Juno Calypso's All-Time Favourite Horror Films

Courtesy of the British Film Institute
The Cut, presented by the BFI, is a monthly series of short films where creatives talk through the effect that independent cinema has had on their aesthetic.
With previous shorts from fashion designer Bella Freud and set designer Es Devlin, the latest instalment comes courtesy of artist and photographer Juno Calypso. Under the surface of Juno's hyper-feminine pink images is a subversive darkness – the horror of isolation, ritual of romance and physical perfection. She is the subject of her photographs, creating a sinister character that hides behind masks, wigs and costumes.
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The Lobster, The Arbor and Rita, Sue and Bob Too are three of Calypso's all-time favourite films, which mirror the isolation in her work and explore this generation's obsession with tragic young women. Refinery29 met Juno at her East London studio to find out more about The Cut, her fascination with horror films, and who would play her in the movie of her life.
Besides those three, which other films did you consider including?
There was one film that I didn't have time, which is Suspiria. It's a very Tumblr film. I only just watched it last night so I couldn't talk about it, but it's beautiful. It's so 70s and I thought the story would just be screaming girls everywhere but I like that there is a real, scary monster at the end. Dakota Johnson is starring in the remake, so you never know, 50 shades of pink, maybe? I like films when they're old and badly made... well-made but with that old CGI horror.
Is there anything that links the films you chose?
They all have a little dark humour in them. They're really sad, really depressing topics but shot beautifully and with that little bit of cynical humour. It's like, this is sad, but you've got to laugh otherwise you'll cry – that kind of attitude.
Photo courtesy of Film Four Ltd/BFI.
Rita, Sue and Bob Too, 1987.
Your work explores rituals of femininity and our obsession with romance, in what way do the films that you've chosen reflect this?
The Lobster really reminded me of my honeymoon project. This place where it's all about couples – a very monogamous place. I guess it could be like the psycho-geography of that place, where it's just designed for romance and how weird that is as a concept.
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Suspiria, The Arbor and Rita, Sue and Bob Too are all about young women in dark times kind of finding themselves but losing themselves. Suspiria obviously has a male director and he's fetishised and exploited that, but Andrea Dunbar's films are about real life horror. They're about real troubles like addiction and your children getting taken away. That is true life.
It's all the same sort of thing: things going wrong but it's okay if they go wrong because that's life, that is what life is. The films are very realistic, I think. Apart from Suspiria, that's not realistic at all but it's beautiful, my god. I was screenshotting the whole way through.

It's all the same sort of thing - things going wrong but it's okay if they go wrong because that's life, that is what life is.

In a movie of your life, who would play you, what would the genre and the opening score be?
The genre would be a dark-but-real-life comedy in a similar way to Rita, Sue and Bob Too with a bit of Black Swan to it – that kind of theatricalness. When I was little, everyone would say I looked like the actress Christina Ricci, who played Wednesday Addams. I like how she's aged, she's got even more fucked up but in a good way. She was a very cute innocent child and now she's in a lot of weird films so definitely her for the actress. The soundtrack would be one of those 80s power ballads with the woman singing and the synths... Donna Summer – "I feel love".
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