Costume designer Anna Terrazas began her career working with Gael García Bernal on his directorial debut, 2007's Déficit, and soon after with Diego Luna on his feature, Abel (2010). She worked with Carlos Cuarón on 2008's Rudo y Cursi and then with his father, Alfonso Cuarón, on 2018's Oscar-winning Roma. Which is to say, Terrazas has collaborated with some of the most renowned Mexican artists on movies about their home country.
Her latest film is Bardo, False Chronicle of a Handful of Truths, five-time Oscar-winning filmmaker Alejandro G. Iñárritu's first film to be shot in Mexico since his debut, 2000's Amores perros.
"I was highly inspired the moment I finished reading the script," Terrazas says. "It seemed like a dream to be able to design such a complex film which is also related to my own background. And it really excited me to be invited to work with a director I have always admired."
Bardo is a tribute to Mexico itself, following an internationally-renowned filmmaker, Silverio (Daniel Giménez Cacho), as he travels home and finds himself on an existential odyssey. "The challenge that Bardo faced me with was its huge variety of atmospheres, atmospheres that take the audience to different periods of Silverio's past and present life, of his most remarkable and painful experiences as a journalist and as a human being, periods of Mexican History, of the country he left and the one he adopted," explains Terrazas. "The true challenge and opportunity was to immerse myself in all those worlds and to create a specific design and color palette for each of them."
"I learned that to be able to excel, one of the most important things is to nourish one's ideas with the rest of the team's input. My deep thanks to [production designer] Eugenio Caballero and [DP] Darius Khondji," she adds. "We couldn't have achieved this epic oneiric world if we didn't evolve together in a very tight net, knowing exactly what the other departments were doing, and in an environment of trust which we all cherished."
Below, the costume designer shares with A.frame the five films that have most inspired her, and how she approaches her craft.
MORE: With 'Bardo,' Alejandro G. Iñárritu Returned Home After 20 Years (Exclusive)
Directed by: Roy Andersson | Costume design by: Sophia Frykstam
Taking into account that Anderson works with very small teams, this tragicomedy, a masterpiece, strikes me for the craft detail each character entails, for its use of color desaturation, for the breathtaking and exquisitely composed vignettes. A film where everything is designed to perfection, and which I consider one of cinema's greatest mood pieces.
Where to Watch: The Criterion Channel
Directed by: Agnès Varda | Costumes by: Alyette Samazeuilh
This film is one of my favorite works from the French New Wave. As part of a movement towards female empowerment, Varda's magnificent debut work not only shows where disdain and repression come from, but presents a defense, fighting female objectification and loss of self. Cleo's journey, a deeply personal and reflexive portrait, is a shattered mirror as relevant today as it was in the 1960s.
Written and Directed by: Jim Jarmusch
A quiet movie about exile that without questioning slowly absorbs the audience with its very real characters and its perfectly calibrated minimalism. The beautiful photography subjugates me with its black-and-white images harmonizing the feelings of emptiness of the characters in their desperate search for affection and a meaning in life.
Directed by: Ridley Scott | Costumes by: Michael Kaplan and Charles Knode
I love the way this science fiction film's futuristic world was created. Its use of certain cinematic techniques in the deconstruction of key thematic scenes, such as color, shot composition and sound effects are resources that superbly communicate mood, tone and symbolism, and serve to highlight the film’s subversive ideas concerning the fluctuating perceptions of human kind.
Directed by: Luis Buñuel | Written by: Luis Buñuel and Luis Alcoriza
This film, which I treasure dearly, is a superb and extraordinary grim portrayal of the lost children of Mexico, deprived of the most basic benefits of modern societies. Stunningly filmed with non-professional actors and natural locations, Buñuel’s unique style, embroidered with poetry and cynicism, makes this piece of filmmaking art absolutely fascinating in spite of its horrific content.