Amidst the bountiful boom of this summer’s screen-stuffed blockbusters, there is a micro-indie that surges energy and pulses with electricity at every turn and around every corner of its L.A. backdrop. It also happens to be shot entirely on the iPhone 5s. That film is Tangerine, in theaters this Friday.

Like its off-beat shooting style, this summer flick is all attitude, all brash, and all defiant in its film making, which takes just one moment to learn after meeting our main characters in the film’s opening scene: two Transgender prostitutes, Alexandra (Mya Taylor) and Sin-Dee (Kitana Kiki Rodriguez), who serve as a colorful cast of characters in this seedy, yellow and green colored L.A. circus world.

An official selection of this year’s Sundance Film Festival, Tangerine succeeds as a youthful, energetic, and vibrant experience that should be expected to make the coveted “year’s end” lists of indie stand-outs. There’s little to no real structure here story-wise, just a day-in-the-life type vibe of Larry Clark’s Kids, or Spike Lee’s Do the Right Thing, though less politically speaking than it is party and sex-crazed madness.

Tangerine stands out as more than just an “iPhone” movie, and if you’re looking to get swept up in a fresh new movie, look no further than here.


We begin in the real L.A. corner brick and mortar, Donut Time, on one Christmas Eve day, as newly released working girl Sin-Dee, fierce and sassy and with an obvious motor for a mouth, is seen reconnecting with her best friend and fellow call girl Alexandra, a less abrasive figure whose own intentions are to star as a singer. It’s all good and fun, until Sin-Dee learns that her pimp boyfriend, Chester (James Ransone), had been with a biological female or as Sin-Dee so eloquently puts it, a real “fish.”. It’s enough to set the already blazing Sin-Dee afire, and we’re off on a rousing, rip-roaring journey over the city that remains fun and new throughout the whole film.

Tangerine is as much a breakthrough calling card to director Sean Baker (Starlet), as it is for its two lead actors and entire film making team. Tangerine stands out as more than just an “iPhone” movie, and if you’re looking to get swept up in a fresh new film that’s unique as it is entertaining, look no further than here.

Tangerine opens this Friday.