - £40000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This innovative company working...