The Review/Short Read/

TIFF 6ix: Will Smith is having the best time at Cannes

This week’s essential links, from the Croisette to Aziz Ansari's Italy

May 19, 2017

The Cannes jury — comprised of Park Chan-wook, Fan Bingbing, Paolo Sorrentino, Jessica Chastain, Maren Ade, Agnès Jaoui, Gabriel Yared Smith, and helmed by Pedro Almodóvar — was thought to have an odd-man-out: Will Smith. At first, the internet balked at the The Fresh Prince’s inclusion, but his blinding star wattage has since won over the Cannes crowd, hamming it up on the red carpet and essentially stealing the show. He even tried to get Almodóvar to bust a move (Big Willie Style) on the steps outside the Palais. (Almodóvar declined.)

Okja: Pig in the City

It looks like Gus Fring (Giancarlo Esposito) has really expanded the Los Pollos Hermanos empire. The Breaking Bad alum teams up with Tilda Swinton to sell super-pigs to Bong Joon-ho’s idea of the future in Okja, which plays Cannes this week. The first full trailer is out — featuring Jake Gyllenhaal in the greatest getup ever — and it’s just really nice to see Steven Yeun smile. Did that ever happen in The Walking Dead?


While the number of female directors at Cannes has increased slightly since 2016, the auteur-driven festival is still nowhere near overall gender parity. Only three films directed by women are in competition: Sofia Coppola’s The Beguiled, Naomi Kawase’s Radiance, and Lynne Ramsay’s You Were Never Really Here. Women and Hollywood looks at the hard numbers concerning representation in their annual Cannes infographic.

The Beguiled (2017)

Naomi Kawase

Post-Brexit Problems

Cannes has upped its game this year in terms of Eastern European representation on the Croisette, with films from Russia, Hungary, and the Ukraine in competition. But with Brexit, the future is unclear. The Hollywood Reporter posits five possible scenarios of how the film sector in Eastern Europe will be affected by the UK leaving the EU and how that will impact filmmakers throughout Europe.


In the first episode of Master of None’s second season, Dev (Aziz Ansari) wakes up in Italy with a stack of Fellini and Antonioni Criterions on his bedside table. From L’Avventura to Vittorio De Sica’s Bicycle Thieves, Ansari writes himself into Italian cinema, and there are so many references to behold, that Vulture had to compile the lot of them.

Bicycle Thieves (1948)

Master of None (2017)

"When you add... issues of representation and marginalization that go on top of the artist's feeling of 'Can I get my thing made?', it becomes challenging for me to say no."

— Ava Duvernay, on opportunities

Twelve showrunners — including Judd Apatow (Girls), Kenya Barris (Black-ish), Ava DuVernay (Queen Sugar), Lisa Joy (Westworld), David E. Kelley (Big Little Lies), and David Mandel (Veep) — sound off about “empire-building, pigeonholing and saying no.”