When Abel Ferrara‘s Welcome To New York screened in Cannes on Saturday night, Wild Bunch‘s Vincent Maraval was asked about potential lawsuits given the film’s source of inspiration. He responded that the movie was made under American law and had been well vetted by attorneys. But, he tossed out, if anyone wants to “make us publicity, they are welcome.” Looks like he’s getting his way as a lawsuit brews and accusations of anti-Semitism surface.
Related: Cannes: Abel Ferrara’s Sex Scandal Pic ‘Welcome To New York’ Penetrates La Plage
Welcome To New York is inspired by the 2011 sex scandal surrounding former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn. Gérard Depardieu, in various instances of near-pornographic debauchery, stars as Mr Devereaux, a high-ranking French government offical who is detained in New York after he sexually assaults a hotel maid. Jacqueline Bisset plays his wife Simone, an heiress to a fortune amassed during World War II and a financial supporter of Israel. On France’s Europe 1 radio this morning, Strauss-Kahn’s attorney Jean Veil said his client has instructed his lawyers “to file a suit for defamation owing to the accusations of rape and insinuations which run throughout the film.” Veil said a suit would be filed within a few days, but that Strauss-Kahn had not, and will not, see the movie based on the recommendations of friends that he “protect himself.” He added that he agreed with Strauss-Kahn’s ex-wife Anne Sinclair who on Sunday called the film “anti-Semitic.” Read More »
American director Abel Ferrara told France’s Le Monde newspaper that he will make a film about disgraced French politician and former IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn. Gérard Depardieu will play the principal role in the film that will revolve around Strauss-Kahn, who resigned after he was accused of sexually assaulting a hotel maid in New York. Isabelle Adjani will play his wife Anne Sinclair. Prior to Strauss-Kahn’s resignation, he had been a frontrunner in France’s Socialist Party to challenge incumbent Nicolas Sarkozy for the presidency. Wild Bunch’s Vincent Maraval told Le Monde: “It’s true that we’d like Abel to shoot in June, but he has 4 projects in mind and we haven’t yet made our decision.” Ferrara added, “Vincent doesn’t want to talk about this project, that’s normal, he’s the producer. But I’m the director! No one is going to stop me talking about my film.” The charges against Strauss-Kahn were eventually dropped, but the aftermath brought out other accusations of harassment in France and has likely fatally wounded any ambitions for national office.
EXCLUSIVE: Abel Ferrara and screenwriter Christ Zois are indeed working on a feature script partly inspired by this summer’s sex scandal surrounding former International Monetary Fund chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn. Wild Bunch’s Vincent Maraval has confirmed it. Gérard Depardieu and Isabelle Adjani are circling characters based on the scandal-plagued former IMF chief and his wife Anne Sinclair. They’ve met with the director. But Maraval says the project is still a long way from active development.
The idea for a film came about on a lark when Ferrara was making 4:44 Last Day On Earth with Wild Bunch earlier this year. Per Maraval, it was suggested that the DSK sex scandal would be a good fit for Ferrara given the filmmaker’s penchant for themes of addiction. Maraval says Ferrara and sometime collaborator Zois are now writing a script which could include elements inspired by the lives of other politicians like Bill Clinton and Silvio Berlusconi along with Strauss-Kahn. But, despite earlier reports in the French press, he stresses it’s too early to say anything definitively. “One thing we do know is that there’s a real common desire amongst Depardieu, Adjani and Ferrara to work together. But like every day in this business, we have to see if there’s a film there. Today, the only reality is that they are writing something inspired by Strauss-Kahn that will focus on addiction and politicians. It’s more … Read More »