Thursday, August 25, 2016

The Commitments

Chicago Tribune August 25, 2016
Kevin Crust of The Los Angeles Times interviewed Alan Parker, director of "The Commitments," which appeared in today's Chicago Tribune. The film is celebrating its 25th anniversary if you can believe it. And who didn't love the movie when it came out. The movie is based on the novels of Roddy Doyle, who also wrote "The Snapper" and "The Van." Doyle depicts a Dublin childhood that while I was reading them, and I have read all three books, couldn't distinguish from the upbringing that I had on the southside of Chicago in a predominantly Irish neighborhood. Certainly, it wasn't exactly the same, but as Parker took flavors from several Dublin neighborhoods to make the world that these characters live in, you could go up and down my childhood block to put together each of the characters depicted ... particularly himself, the Dad.

Parker says in the interview the the film was the most fun he has ever had in making a movie. He's directed "Midnight Express," Mississippi Burning," "Fame," Buggs Malone," and "Evita." He said, "I suppose it was a combination of the subject matter, the camaraderie of the Anglo/Irish crew, filming the music with a great cast of unknowns- not  movie star in sight. Hence, there were no limos, trailers, egos or tantrums. Every day was filled with music, laughter and joy- and believe me, that's not normal on any film."

I remember at the time that the movie was released, a lot of attention was paid to the lead singer of the soul band, Deco. As it was, his father was first considered for the role but had to pull due to laryngitis. Himself sent in his son, Andrew Strong, to sing the part. And Parker found his man-child. What a story! He is Deco. And he appears like he was just dragged off of the street because he was.

I think that I'll have to dig out the DVD to toast it. It's worth trying for a little happiness.

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