Directors Interesting

Alan Parker on Angel Heart

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

blu-ray DVD & Blu-ray

UK DVD & Blu-ray Releases: Monday 17th August 2009

UK DVD and Bluray Picks 17-08-09

As it is a woeful week for DVD releases (is everyone on holiday?) this weeks picks are Blu-ray only. A further piece of bad news is that although these three films are worth getting, they don’t have any extras so you may want to get the special edition DVD versions (which I’ve linked to below).


Angel Heart (Optimum): Mickey Rourke stars as hard-bitten private dick Harry Angel in director Alan Parker’s moody atmospheric 1987 thriller. Robert De Niro, Lisa Bonet and Charlotte Rampling complete the cast of this supernatural detective story. (Special edition DVD available here).

La Haine (Optimum): A stunning 1995 crime drama shot in black and white verite style that follows a day in the life of three aimless, violence-prone, young men who hail from the same decaying housing project in Paris. Mathieu Kassovitz won the Best Director prize for his work on this at the Cannes Film Festival. (Special edition DVD available here)

Near Dark (Optimum): With her new film The Hurt Locker about to hit UK cinemas, director Kathryn Bigelow‘s 1987 horror film gets released on Blu-ray. The story is about a young cowboy (Adrian Pasdar) who is seduced by a vampire (Jenny Wright) and is persuaded to join up with a roaming band of ghouls before having to make some difficult choices. A stylish and brutal mixture of horror, western and action movie that ranks as one of the best horrors of the 1980s. (Special edition DVD available here)



Bleach Series 3 (Manga)
Hotel Babylon Series 4 (2 Entertain)
Negima: Series 2 Part 1 (Manga)
Taking the Flak (2 Entertain)
The Fireman’s Ball (Arrow)
The Lucky Ones (Momentum)


Feast (Optimum)
Glory (Sony)
The Score (Optimum)


> Browse more DVD Releases at Amazon UK and Play
> Check the latest DVD prices at DVD Price Check
Take a look at the current UK cinema releases (W/C Friday 14th August)