Summer Palace is the only Asian film in the competition, and it arrives amid controversy. The Chinese government has complained that the producers didn't get censorship approval and have broken the law by submitting it to Cannes. But the filmmakers claimed they didn't submit it to Cannes — it must have been the sales agent in France. This won't be the first time Chinese censorship has garnered attention here. The highest-profile case was with Zhang Yimou's 1994 To Live.
My favorite overheard comment to date: Sitting in front of a sandwich stand, a young British woman told her companion that film sales have been tough and that the DVD market has slowed to practically nothing — "We are looking for video on demand, computer downloading," she said. "Anything where people don't have to leave their homes." (Gary Meyer)