Film Review: Tangerine

tangerine-posterIt’s Christmas Eve in Los Angeles and Sin-Dee, a transgender prostitute fresh out of jail, reunites with her friend and coworker Alexandra who informs Sin-Dee that her boyfriend / pimp Chester has a new favorite girl named Dinah. This news sets in motion Sin-Dee’s frantic cross-town trek to find either Chester or Dinah and confront them about the situation. Along the way we see a cross section of the inhabitants of the lesser-filmed sections of Los Angeles.

Garnering a lot of buzz from Sundance and other festivals, Tangerine is a must-see movie for those interested in low budget, gritty filmmaking. Sean Baker has created a beautifully shot, kinetically edited and wonderfully acted movie that seems to fall stylistically somewhere at a cross section of mumblecore and the no wave movement. With well-defined characters and a good story, this is a great example of how a film can be really good without a huge budget and major studio resources. It’s one of the best looking films I’ve seen recently, and the entire movie was shot on iPhones, showing just how creative and talented these filmmakers are. A plus for cult film enthusiasts — we are treated to cameos from both Clu and John Gulager who both portray memorable characters.

If you like gritty urban stories or just have adventurous taste, then I definitely recommend that you check out Tangerine, which opens at the Avon Cinema on Friday, July 24.

Tangerine (2015); Director: Sean Baker; Starring: Kitana Kiki Rodriguez, Mya Taylor, Karren Karagulian

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