Four days into the Cannes Film Festival (the fifth night is tonight — Saturday, 5.20) and here’s the tally sheet: no major explosions, one widely agreed-upon stink bomb (Ron Howard‘s The Da Vinci Code); a couple of missed screening ops (on my part, I mean); a pair of strong and exciting efforts from the masterful Ken Loach (The Wind That Shakes the Barley) and the great Pedro Almodovar (Volver), with my personal preference leaning toward the latter; a thrashingly emotional, jizz-sticky, psycho-therapeutic homoerotic love story from John Cameron Mitchell called Shortbus , a film that is nothing if not emotionally intense, but also summoned memories of Frank Ripploh’s Taxi Zum Klo (distribution in the U.S. is very much an open question) and which prompted me to reconsider the virtues living a Spin & Marty, red state-type life on a horse ranch in New Mexico; a light but quite radiant Paris anthology film (Paris Je’taime ) in which the standout effort is indisputably Alexander Payne ‘s, called “14th arrondisement”; and Summer Palace, a marginally irritating, ersatz-French nouvelle vague Chinese love story from Lou Ye…way, way overpraised.