To see what is in front of one's nose needs a constant struggle.
--- George Orwell

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

'Fifty Shades' Of DSK: With $400 Million At The Box, The Movie Will Definitely Have A Sequel; Dominque Strauss-Kahn Might Have One Too

Hollywood has long looked to high profile criminal trials for source material. Now it seems it’s looking to them for box office synergy. 

I mean, scheduling Fifty Shades of Grey to open in the very same week that the DSK trial was peaking in the French city of Lille is classic synergy, oui?

So much so in fact I wonder whether magazine editors in NYC --or the publicists coaching them---missed a great opportunity to capitalize on that convergence by not assigning former IMF official Dominque Strauss-Kahn himself to review the film. 

According to various news reports, Straus-Kahn seems to be at a moment of dawning self awareness about his own rough sex excesses, which took place during high end hotel orgies that he has said helped him release the stress of “saving the world.”

This might give DSK unique insight the ultra luxe kinkiness of the movie’s Christian Grey, he of the S&M playroom, the bondage neckties and rather odd regard for sexual contracts.

As the New York Post put it, after two former hookers described brutal sexual encounters with the disgraced former International Monetary Fund chief, (DSK) said he finally understands the sex wasn’t as good for them as it was for him.”

Describing her experience at a wild hotel orgy, one former prostitute recalled a moment that was “more than unpleasant” when she was lying with her back to “Monsieur DSK” and she, using the passive voice, “suffered a penetration.” The prostitute told the court: “If he had asked me, I would have said no. I didn’t like that. ” She added: “With a swinger, you at least ask the question. I was impaled and he didn’t ask at all.” Asked to account for why DSK might have behaved in such a manner, she speculated that “I think it was because I was a prostitute," adding that “Unless, somehow, he thinks he is on a different level to the rest of us and he can do anything that he wants.”

Another former prostitute claimed he forced her to have anal sex while she wept. “I cried a lot,” she said while Strauss-Kahn smiled from start to finish.

According to the Times, Straus-Kahn “discussed his sexual predilections with the matter-of-fact demeanor of a banker describing macroeconomic policy,” noting that DSK “insisted that he did not know some of the women were prostitutes, and that sexual ardor was no crime.” Strauss-Kahn told the court that 

I think I must have a form of sexuality which is rougher than the average. I am beginning to realize that and I deplore it. But I had no idea at the time that these experiences were so unpleasant as the women now say.

Besides offering insight into the manners and mores of the sexual demi-monde DSK inhabited, trial coverage offered a look into the distinctly French political psyche. The Times said that

If nothing else, the Strauss-Kahn case has revealed the limits of what even the libertine French will tolerate from their leaders. For many, Mr. Strauss-Kahn had gone too far.

It was not the bacchanalian scenes of libertinage pored over in a Lille courtroom that appeared to offend French sensibilities, but rather the lack of judgment and recklessness of a powerful man, who believed that he was invincible.

The French public’s takeaway however, was far from clear-cut. One French legal correspondent told the Times that “There is little doubt that Mr. Strauss-Kahn is now politically dead” but that even if many people feel that DSK “behaved like a pig, they also think he is a very able and competent economist and still has a role to play.” It was, the correspondent said, “a very French reaction.” The Times noted that in ne public opinion poll taken before the trial, “79 percent of those polled thought Mr. Strauss-Kahn would have been a better president than the current one, François Hollande.”

Strauss-Kahn’s biographer, Michel Taubmann, noted the “huge downfall,” but offered the possibility of redemption. “A man who was once on the cover of Newsweek for saving the international financial system found himself first in Rikers and now in a Lille court, alongside a pimp,” Taubman explained. “Can he be a new man, a better man? Anything is possible.”  

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