It would be very easy to dismiss a film that uses some film predicates in a mild form, especially the parallel editing. But the outrageously féerie with a California of flaming colors and a human landscape no less flaming and colorful, in addition to a stable use of unstable cameras, lead me to like this movie, after all, an heir of the cursed "Showgirls". Flaming creatures well inscribed in its time, which is mine.
Yass!! Sean Baker, let me welcome your film to the list of best indie movies of all time. Brilliant. Perfect. How was this all shot on iPhones?! Like Clerks for a younger, queerer, less middle class (and way less white) generation. Love, friendship, nothing particularly deep, at least on the surface, but hilarious, raucous, honest, irrepressible, tender, raw, shamelessly unrestrained, and glorious. Loved this hard.
Although I think this film is being talked about because of its mobile recording and transgender acting, it is really fresh and entertaining. And I love the fact that trans-people are getting jobs in cinema industry: this alone should be recognizable. I like some scenes a lot: the car washing, the dinner, the crazy mother-in-law at the climax. I really dug this more than I expected to.
Trans-bitches be crazy! Lesbihonest, if Sin-Dee Rella and Alexandra were not transgender, this would be just an ordinary low budget iPhone-shooted movie about hookers. It's fresh and funny, but there's no sustainable plot.
Raw execution! For such a controversial topic, it is approached with lighthearted, humorous dialogues. It has beautifully diverse characters that depict contemporary portraits of the people within the sex industry. It possesses a kind of Nan Goldin aesthetics that resists stylistic traditions in Hollywood filmmaking which echoes with the political resistance within transgender POC.
The soundtrack is banging! It starts off looking off like a youtube video but once the characters start moving, the vital & energetic camera work becomes a character in itself. An uproariously funny trawl through LA's underbelly
Tangerine is a doozy of a movie, an iPhone-filmed hot mess with some unforgettable scenes (motel party, car wash) featuring a despicable protag, Sin Dee, whose love for Chester (played brilliantly by James Ransone) supersedes rationality or decency. Mya Taylor as Alexandra is the heart and soul of the movie, up to the final moment.
I generally think that digital cameras do as much harm as good to indie filmmakers. The acting isn't very slick in, say, Clerks or Stranger Than Paradise, but with grainy film stock, it fits a grungy aesthetic you can't get if your movie looks like a commercial. So credit Sean Baker for an aesthetic both digital AND grungy, and for a film that's up-to-the-minute and, in its quiet moments, absolutely sublime.