the-cell

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One year ago a great visionary woman left our world.

Eiko Ishioka was a Japanese costume designer who won an Oscar for her Gothic designs for Bram Stoker’s Dracula, Francis Ford Copola’s 1992 opera of sex and violence.

Her collaboration with director Tarsem Singh spanned 4 of his films and it is a legacy that will amaze for many years to come.

In Singh’s first feature, The Cell, (2000) Jennifer Lopez plays a psychologist trapped by a serial killer. Ishioka encased her into a rigid neck-brace, equally stylized and darkly erotic. “Jennifer asked me if I could make it more comfortable, but I said: ‘No you are supposed to be tortured’” Ishioka explained in 2000.

Her visual craft can be seen on three more of Singh’s pictures, the otherworldly costumes for The Fall (2006), mythological fantasy for the Greek Immortals (2011) and finally Mirror Mirror (2012) that won her a final posthumous Oscar nomination.

This is my little tribute to her genius with examples from her work from those five films in chronological order.


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9 films that capture my aesthetic

melancholia (2011, lars von trier) • the cell (2000, tarsem singh) • oldboy (2003, chan-wook park) • enter the void (2009, gaspar noé) • spring breakers (2012, harmony korine) • only god forgives (2013, nicolas winding refn) • a clockwork orange (1971, stanley kubrick) • twin peaks: fire walk with me (1992, david lynch) • natural born killers (1994, oliver stone)