When we talk about British cinema we usually focus on actors or directors. Occasionally a cinematographer or two and maybe even an editor or sound engineer, if we’re feeling generous. Although hey play a pivotal role in bringing films to fruition, it’s rare to talk about producers. One of the best is Jeremy Thomas. He’s been involved with almost seventy films, including Crash, The Last Emperor, The Dreamers and Blade of the Immortal.
With a raft of awards to his name, including an Oscar for Bernardo Bertolucci’s biographical epic, the Englishman has had a long and prosperous career, often in the shadows. Filmmaker Mark Cousins joins Thomas on his annual pilgrimage, by car, to Cannes Film Festival, in order to find out what makes him tick. Using his films as an entry point to talk about his life, The Storms of Jeremy Thomas gets to know the man; with a little help from his friends.
The Storms of Jeremy Thomas is a fascinating portrait of an unsung hero. As we’ve come to expect from Cousins, it’s not a conventional documentary. Indeed, his usual offbeat approach bears fruit here. Along with interviews from Tilda Swinton and Debra Winger, using Thomas’ films as inspiration he’s able to get under his skin. It’s a bold and brilliant choice which ensures The Storms of Jeremy Thomas is both more and less than you’d expect.
The Storms of Jeremy Thomas screens at London Film Festival.