Ani Kyd’s directorial debut, the 2011 short film “I Love You… I Am the Porn Queen”, will screen on June 17 at the Rickshaw Theatre (254 East Hastings Street) as part of Jello Biafra’s 55th-birthday celebration.
Kyd previously acted with Biafra in the Vancouver-shot 1999 film The Widower, where they met and became friends, and she has worked with him in various capacities since, recording for his label Alternative Tentacles and touring with the Biafra-led band the Guantanamo School of Medicine.
In the film, she plays Diva Jones, a porn star with a “twisted concept of love”, while Biafra has two roles: Syd, a “cheesy porn agent” who exploits Kyd’s character; and Francis, a sculptor with atrocious skin who uses her in a different way. “I needed the makeup effects to make them look very different but for you to still know that it was the same guy,” Kyd explains to the Straight at a Commercial Drive café. “You’re not sure if it’s her perception of these two men, and you’re not really sure if she’s seeing that these are the same men, or if this is like a bizarre dream…”
The makeup for the film, by four-time Emmy nominee Toby Lindala—who also produced—is one of the film’s cooler features. “Jello is quite a handsome man, and he has really perfect, beautiful skin,” Kyd said. For the character of Francis, “we had to just make him look old. We came up with a whole bunch of ideas, and Toby came up with that sculpt and we went for it, because it looked really cool.”
Biafra fans should also be attentive to some of his costumes: although the snakeskin jacket that Syd wears belongs to Lindala, some of the “weird pants” are Biafra’s own, “and the socks”, according to Kyd. “Jello’s a total freak about them. He says, ‘Life is too short to wear normal black socks!’ ”
The film also contains a few autobiographical elements, Kyd admits. Just as her character Jones talks about getting pregnant at a very young age, and being left with stretch marks, Kyd herself had a child when she was 15 years old. “I never got into any sort of porn, or any of that kind of stuff, but I think trauma can affect how we process love, and there’s things I can relate to on that front,” she says. “There was almost a turning off of emotion for survival, after getting hurt so many times in relationships or disappointments in life.”
Kyd’s own public image—heavily tattooed, and occasionally provocatively dressed—approaches the realm of burlesque, if not porn, but she’s ambivalent about both. Still, she says, "I like the fact that I can be this sexy girl, but also kick you in the head from the stage, and be talented and powerful and remain in control of the situation...” As Kyd characterizes it: “’Am I afraid of her, or does she turn me on,’ y’know?”
Celebrations on June 17 will also include a Jello Biafra spoken-word event and performances by Nardwuar the Human Serviette’s side project Thee Goblins and Kyd’s band Fuel Injected .45, with Biafra joining both bands on-stage for encores. (Nardwuar has a part in the film as a porn director.)