February 3, 2009

Gilliam to be honored at BAFTAs

The British Academy of Film and Television says it plans to bestow its BAFTA Fellowship on U.S. filmmaker Terry Gilliam at the upcoming BAFTA awards ceremony.

Gilliam, a member of the former Monty Python comedy troupe, has directed the films Brazil, Time Bandits, 12 Monkeys, The Fisher King, Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas and the soon to be released The Imaginarium of Doctor Parnassus, which features the last big-screen performance of the late Heath Ledger.

Gilliam is to be honored at Sunday's awards show in London for his contribution to film.

Awards and honors I've kind of shied away from, but this one I'm happy to take, Gilliam told the BBC. I keep asking myself, 'Why me?' It was quite a surprise when they said we'll give you the fellowship, as I don't expect these kinds of things. I just get on and do what I do.

BAFTA's Finola Dwyer described Gilliam as one of the most original, imaginative and innovative directors working in the industry today.

Despite the respect he has earned for his work behind the camera, Gilliam told the BBC he is still mostly recognized for his Monty Python cartoons and guest appearances.

I'm recognized more as a Python than I am a filmmaker, I suppose. And it'll probably be the thing that goes on the grave stone, he said, adding that as a filmmaker he hopes I surprised a few people, made a few people laugh, shocked a few people, emptied a few cinemas.