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Tangerine (2015)Tangerine (2015)

This indie dark comedy by director Sean Baker debuted at Sundance and has a remarkable back story that makes it worth watching in and of itself. The movie was shot entirely on three iPhone 5s, on a budget of $100,000, in a period of just three weeks (December 24, 2013 to January 18, 2014). In addition, the film features two transgender actresses Mya Taylor and Kitana Kiki Rodriguez, neither of whom had significant acting experience before this movie. The plot of this dramatic comedy is simple, but the human stories are complex. When a transgender sex worker named Sin-Dee Rella gets out of a month-long prison sentence, she meets her best friend and fellow trans sex worker Alexandra, who let's slip that her boyfriend and pimp Chester has been cheating on her. With a real girl. Who's white. Got that?  So, the chase is on to find Chester and the offending Dinah. This is a deep dive into an LA subculture that most of us will never know, but it nonetheless taps into universally human emotions that are at once tender, sordid, hilarious, and heartbreaking. It's interesting to compare this earlier movie by Baker with his recent effort called The Florida Project (2017). 

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