Producer Jeremy Thomas, best picture Oscar winner for Bernardo Bertolucci’s “The Last Emperor” is a Cannes veteran and was the talk of the Croisette for David Cronenberg’s “Crash” (1996)
Thomas is back in 2021 as the subject of Mark Cousins’ documentary “The Storms of Jeremy Thomas” that details his annual road trip from London to Cannes, while he reflects on a storied career. The film very early on discusses the abundant sex on display in several of Thomas’ films.
“I identified with what Paul Verhoeven said the other day about the neo-puritanism of the new world that we live in because it’s true,” Thomas tells Variety. Thomas says that Arthur Miller’s 1953 play “The Crucible,” which details witch hunting in New England in the late 1600s, is a great text to read in today’s age. He reflects that he probably wouldn’t have had the career he has had today and get money for the films he’s made.
“And the films being full of sex — but then if one’s truthful, life is full of sex, but people don’t talk about it, it’s a private thing,” says Thomas. “But in movies you can talk about it. I chose to allow directors to express ideas that I also held and felt within the movies. And it includes sex, politics, death and all the big things that we deal with in life. And then later on, you look at it and you think, oh yeah, that was very involved in the cinema that I chose to do.
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“Because that’s the way I see life. That’s the way I’ve experienced it,” says Thomas. “And therefore I’m not shying away from what I’ve seen, read and know to be true. And therefore I’ve allowed that in the movies.”
After waiting out the pandemic, Thomas is all set to return to production in 2022.
” ‘Wildlands” is particularly close to being realized,” says Thomas. To be directed by Kim Mordaunt (“The Rocket”), the film is billed as a love story between two bomb disposal specialists. Thomas serves as executive producer with his HanWay Films handling worldwide sales. Also in the works is Julien Temple’s “You Really Got Me,” the story of how brothers, Ray and Dave Davies, formed the rock band, The Kinks, in London during the early 1960s.
“I could never make it during the pandemic because it involves with large audiences and you can’t make a film about rock ‘n roll and music without everything being completely open,” says Thomas.
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