Behind the scenes at the Cannes Film Festival, which wraps on Sunday after a 12-day run:
ADIEU, LEGOLAS: Blood, sex, blood, drugs, booze, blood, and then more blood... Orlando Bloom, as a cursing, womanising and gun-toting cop in the South African-set crime thriller "Zulu", seems intent on saying goodbye to Legolas the Elf and Will Turner, Pirate of the Caribbean.
Bloom co-stars with Forest Whitaker as two detectives tracing the source of a new methamphetamine drug that is causing havoc in the slums around Cape Town.
Directed by France's Jerome Salle, the movie is being given the accolade of closing out the festival on Sunday -- but the body count made critics wince at Saturday's press screening.
BITING DRAMA: TV and cinema are awash with vampire stories, so critics were surprised when quirky director Jim Jarmusch jumped on the bandwagon.
But surprise turned to pleasure at Friday night's press screening, where "Only Lovers Left Alive" got enthusiastic applause from a hard-nosed audience.
Atmosphere, romance and humour run through the story of two 400-year-old vampires, played by British actors Tom Hiddleston and Tilda Swinton.
Could it be a late runner for Sunday's Palme d'Or?
NOVAK RETURNS: Kim Novak is 80, but such is the enduring power of celluloid that almost everyone recalls her as a 25-year-old -- the shapely-but-cool blonde who played opposite James Stewart in Alfred Hitchcock's 1958 thriller "Vertigo".
She returned to Cannes on Saturday night as a guest of honour for a red-carpet screening of the classic, and will take part in Sunday's award ceremonies.
Why the long absence from the spotlight?
In the mid-1960s Novak suffered a bad horse-riding accident, two car crashes and the loss of her LA house in a mudslide. That, and disillusionment with the ironfisted rule of the big studios, prompted her to turn her back on Hollywood.
She married her veterinary surgeon, Robert Malloy, raised horses and llamas in Oregon, and painted. Her movie appearances have only been sporadic since then, notably a turn in "The Mirror Crack'd" (1980) alongside Elizabeth Taylor.
TALENT CONTEST: One of the most poignant sights at Cannes is to see young actors trooping around the Palais des Festivals in the hope of catching the eye of a director, screenwriter or producer.
"I come to Cannes every year to make contacts and meet with people. You can get some good results, but they don't usually come in for months," says Claire Marchesi, a slim 29-year-old Frenchwoman, as she pinned her photo on a "castings" board.
Acting can be a merciless profession: in some countries, two-thirds of professionals are out of work at any one time.
"I try to get invitations for the parties at the Eden Roc hotel" in nearby Antibes, she says. "Producers, casting directors, professionals from around the world go there."
Casting agent Mikael Caraes says that if he signs up a promising talent, it's for the short term. "If nothing big happens after a year, we separate. It's like in a marriage."
WHO'S THAT MAN?: Disgraced ex-IMF chief Dominique Strauss-Kahn sent French media into a frenzy when he appeared on the red carpet for the "Only Lovers Left Alive" premiere on Saturday.
Strauss-Kahn, accompanied by an unidentified woman, is said to be separated from his super rich wife of 20 years Anne Sinclair, one of France's best loved journalists.
Earlier in the festival the New York sex scandal that destroyed his career and political ambitions returned to Cannes as clips of an upcoming film about it leaked onto the Internet.
Strauss-Kahn was the talk of the festival two years ago when he was arrested in New York on sexual assault charges.
In the upcoming film, British actress Jacqueline Bisset plays Sinclair with Gerard Depardieu as Strauss-Kahn. The film was shown to potential buyers but not the press at this year's festival.
Strauss-Kahn last December agreed a financial settlement with the hotel maid whose 2011 allegation of sexual assault forced him to resign from the International Monetary Fund.
He is still being investigated in France as part of a probe into allegations that he procured prostitutes for sex parties in Europe and in Washington.