Directors Interesting

Alan Parker on Angel Heart

A lengthy interview from 1987 where Alan Parker discusses Angel Heart and his career as a director.

Angel Heart (1987) remains of the more underrated films of the late 1980s, and around its US release director Alan Parker gave a lengthy interview about it and his career up to that point.

Adapted from William Hjortsberg‘s novel Falling Angel, it is a dark thriller set during the 1950s about a Brooklyn private eye (Mickey Rourke) hired by a mysterious man (Robert De Niro) to locate a singer.

At the time it divided critics and a rough sex scene ruffled feathers at the MPAA, but over time it has become something of a cult favourite with directors such as Christopher Nolan singing its praises (he has admitted it was an influence on Memento).

The interview was part of a series conducted by John A Gallagher and contains some interesting nuggets of information including:

  • Robert Redford originally owned the rights to the novel
  • Why he loves switching genres
  • How Carolco funded it after making lots of money on the Rambo series
  • Working with Mickey Rourke (who is ‘very much his own man’ – diplomatic words?)
  • The appeals process with the MPAA over the sex scene
  • How the greatest crime is just to make ‘another movie’
  • The importance of shooting on location rather than a studio sound stage
  • How he got his break writing and filming in the ‘egalitarian’ world of advertising
  • The pragmatism of choosing Bugsy Malone (1976) as a film project
  • Working with David Puttnam and Oliver Stone on Midnight Express (1978)
  • Why he thinks The Wall (1982) is almost ‘too angry’ despite being proud of it
  • The state of the British film industry at the time (very perceptive comments on this)

> Buy Angel Heart on DVD or Blu-ray from Amazon UK
> Alan Parker at the IMDb and MUBi