I’ve never seen a film like Tangerine before and I loved every moment of it. It touched on so many significant topics, shedding light on the struggles of those that are transgender and working in the sex industry in an authentic way, whilst showing LA without its dream and stardom fantasy filter on. I love that the film is not only centered around trans women, but also that trans women are playing the main roles. It’s important to have diverse creators bring on that representation to the screens. There are so many stories like these that need to be told. The tone and style of the film and script is comedic, wild, and free spirited. But Tangerine deals with the topics without ever losing its sense of direction or entertainment.
The film centers around Sin-Dee, who has recently been released from jail. Upon learning from her best friend Alexandra that her pimp boyfriend hasn’t been faithful to her in the 28 days she was locked up, they embark on a wild journey to confront him and find out the truth. Entangled in their story is an Armenian family also struggling with the effects of infidelity. The way the characters are portrayed are incredibly human, and by that I mean you can see how the character is like their own beating heart. My favorite kind of story telling is when you can tell soul and passion went into it. These characters tell stories filled with a lot of pain, but there are so many vibrant and hilarious times as well. I appreciate that there are so many moments you can laugh at, but still feel the pain underneath.
There is no doubt Sean Baker knows how to wow the audience with the cinematography. The colors in his films are always vibrant and bathed in a sunset. Tangerine was filmed with three iPhone 5s. You heard that right, and it absolutely killed it. I love how the camera being whipped around along with the erratic and urgent editing style translates to the audience how the character are currently feeling. Sean Baker proves that you can make magic with anything you have, it doesn’t have to be the most expensive equipment or material, you just need to have the passion, heart, and vision.