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Alan Parker

The Life Of David Gale – Alan Parker (2003)

  • drama
  • 15 March 202215 March 2022

Just as other Parker films, “The Life Of David Gale” is a fairly ‘normal’ (as in big audience TV movie) but good film.

David Gale (Kevin Spacey) from the title is a lauded philosophy professor who is also an activist against the death penalty. Two major incidents turn his life into a nightmare. First he is accused of sexually abusing one of his students. Later he is accused of murder. Gale ends up on death row himself.

Days before his execution, Gale asks for the young reporter Bitsey Bloom (Kate Winslet) for an interview about his life. Of course during the three days with two hour interviews all kinds of old and new information turns up and Bloom and her colleague investigate things further. Is Gale innocent?

The story has a few twists and turns which are sometimes well done, sometimes a bit predictable. All in all the film is a descent “whodunnit” drama.

Angel Heart – Alan Parker (1987)

IMDb.com

A young and not too convincing Mickey Rourke as private detective is hired by the nicely creepy Robert the Niro to find out if a certain man is dead or alive.

The film unfolds as a descent, gloomy thriller in which Harry Angel (Rourke) slowly walks into a swamp of black American culture with first music and later Voodoo.

This works just fine until the very weak end in which Satanism is dragged in and the film has its obligatory ‘surprise’ final. The last third pretty much kills what started off nicely.

Missisippi Burning – Alan Parker (1988)

  • drama
  • 25 August 201826 June 2019

I am not sure how this film came on my watchlist, but I may have been looking for films with Frances MacDormand. Besides her, we also have Willem Dafoe and Gene Hackman.

Dafoe is a young FBI agent who is sent to Mississippi with his senior partner Hackman to investigate the disappearance of three young activists. They come to a small community in which the Ku Klux Klan reigns supreme and the FBI stirring up the status quo leads to a massive increase of violence against the black half of the population.

Parker shows the hatred of the whites towards the black and the powerlessness of the blacks in a disturbing way. Unbelievable that there are people who think and act in such a way. Of course towards the end all major clan-members are put to trial and convicted, but this was not exactly an easy process.

A very good film about a very black page in American history.