Cannes Film Festival 2021 highlights: Sun, stars and saliva

The Cannes Film Festival is drawing to a close, and despite the pandemic it managed to gather a larger number film stars in the sunshine for the obligatory photo opportunities.

This distinctive line-up of director Wes Anderson and actors Timothee Chalamet, Tilda Swinton and Bill Murray for their film The French Dispatch proved irresistible as a meme.

Jessica Shortall described the line-up as “Tiktok-LinkedIn-Instagram-Twitter”, while Philip Bump dubbed them “Z, X, Millennial, Boomer”.

Sara Wallace Goodman spoke for many of us when she described the stars’ fashions as: “Zoom presentation attire, remembering how I dressed before Zoom, imagining how I’ll dress after Zoom, how I’ll actually dress after Zoom

That picture became one of the viral moments from the prestigious festival, but there were plenty of other talking points.

‘We’re experts in saliva’

The Covid safety procedures included saliva tests for those outside the EU’s Covid tracking system.

In other words, attendees had to dispense with any delusions of glamour and spit into a pot.

The Wrap’s Ben Croll wrote that booking a test was “painless enough”, but “the process of generating enough saliva, however, requires a bit more finesse” – describing being handed a vial to fill, which was checked for quality and quantity.

The Guardian’s Xan Brooks said a medic sternly told him: “Only the liquid is good. The froth doesn’t count.”

Vulture’s Nate Jones added that the French event had “become an odyssey of spit”, while Variety’s Ramin Setoodeh described “audible sighs of frustration among those waiting in line when they realised just how much saliva the lab needed from them”.

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