“Tangerine” is on view at the Nightlight Cinema through August 6, 2015. Visit Nightlight Cinema’s website for current showtimes.
Sin-Dee is on a tear. Fresh out of prison, the trans working girl just learned that her man and pimp, Chester, has been hanging out with another woman, a biological female no less. Whichever one she finds first had better watch out. Her friend and fellow street worker, Alexandra, has a nightclub gig to prepare for but sets off with her on a madcap quest that crisscrosses the sun-baked and neon-bathed strip malls and subcultures of Los Angeles. Director Sean Baker and co-writer Chris Bergoch found their two transgender leads near the Donut Time in the LA neighborhood where Tangerine is set and collaborated with them and other transgender sex workers to create the movie’s richly detailed, trash-talking characters. Tangerine drew attention at this year’s Sundance Film Festival for its technical innovation; the film was shot entirely on several iPhone 5S cameras (with a prototype adapter lens). The end product combines intimate wide-angle photography with a saturated palette as colorful as its central characters and a soundtrack as vibrant and varied as the neighborhood. But it’s the empathetic portrayal of its two stigma-busting stars that make this open-hearted ode to outsiders so memorable.