Tangerine. 2015. USA. Directed by Sean Baker. 88 min.
With Kiki Kitana Rodriguez, Mya Taylor, Karren Karagulian, Mickey O’Hagan, James Ransome, Alla Tumanian, Luiza Nersisyan. Shot on Apple 5s smartphones fitted with widescreen adapters, Baker’s remarkably impressive low-budget feature was inspired by the street life of the LGBT community in West Hollywood. Over the course of a single day at Christmastime, transgender prostitutes Sin-dee and Alexandra struggle to maintain their friendship as one pursues her unfaithful pimp and the other a singing career. Meanwhile, a bisexual Armenian cab driver cruises the neighborhood for fares and sex, as his suspicious mother-in-law closes in on his secret life. Shot on location around Santa Monica Boulevard’s unofficial red light district, the film’s dramatic comedy and endearing characters are grounded in the matter-of-fact reality of the contemporary sex trade. Courtesy of Magnolia Pictures.