Film & Water #147 – Alan Parker Triple Feature



Semi-regular co-host David "Ace" Gutierrez returns to discuss not one, not two, but three films from renowned director Alan Parker--1980's FAME, 1982's SHOOT THE MOON, and 1991's THE COMMITMENTS.

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17 responses to “Film & Water #147 – Alan Parker Triple Feature

  1. Interesting episode. I consider myself pretty knowledgable on films in general, but I’ll admit, I had no idea who Alan Parker was. He’s obviously got a very impressive resume, so I’m flummoxed by his name never crossing my radar.

    My sister was a big fan of Fame, so I remember watching it as a kid, and the TV series as well. The other two I haven’t seen, although I do remember the buzz around The Commitments, and thinking it looked like something I’d like. But in 20 plus years I just never got around to it!

    I just hope none of those “reunion tours” were like Highlander 2: The Quickening. Not even the Renegade cut.

    Shoot the Moon sounds fascinating, but I’m not sure I really want to go through that. I’ve seen a similar situation recently in my extended family, and even on the sidelines it’s an ugly thing to witness.

    But Rob, you need to watch the musical Scrooge with Albert Finney so we can discuss it. He’s fantastic in that. But of course he is.


      1. I was working at a movie theater when Highlander 2 came out. As a rule, we did not give refunds to patrons if they did not like a movie. This was the only movie our manager ever made an exception for.

  2. Great episode, gentlemen. I’ve never seen any of Alan Parker’s films, but I did enjoy the Fame TV series back in the day. So, it was interesting to learn more about the original film, as well as some of Mr. Parker’s other works. Of course, I may have to wait until the world is in a happier place before I actually watch any of them. Reality is gritty and depressing enough for me at the moment.

    As always, I look forward to the next big RK-DAG production.

    1. Thank you, Mr Linton! Rob does all the heavy lifting. He creates a very open environment that makes it easy to contribute.

  3. FYI Diane Keaton received the American Film Institute Lifetime Achievement Award last summer. Some of the clips from the event are online. It’s interesting to see the testimonials from the 3 very different men: Pacino, Beatty, & Allen and the obvious affection and respect they have for her.

  4. Between The Commitments and That Thing You Do, I was spoiled on band movies because both are so good. Now, I look upon band movies with a jaded eye because the formula (band rises then band falls due to ego) feels so tired at this point.

  5. Like David, I love the magic of music. And when it is truly special, it can totally floor me. That is why The Commitments works so well for me. Because damn if that music wasn’t fantastic. Just knock your socks off amazing. I bought the soundtrack on cassette and it is still in the rotation of tales I pop into the old school boom box in the comic area of my house. There is sadness because you can see that they were on the cusp of something only to have it melt away.

    I haven’t seen Fame in forever but remember liking it. I always hoped they’d do a slice of life movie about premed majors but it would be 2hours of kids studying. Not exactly a money maker. I have two words about the tv show – Cynthia Gibb. That is all.

    1. Well, according to VITAL SIGNS (1990) med school looks like a blast where everyone is very sexy! Would love to hear you and Rob discuss this one sometime.

  6. I am very glad David made Rob watch The Commitments. I saw this on the big screen and bought a PVT of it from Blockbuster. The soundtrack was in heavy rotation in the tape deck of my car. I have always enjoyed Motown music and I think the ‘actors’ did a phenomenal job in their representation of that sound. It has probably been 15-20 years since I owned the movie or the soundtrack. I think it is high time to seek out both again.

  7. Of the three movies here, it was The Committments which was the draw for this podcast episode. The center of this was really craft of music making: the love of a particular genre, the selection of band members, and the creation of the band!

    I also loved learning about Ireland and the working class experience there… and the attitudes of people coping and in some cases thriving, despite the hardships.

  8. There is a scene in The Committments where one of the girls confronts Jimmy. He wants to get rid of her, but she pleads her case, saying “I NEED this!” Her life is hard. The band is her only joy/escape/release. I was in a band at the time. One of the guys in the band told me this scene could have been another guy in the bands life. At that time, this fellow was the only one of us who was a husband and father. He needed this little rock and roll band as an escape/release.
    We are all husbands and or fathers now. We are all still friends. We are even a band again. I won’t include a link, but you can download a free digital single at Rum Bar Records. The band is Stop Calling Me Frank. It really is a special joy to create songs with these guys and play them for an audience!

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