When you hear journalists at Cannes bemoaning a lack of outlets, it turns out that, for once, they're not talking about firings and cutbacks in paying gigs; rather, they're talking about the crowded push of the Orange WiFi Press Cafe, where getting a socket to plug into between screenings is well-nigh impossible. That's the press room pictured above; not shown is the upper deck, to the right, crowded with couches and journalists sprawled on the floor with their laptops. At its busiest, the WiFi Cafe looks something like a Civil War hospital, if Gettysburg's fallen had carried laptops and cameras instead of rifles.
It seems hard to imagine it's only the second day of the Festival, but it is; journalists and filmmakers are still coming into town, and the tempo of buzz and anxiety is speeding up subtly under the stately glide of stars down the red carpet. I actually wound up, bizarrely enough, at the Kung Fu Panda press screening -- Kim had to cover the Blindness press luncheon -- and, as I said in my review, "Of course, I may be a little inclined to have liked Kung Fu Panda as it made for a bit of a break; my Cannes viewing before this morning's Kung Fu Panda screening included two stabbings, a riot, several acts of sexual aggression, a few beatings, assault with a deadly weapon, family tension, grinding poverty and child endangerment. (That's not the breakdown for the films before Kung Fu Panda, just to clarify; that's the breakdown for the film before Kung Fu Panda.)" Still, I was able to get out and about to take in the scene today; you'll find the gallery below, with more from the shore to come when I can find a place to plug in for my next Cannes dispatch.