FANTASIA FILM FESTIVAL 2016 – The Stylist dir. Jill Gevargizian 1

Stylist Still 11Fantasy and escapism, we all need our tools for these in our life. And in Jill Gevargizian’s short film, “The Stylist” Claire has her own special tools. With its world premiere recently at Etheria Film Night in Los Angeles, this short by Sixx Tape and The Line Film Company are out to conquer international spaces as well as they take over Fantasia International Film Festival 2016.

Claire is played by Najarra Townsend (CONTRACTED), a hair stylist waiting for a late night client before she heads home. She seems ready for some excitement and a change in her life, so she makes a choice to take a step down the path of change.

Having been a fan of Gevargizian’s past work, I knew that she had a knack for tapping into some disturbing topics. And knowing that she came from a background as a hair stylist, I knew that her combining her two passions would solidify into gold. And thankfully, I was absolutely correct. Townsend’s performance shows off both an amazing actor’s talent, but also great direction. When you can feel like everything is showing up so naturally on screen, you know that there was a beautiful chemistry between actor and director.

Stylist Still 07With special effects, you can only go so far with prosthetics, makeup and even with digital altering. But by complementing them with a strong sound design as well, you truly enhance the overall experience, making it a holistic one. I’m not one to be overwhelmed by gore generally, but the scene involved made me have a physical cringe due to this, much akin to the brutality in BONE TOMAHAWK. And with everything lovingly shot by Robert Patrick Stern, even the gruesome stuff is displayed in a jaw dropping fashion.

My only complaint with “The Stylist” is that it is not feature length. The glimpse that we get into Claire’s world left me wanting to know more. How long has she been doing this? What will the repercussions be? Here’s hoping that festival buzz leads into bigger things for all involved.

“The Stylist” premiered at Fantasia International Film Festival on July 23rd, 2016 and will be hitting quite a few more festivals around. Be on the lookout!

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