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LES ECHOS

Abel Ferrara Reveals Plans For "The DSK Affair" Film - Starring Gerard Depardieu

The rumors are real: Rebel film director Abel Ferrara plans to shoot a film about the Dominique Strass-Kahn sex scandal with legendary French actor Gerard Depardieu as the lead. Filming could begin as early as June, Ferrara has told Le Monde.

A French connection?
A French connection?
Isabelle Regnier

PARIS - The rumor seemed so unlikely it was almost forgotten: that American director Abel Ferrara was making a film about "the DSK Affair" with Gérard Depardieu in the starring role and Isabelle Adjani cast as his wife.

Yet the New York-based director is sticking with the idea. On the eve of the American premiere of 4:44 - Last Day on Earth (a film that marks Ferrara's return to work after a five-year absence) the well known director is in Paris to promote Go Go Tales, which was screened in Cannes in 2007 but not released at the time for legal reasons.

Back from the depths of drug and alcohol abuse, and fueled by a cocktail of Badoit and Perrier sparkling water, Ferrara cheerfully announced to Le Monde that he will begin shooting his film about (disgraced former International Monetary Fund chief) Dominique Strauss-Kahn in June, in order to accommodate Depardieu. Filming will take place in Paris, Washington and New York, "in the centers of power," says Ferrara. "In fact, it is a film about rich and powerful people."

But to believe Vincent Maraval, co-founder of Wild Bunch Distribution and producer of 4:44 - Last Day on Earth, nothing is yet set in stone. "It's true that we would like Abel to begin filming in June," says Maraval. "But he has four projects in mind, and we have not yet made our choice about which to pursue."

That statement makes the Ferrara laugh: "Vincent doesn't want to talk about this project. That's normal. He's the producer. But I'm the director, no one can stop me from talking about my film."

As incongruous as it seems to pair this particular director with this topic, the DSK affair (in which Strauss-Kahn was jailed last spring, and ultimately released, after a hotel maid accused him of attempted rape) does, nevertheless, match up with the descent into addiction motifs that have shaped Ferrara's work and earned him a reputation as "the black sheep of American cinema."

Politics and power, a "dirty business"

Dominique Strauss-Kahn is not the only one to embody this connection between political power and sexual excess, Ferrara says, citing U.S. politicians Bill Clinton, the ex-president; former congressman Anthony Weiner and recent Republican presidential candidate Herman Cain. "It's a dirty business," he says.

With the "DSK affair," Ferrara admits he is attracted to the project by more than just the story. There's also the fact that the specific Sofitel hotel room number where the scandal unfolded "is the same room where I filmed New Rose Hotel."

"Room 2806," he says. "It's one of the rooms where the dirty business unfolds."

And Gérard Depardieu? Ferrara has only seen him in a few movies, but met the actor in September 2011 through Vincent Maraval. éI thought he was great," says Ferrara. "He thinks, he feels things, he is totally there. He is everything a director could want in an actor."

The script is already written, fueled by what was published in the media as well as from the director's own sources. "I have my own investigators," Ferrara says mysteriously, half joking, before insisting (to placate his producer?) that his film will be fiction, not a minute-by-minute reenactment of the incident.

"This will be a film about politics and sex with Depardieu and Adjani," he says. "Suffice it to say, it's a film about both of their characters as much as anything else."

Read more from Le Monde in French

Photos - Siebbi / personnelle

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Green Or Gone

Tracking The Asian Fishing "Armada" That Sucks Up Tons Of Seafood Off Argentina's Coast

A brightly-lit flotilla of fishing ships has reappeared in international waters off the southern coast of Argentina as it has annually in recent years for an "industrial harvest" of thousands of tons of fish and shellfish.

Photo of dozens of crab traps

An estimated 500 boats gather annually off the coast of Patagonia

Claudio Andrade

BUENOS AIRES — The 'floating city' of industrial fishing boats has returned, lighting up a long stretch of the South Pacific.

Recently visible off the coast of southern Argentina, aerial photographs showed the well-lit armada of some 500 vessels, parked 201 miles offshore from Comodoro Rivadavia in the province of Chubut. The fleet had arrived for its vast seasonal haul of sea 'products,' confirming its annual return to harvest squid, cod and shellfish on a scale that activists have called an environmental blitzkrieg.

In principle the ships are fishing just outside Argentina's exclusive Economic Zone, though it's widely known that this kind of apparent "industrial harvest" does not respect the territorial line, entering Argentine waters for one reason or another.

For some years now, activists and organizations like Greenpeace have repeatedly denounced industrial-style fishing as exhausting marine resources worldwide and badly affecting regional fauna, even if the fishing outfits technically manage to evade any crackdown by staying in or near international waters.

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