London: French President Nicolas Sarkozy has embarked on an image makeover drive to prove that he is no lowbrow leader, but a nascent culture vulture, a report said.
The 56-year-old President has been watching entire Alfred Hitchcock and Roberto Rossellini film repertoires night after night obsessively as well as devouring volumes of French
literary greats, `The Daily Telegraph` reported.
President Sarkozy, long mocked for proudly proclaiming
to love Elvis Presley, now holds frequent cultural soirees at Elyse Palace in which he seeks to dazzle artiste and actor guests with his new found literary and cinematic prowess.
According to his aides, Sarkozy and his wife Carla
Bruni religiously spend their evenings playing catch up during
which the President "consumes culture in an almost obsessively
This includes watching 15 Hitchcock films back to
back, and reserving the same treatment for Roberto Rossellini,
Frank Capra and Ernst Lubitsch as well as Federico Fellini,
the report said.
"Just like a revision programme, he functions by author," the British newspaper quoted one exhausted guest as telling French daily `Lib?ration`.
As for literature, he is said to have digested a
volume of six Maupassant works in one weekend, and spends all
his spare time perfecting his knowledge of Stendhal, Balzac
and other French classics, the report said.
Even in interviews, Sarkozy has started
casually dropping references to heavyweight authors from Louis
-Ferdinand C?line to Jean-Paul Sartre.
Franz-Olivier Giesbert, a magazine editor and
political author recently told `Le Point` that the President
had dazzled him by quoting at length from a host of authors
from Racine to Maupassant.