Image Ent. acquires four Jeremy Thomas’ films

MUMBAI: North American independent licensee, producer and distributor of home entertainment programming Image Entertainment has acquired four Jeremy Thomas-produced films namely The Last Emperor, Merry Christmas Mr. Lawrence and The Hit and Insignificance, through an exclusive North America license agreement with Recorded Picture Company’s sales agent, UK-based dreamachine.

The agreement grants Image home video, digital and broadcast rights to each of the four titles. For home video, Image will release movie-only versions while Criterion, also distributed through Image, will release definitive special editions of the films as part of the renowned Criterion Collection. Criterion and dreamachine will work together to create new high-definition masters assuring film aficionados the highest quality possible. Broadcast availability, home video and digital distribution plans will be announced later in the year.

Director Bernardo Bertolucci’s The Last Emperor won each of the nine Academy Awards for which it was nominated. Along with Best Picture, it won Best Art Direction-Set Decoration, Best Cinematography, Best Costume Design, Best Director, Best Film Editing, Best Music, Original Score, Best Sound and Best Adapted Screenplay.

The 1987 film chronicles the life of Puyí, the last Emperor of China, played by John Lone, with Joan Chen, Peter O’Toole, Ruocheng Ying, Victor Wong, Dennis Dun, Ryuichi Sakamoto, Maggie Han, Ric Young, Vivian Wu, and Chen Kaige. It was the first motion picture filmed inside the walls of China’s Forbidden City. The Last Emperor premiered theatrically on 18 December, 1987, thus celebrating its 20th Anniversary at the end of this year.

Merry Christmas Lawrence, starring David Bowie, deals with the bonds between four men in a Japanese prisoner of war camp during the Second World War. The Hit, directed by Stephen Frears, features Terrence Stamp as a former gangster living under an alias in Spain. Insignificance, a drama/comedy directed by Nicolas Roeg, is a fictional account of the interactions of four iconic figures; Marilyn Monroe, Joseph McCarthy, Joe di Maggio and Albert Einstein.

“We are thrilled with this acquisition and look forward to developing and expanding this relationship. These films certainly enhance our library and heighten the profile of films Image will acquire and distribute in the future,” stated Image chief operating officer David Borshell.