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Posts Tagged ‘Alan Parker’

If you ever came to Videoville back in the day, you’ve seen at least a few minutes of Bugsy Malone. Trust me.

“You give a little love and it all comes back to you, you’re gonna be remembered for the things that you say and do.”

That’s the closing mantra of Bugsy Malone, a movie musical like no other.

No, seriously.

Someone plopped down in a cushy chair at a Hollywood studio, looked the big man in the eye, and calmly said, “So, see, it’s The Godfather, but they sing and dance, and all the guns shoot cream pies, cause … the entire cast is KIDS!!!!”

And then they got the green light, and movie nirvana was made.

No, seriously.

Through 12 years at Videoville, I tried to play as many offbeat movies as possible on the in-store TV’s, just to keep people on their toes.

And also because as my middle nephew is fond of saying, with all the gravitas a 10-year-old can muster, “Uncle David, you like weird movies!!!!”

It’s true, and he doesn’t know the half of it.

So Videoville patrons got to experience, whether they wanted to or not, the sweet, sweet music of what-the-heck-is-that gems like Phantom of the Paradise, Rover Dangerfield, Reefer Madness: The Movie Musical, Shock Treatment, and The Apple.

We’re talking songs like “Bitchin’ in the Kitchen,” which begins:

Dear blender
Oh won’t you help a first offender
Oh, toaster
Don’t you put the burn on me

It’s gold, Jerry, gold!

Plus some warblin’ from Dwight Yoakam, the dance floor being torn up by Ann-Margaret, and a tangy mix of foreign musicals, from Bollywood to Umbrellas of Cherbourg to probably way too much opera in full-throated Italian.

But it was Bugsy Malone which got the most play of any musical, as I made my best attempt to wear out that VHS tape.

I love the movie, the way it takes everything seriously, never stopping to say, “Wait, those are 10-year-old kids wearing fake Clark Gable-style mustaches.”

Fat Sam and Dandy Dan operate as if they’re Brando marshalling the troops as Don Corleone, and I am there for it.

Bugsy Malone has songs that pop, gunfights that deliver a solid … plop, and a 14-year-old Jodie Foster, the best actress of my lifetime, is the cherry on top as Tallulah, a fast-talkin’, wise-crackin’, torch-song-singin’ sensation.

I see you Silence of the Lambs, Taxi Driver, and Nell, and I’m gonna let you finish, but you’re not a true Foster Fanatic unless you love the skeezy Carny, the creepy The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane, and the what-now?!? of Hotel Artemis.

But most of all, you have to have lived for that moment when Foster blows the hinges off the bar room door doin’ “My Name is Tallulah” in Bugsy Malone.

That’s the moment everyone in Videoville would come to a complete stop, look at each other, then look at me and be like, “What … am … I … watching???”

Movie magic, that’s what you’re watching.

A moment, a scene, a shard of cinematic history, captured thanks to Foster, and to the often-underrated, often-brilliant director Alan Parker, who passed away today at 76.

He gave us Midnight Express, Fame, Mississippi Burning, Pink Floyd: The Wall, Shoot the Moon and many, many more, but it’s Bugsy Malone I hold dearest.

That movie is just a huge part of my memories from my time at Videoville, a run in which it never felt like I was going to work.

I was paid to watch films, jabber on about movies, and play gems like Bugsy Malone for the customers – maybe entertaining them, maybe messin’ with them, a bit, maybe opening their eyes to something outside of just that week’s new releases.

The people who make the movies, the Jodie Foster’s and the Alan Parker’s, have had a huge impact on my life, and, for that, I am grateful.

“You give a little love and it all comes back to you, you’re gonna be remembered for the things that you say and do.”

And for the movies you make.

Thank you, Mr. Parker. You will be remembered.

 

My Name is Tallulah:

 

Bad Guys:

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