YOU see her face everywhere in Cannes: Marilyn Monroe, mouth rounded provocatively to blow out the single large candle in the middle of a birthday cake, on billboards proclaiming the 65th Cannes Film Festival is nigh.
Monroe never came to the festival, which makes her an odd choice as its poster girl.
On the other hand, as some critics have observed, it is an image that acknowledges Cannes's dual identity as a serious festival of world cinema and a fiesta where giddy girls get their bikini tops off.
"It's a doublethink that persists, something the Marilyn-Cannes poster acknowledges, absorbing and transforming the starlet tradition into something acceptably refined and Hollywood," Peter Bradshaw wrote in The Guardian.
During the sunshine hours before tonight's opening, when Wes Anderson's Moonrise Kingdom - about two children who run away from summer camp to live in the wilderness - will screen to a Palais full of guests in evening dress, the streets of Cannes are teeming.
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