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  • Gareth Crook

Tangerine (2015) - 6/10

The first thing everyone always says about Tangerine is that it’s shot on iPhones. That is true. iPhone 5’s, three of them, with an added lens and a stabilising gimble. It’s not a gimmick though. Take that fact away and this is still an impressive film. Sin-Dee (Kitana Kiki Rodriguez) is a transgendered prostitute, who’s just found out that her pimp boyfriend Chester (James Ransome) is cheating on her. Taking to the sunkissed and dirty streets of LA, she’s on a mission with friend Alexandra (Mya Taylor) to sort Chester and Dinah (Mickey O’Hagan) the girl he’s cheating with out. Although cut conventionally, a lot of it feels very real, honest, unscripted. The choice of kit will certainly help with this, but it doesn’t feel cheap. Apparently it’s Christmas Eve and Alexandra is planning an event. A event Sin-Dee needs to be at, but her somewhat aggressive sleuthing is getting in the way. Christmas in LA looks weird to me, not a hint of snow and certainly not the way this film is graded. Everything is bathed in burnt orange… hence the name. I want to like it more than I do, maybe because I admire what it’s trying to do and how it’s doing it, but it’s not an easy watch. It plods a little in places, despite the larger than life characters and a pulsating score and Sin-Dee isn’t the easiest character to like. That said, although I wouldn’t categorise this as enjoyable, it’s still an interesting film. Funny, bleak and chaotic.



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