“Tangerine is the type of film that Sundance was created for,” wrote Dylan Griffin in his review from Sundance 2015. “It is bold, it is something that Hollywood would never make, it is a film liberated from formal limitations and it gives definition to the thrown-around term ‘independent.”
Not to be confused with the Oscar nominated foreign film Tangerines, Sean Baker’s film follows two transgender prostitutes, Sin-Dee (Kiki Katina Rodriguez) and Alexandra (Mya Taylor), who go around looking their pimp Chester after Sin-Dee learns that he has cheated on her with a white woman, or as it’s put so eloquently in the trailer: “Chester cheated on me with a real fish?” “Yeah, bitch, like a real fish, girl, like vagina and everything.”
Produced by The Duplass Brothers, Tangerine is the first ever film to be shot entirely on an iPhone, specifically an iPhone 5S (take that Samsung!). Surprisingly, it looks great: “Baker’s decision to shoot the film on the iPhone 5s is initially an economic one to keep the budget low and manageable, but a decision that he turns into a winning concept,” Griffin wrote. “It heightens the whole feel of the film, providing a manic, borderline anarchic style of energy that the film accelerates on. Each shot carries a sense of frantic energy that is captivating.”
Tangerine opens July 10 in limited release. Read the synopsis below, and watch the red-band trailer. Consider it NSFW for language.
It’s Christmas Eve in Tinseltown and Sin-Dee (newcomer Kitana Kiki Rodriguez) is back on the block. Upon hearing that her pimp boyfriend (James Ransone, STARLET, “Generation Kill”) hasn’t been faithful during the 28 days she was locked up, the working girl and her best friend, Alexandra (newcomer Mya Taylor), embark on a mission to get to the bottom of the scandalous rumor. Their rip-roaring odyssey leads them through various subcultures of Los Angeles, including an Armenian family dealing with their own repercussions of infidelity. Director Sean Baker’s prior films (STARLET, PRINCE OF BROADWAY) brought rich texture and intimate detail to worlds seldom seen on film. TANGERINE follows suit, bursting off the screen with energy and style. A decidedly modern Christmas tale told on the streets of L.A., TANGERINE defies expectation at every turn.