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During Wednesday’s press conference at the Carlton, one journo asked Angelina Jolie to comment on the death of Osama bin Laden. The actress politely declined, saying a “Kung Fu Panda 2” press meet might not be the right place to address such a serious topic.

In Cannes, your press badge may be more important than your passport. One journo showed a red mark on her neck after a thief tried to yank the badge and lanyard while she was wearing it. Meanwhile, Cannes vets warned first-timers about thefts of iPads, poodles, laptops and crutches.

While mayhem is plentiful in the market’s actioners and thrillers, there’s danger of another kind on the streets of Cannes. Two serious traffic accidents closed the Rue d’Antibes during the fest’s first week, with police curtains shielding the fallen accident victims.

Meanwhile journalists trying to file stories via Blackberry while walking are advised to pause before crossing streets — one was nearly clipped by a speedy motorist in mid-tapping.

The official selection is good and the market mood is upbeat. But where are the crowds? At 8:30 p.m. on Friday, it was possible to get a table at many restaurants in Le Suquet. The Croisette on Saturday was sparser than usual. Companies have been sending fewer people, but the right people are here. The thinner crowds seem due to a lack of tourists. The recession was slow to hit France, so Gallic families may be reluctant to shell out big euros, even for a chance to see Johnny Depp or Brad Pitt.

Parties are plentiful. One vet sighed there are three types of parties: the ones you’re obliged to attend for business reasons; ones you attend to meet someone who never shows up; and ones you attend for fun (the Canal Plus shindig got a big thumbs-up).