The Films That Influenced Jill Gevargizian's THE STYLIST

The Stylist, directed by Jill Gevargizian, is now streaming on Arrow Player.

THE STYLIST is my baby, it’s my feature film directorial debut that started as a short film, it encompasses influences from my entire life. 

Check out the films that influenced The Stylist here.

Baz Luhrmann’s ROMEO + JULIET is the film that made me want to make films and has influenced my entire life, including my work as a director.   Everything about that movie I love: the theatrics, the colors, the extremely rich production design, the religious iconography, the candles, the gothic influence, the romance, the desperation, the tragedy.  I fell in love with the fact that a film could make me cry at about 5 years old when I watched THE LAND BEFORE TIME.  No, seriously, I LOVE SAD MOVIES.  And that is my hope with THE STYLIST, that it ultimately feels like a classic tragedy. 

In the early days of developing the concept I always knew it was going to be a character-piece focused on Claire. She was heavily inspired by Leatherface of the original THE TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE, Lucky McKee’s MAY, and many other skin-wearing, sexually repressed, psychopaths with identity issues like Norman Bates of PSYCHO and Frank Zito of MANIAC

In the later phases of writing the script, I read Kier-La Janisse’s book HOUSE OF PSYCHOTIC WOMEN. There’s an entire section where she wrote specifically about films dealing with “the double”/doppelgänger theme and the idea of projecting and wanting to be someone else.  This was when I realized that’s what THE STYLIST was!  So I watched a lot of films for the first time that were mentioned in that book like Robert Altman’s 3 WOMEN, Ingmar Bergman’s PERSONA, Brian De Palma’s SISTERS. Each filmmaker used camera language and editing to enhance the themes in such beautiful and subtle ways -  all of which ended up having a lot of influence on our decisions while making the film. 

I was naturally drawn to more films about women losing their minds like BLACK SWAN, CARRIE, THE NEON DEMON, and SINGLE WHITE FEMALE.  They also share themes with THE STYLIST like obsession, perfection, beauty, loneliness, and envy. 

If you dig these films I mentioned, please check out THE STYLIST. And, read HOUSE OF PSYCHOTIC WOMEN (it’s so good!)!

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Jill Gevargizian's The Stylist is now streaming on Arrow Player. You can follow her on Instagram and Twitter.