Richard Lester gets BFI Fellowship
by Naman Ramachandran
27/03/2012 - Director Richard Lester (pictured) is the latest recipient of the British Film Institute’s highest honour, the BFI Fellowship. BFI Chair Greg Dyke presented the award following a screening of Robin and Marian, one of Lester’s best-loved films.
Lester said, “When my career was just beginning, the elegant TV critic Bernard Levin came to see me in rehearsal with Spike Milligan and Peter Sellers. He wrote: ‘he seems an amiable young man who climbed into a lion's cage and realised he's forgotten his chair and his whip.’ Some 50 years later, I still haven't found a whip, but with this extraordinary honour, the BFI has kindly given me a chair.”
Dyke said, “Richard Lester has created a unique body of work which has enriched the lives of millions with his brilliantly surreal humour and innovative style. Although born in America he has lived in Britain for 60 years and created some of the most enduring and influential creations of British cinema.”
Richard Lester is best known for his films with the Beatles, A Hard Day’s Night (1964) and Help! (1965). He won the Palme D’Or at the Cannes Film Festival in 1965 for The Knack…and How to Get It. He also directed a series of successful Three Musketeer films and two sequels to Superman, amongst a career boasting many credits.
The BFI Board of Governors awards the Fellowship for outstanding achievement in film and television. Previous recipients include Ralph Fiennes, David Cronenberg, Dame Judi Dench and Isabelle Huppert.