The British director of “A Hard Day’s Night” and “Help!” helped pave the way for film comedy and rock videos
British director Richard Lester has been named the recipient of the 2014 Career Achievement Award by the Los Angeles Film Critics Association.
Lester, 81, is best known for the two films he made with the Beatles, 1964’s “A Hard Day’s Night” and 1965’s “Help!” His movies of the ’60s and ’70s, many of them humorous and hyperkinetic, also included “A Funny Thing Happened on the Way to the Forum,” “Petulia” and “The Three Musketeers.”
The Beatles’ films not only shocked many who thought that rock ‘n’ roll movies were disposable trash, they helped the band cement its central place in pop culture and inspired much of what would follow, from “The Monkees” TV series to rock videos on MTV 20 years later.
In 1984, MTV gave him an award and called him “the father of the music video.”
In the 1980s, Lester directed two Superman movies, “Superman II” (the subject of controversy when Lester took over from original director Richard Donner) and “Superman III.” He has not directed a film since 1991, when he made the Paul McCartney concert movie “Get Back.”
The award will be presented to Lester at LAFCA’s annual awards ceremony on Jan. 11 at the Intercontinental Hotel in Century City, Calif. Previous recipients of the honor include Paul Mazursky, Sidney Lumet, Frederick Wiseman, Doris Day and Jerry Lewis.
The Los Angeles Film Critics Association consists of 59 L.A. based critics, including TheWrap’s Alonso Duralde.