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.
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."
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