July 10, 2021
Film-maker Cousins joins the great independent film producer on his annual car trip down to Cannes in this rapturous if indulgent portrait
The Storms of Jeremy Thomas review – Mark Cousins rides shotgun with uber-producer
Ninety minutes at the sweet trolley of pure cinephilia is what’s on offer in director Mark Cousins’s madly – even outrageously – indulgent documentary-riff about the life and career of celebrated English film producer Jeremy Thomas, an elegant independent spirit in a corporate world. Thomas is a veritable auteur of auteurs, the godfather-slash-midwife-cum-creative enabler to some of the most exciting movies of the past 40 years, including Bertolucci’s The Last Emperor, Cronenberg’s Crash, Roeg’s Bad Timing and many more (though I would have liked a mention of Matteo Garrone’s freaky Tale of Tales).
Cousins affectionately calls him “the prince” in his voiceover, in tribute to Jeremy being Brit-cinema royalty: he is, respectively, son and nephew of directors Ralph Thomas and Gerald Thomas (of Doctor and Carry On fame). Cousins wackily frames his film as something between a home movie and a road movie, riding shotgun in Thomas’s sleek Alfa Romeo as the producer brings him along on his annual five-day car journey down through France to the Cannes film festival. And on the way, he chats to Thomas about life, the movies and everything, while interspersing this with clips from Thomas’s films, and interviews with his many admirers and colleagues, including Tilda Swinton and Debra Winger.
The Storms of Jeremy Thomas screened at the Cannes film festival and is released on 10 December in UK cinemas and on Curzon Home Cinema.
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