The Cut – episode six: Artist and photographer Juno Calypso | BFI Player


– [Juno] I wish I had a camera that was
just with my eyes. And the way I see the world through my eyes is what I want to
do. I just want to have like the widest biggest image I can get. ♪ [music] ♪ I’m Juno Calypso. I’m an artist or
photographer depending on how I feel that day. I take pictures of myself
dressed up as a character and I have been doing that for the last six years I think.
In order to become that character all I really need is a wig,
a costume or sometimes no costume at all, and a place where I can just go and be
myself. It’s kind of a performance in a way, it’s like a performance for the
camera. I think people expect me to be like a film nerd like to know everything
about what I’m doing. I think when people look at my work and
think, “Oh, it’s a character. It’s a film. There’s a story,” I’m like, “No.
You have no idea.” This is like hanging by a string. It’s just a character without
a story. It’s like I gave her a name because I thought it was funny and now I can’t really
escape that name. How’s Joyce? How’s she doing? Who is she?
Am I talking to Joyce right now or am I talking to Juno? I mean it’s really not
that deep. It was made for an installation but now it’s very useful because I’ve
always said I need two of me. And now I’ve got two of me but I don’t
like looking at it. I like horror films but I don’t like horror films if you know
what I mean. I’ll just skip through without the sound on.
I think I can handle anything. And so I’m like, “Yeah.
Let’s watch it.” but then when I actually watch it my brain can’t un-watch it.
One of my favorite films recently is “The Lobster.” So it’s like a sort of
near-future dystopian surrealist almost horror where it’s sort of set in a hotel
where after 45 days if you haven’t found a partner and settled down and you’ve got
something in common you get turned into an animal, which is great. – [Hotel Manager] Now,
have you thought of what animal you’d like to be if you end up alone? – [David] Yes, a lobster. – Why a lobster? – Because lobsters live for over 100
years. Blue-blooded like aristocrats and stay fertile all their life. – These kinds of films they make me feel
at home. I feel like this is my mood finally. The way Colin Farrell speaks
in the whole film is just so monotone and disjointed and so sullen.
And it’s like yeah, these are my people like this is it. It’s very depressing but
there’s that black humor in it that I love. So in 2015 I went to a honeymoon
hotel in America by myself for a whole week. And then I think I saw the
lobster after I was there. And there were so many similarities
especially like the dining room and the social situations. I love a depressing
party scene in a film where it’s like the yellow balloons, the bands there in their
suits, and then just them singing terribly together. Like that is what I
love like the sort of joyful situations but really depressingly produced.
The main theme in my work I guess it is women. It is femininity but very
artificial femininity. So femininity taken to the extreme.
And then underneath that it’s about the emotion, it’s about the feeling
of desire, and the feeling of disappointment, and how those feelings
go together. Someone recommended that I watch “Rita, Sue and Bob Too” when I was
at university and starting this whole project. But I found out it was
written by a woman or a girl really when she was a teenager, Andrea Dunbar wrote it
when she was 18. And when I found out that I was like, “Okay. I need to know more
about this girl. Who is she?” It’s a film about these two girls having
an affair with a much older man called Bob who for some reason wears the same white
suit the whole way through the film which I love. And there’s a few dancing scenes
in the film. And there’s one that I like where they’re babysitting in the
living room of Bob. When do you ever get to see two young girls drinking, laughing,
being rude, there’s no saving grace about them, there’s no politeness about
them? All the sofas are very pink with these sort of white net curtains.
There’s lots of very 80s outfits like matching outfits. – [Rita] Are we gonna? Well, you know. – [Bob] What, well, you know? – [Sue] What she means is are we gonna
have a jump. – Why? – That’s what we come up here for,
ain’t it? – Oh, it is. It is.
Yeah. – I’m going first. – Why can’t I?
– Because you can’t. – I always have to go second. – What difference does it make of who goes
first, you both get the same thing. – That’s not fair. I want to go first.
– Why? – Because when I go second it’s not so
good. [inaudible] the second time. – I use a lot of pink in my work. A lot.
And I get asked a lot why. And I really like I think there is a very
intellectual reason why but really it’s just because I’m drawn to it.
People say like if red signifies love then pink is like flirtation and sort of
seduction and desire and everything that comes before the true love bit even like
the working man’s club like a kind of masculine environment there’s all these
pink seats and the guys singing in the pink suit and there’s pink lights.
Maybe it was used for a reason maybe not but it was the 80s who knows?
There was a bit of pink around. “The Arbor” is a really original take on a
documentary because they’ve got the real footage from the 80s of Andrea Dunbar.
And then actors playing her family, lip-syncing these interviews.
I was attracted to this film because I wanted to know more about Andrea Dunbar.
And I just thought like most people I was fascinated by her as this sort of young,
reckless, talented girl who had problems with addiction and she had problems.
And so I watched “The Arbor” expecting it to be this sort of sensational thing about
how crazy she was and straight away it just pulls the rug under your feet. – [Mother] Okay. It’s your life.
Do what you want. – [Andrea] Oh, don’t worry. I will. – But don’t come running to me when people
stop calling you. – [inaudible] – Oh, do what you want.
– I will. Don’t worry. – [Clio] So I met Andrea and it was an
extraordinary first interview with the writer. But in that point were
staying in a battered wives’ home in Keighley because she’d never been out
of Yorkshire before. Never been in a theatre. – I don’t know. It makes me think a lot
about how much do you sacrifice for your art because we really celebrate that.
We think how great to sacrifice everything and to devote yourself to work but what if
you’re neglecting real people like your children? And what if that
you’re even abusing them? And the film really tears away that
glamour. I just ended up completely falling in love with Lorraine,
her daughter, because her story is just so sad. There is just a really beautiful
scene of her just as like a little girl on top of her dad’s car dancing in the
middle of a field. And it’s like that’s the one moment of joy in her life.
I like women that had been rebellious. I guess that film wasn’t… I looked to
the film for more inspiration like, “Yeah. I could be as crazy as I want.
I can do whatever I want like I’m troubled. Deal with it.
I’ve done something.” But then you watch it and you’re like,
“Yeah, maybe I need to rethink my life.” I think I’m drawn to independent cinema
because it tends to be a bit more crude and rude in a way. I guess they can be a
bit more weird and they probably don’t have to stick to as many rules.
And it’s usually people just sort of taking a pure idea they had and making
it happen rather than something that’s been really over-produced.
And that’s a cut.

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