12th Nov2017

The Florida Project (Film)

by timbaros

The_Florida_ProjectIt was always going to be for filmmaker Sean Baker to top 2015’s critically acclaimed film ‘Tangerine.’ But now he’s back with ‘The Florida Project,’ and it’s a winner!

‘Tangerine,’ which was shot on iPhones, told the story of two transvestite hookers surviving by any means possible in Hollywood. ‘The Florida Project,’ shot on 35mm, has a similar trajectory involving a single mother and her adorable 6-year old daughter surviving by any means and barely eking out a living in a rundown motel on the tacky fringes of DisneyWorld in Orlando, Florida. It’s an area filled with cheap motels (with tacky names such as Futureland Inn) and even cheaper and tackier gift shops and fast food restaurants (Orange World). And like in ‘Tangerine,’ Baker uses non-professional actors in this film.

Bria Vinaite is excellent as Hailey, a single young mother who struggles to find money to pay the weekly rent and to care for her very adorable six-year-old daughter Moonee (an excellent and natural Brooklynn Prince). Moonee has made friends with all of the little children at their motel complex (appropriately called The Magic Castle) in an area where Disney did not sprinkle magic dust on. The children spend their days getting up to no good, causing mayhem whereever they go, much to the annoyance of the motel manager Bobby (Willem Dafoe – in an award worthy performance). Hailey’s downstairs neighbor Ashley (Mela Murder) works at the nearby Waffle House and gives them free food, but after an incident that involves her son and Moonee, she forbids her son to hang out with Moonee, and severs her friendship with Hailey. One thing leads to another and slowly the magic seeps out of The Magic Castle.

‘The Florida Project’ is just fantastic. While it doesn’t quite come close to ‘Tangerine’ with it’s sarcastic and biting humor, it nonetheless is a cute and charming movie of childhood through a little girl’s eyes and the hard truths that reality will eventually rear it’s ugly head. And the cast are just superb. Baker, who co-wrote the script with Chris Bergoch, has another winner on his hands.

Trailer:

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16th Apr2016

Tangerine (DVD)

by timbaros

TangerineTwo transgender prostitutes tear up Santa Monica Boulevard in the brilliant ‘Tangerine’ – one of the best films of 2015.

It is one of the most funny and original films of the year. and stars two transgender actresses in the lead roles, roles that will make them both stars.

Mya Taylor is Alexandra, and Kitana Kiki Rodriquez is Sin-Dee (yes, Sin-Dee), it’s Christmas Eve in Los Angeles, and Sin-Dee has just got out of jail after spending 28 days for holding drugs for her pimp boyfriend Chester (James Ransom). She finds out, from Alexandra, that Chester has been having sex with Dinah (Mickey O’Hagan), so Sin-Dee goes on a mission to find Dinah and then to confront Chester. And Alexandra is having her own drama – she’s performing at a local bar that night and has passed out fliers to everyone she knows. Meanwhile, she’s got one of her regular customers, Razmik (Karren Karaguilian), looking for her. Razmik has problems of his own, he’s attracted to transgender prostitutes, but he’s married with a young daughter at home. He’s also got his nosy mother-in-law visiting for the holidays.

Sin-Dee finds Dinah in a motel room with several other prostitutes and their naked male customers, so she literally kidnaps her and then heads to confront Chester. Alexandra, meanwhile, scuffles with a customer who doesn’t feel like he should pay her because he didn’t come. But she does have sex with Razmik in a brilliant uncut sex scene in a car wash. All these characters converge together at the local Donut Shop as they confront each other about infidelity in a very dramatic and hilarious ending. Tangerine is a Christmas tale not of the typical Christmas kind.

Shot on three iphone 5s’ on a $105,000 budget, Tangerine is not the sort of movie you would expect to be dazzling, funny, dramatic, adventurous and original, but it is. Thanks to the many elements that bring this 88-minute film to fruition which make it so; the guerrilla style filmmaking is excellently created by Director, Editor, Co-Cinematographer and Co-Writer Sean Baker (co-written along with Chris Bergoch). And the actors are fantastic. Baker initially met Taylor at the Los Angeles Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender and Queer Community Center, and she introduced him to all her friends, including Rodriquez, which is how ‘Tangerine’ came to be, and these two actresses more than carry the movie, they are the movie, you can’t take your eyes off them. The rest of the cast is also brilliant; especially Karaguilian (who is a professional actor) brings sympathy to his role as a man trying to do the right thing but who also harbours a secret, and O’Hagan as the ‘other’ woman who is literally dragged around Los Angeles by Sin-Dee in the search for Chester. The Los Angeles neighborhood where this film is shot feels like another character in the film; the hued and hazzy skies, cheap motels, strange people and very cheap fast food restaurants litter the area. And the music (and script) is cutting edge; pulsating, loud, sharp, a perfect match for a film with characters who are the same, who spew lines such as ‘He just went from half fag to full fag’ to ‘You forget I’ve got a dick too,’ and ‘you don’t have to Chris Brown the bitch’ with copious amounts of the word ‘bitch’ and ‘whore.’ ‘Tangerine is a smorgasbord of wit and sarcasm. It’s also brilliant and must be seen to be believed.

Tangerine is now out on DVD.



Tangerine [DVD] (DVD)

Director: Sean Baker
Starring: Kitana Kiki Rodriguez, Mya Taylor, Karren Karagulian, Mickey O'Hagan, James Ransone
Rating: Suitable for 15 years and over

Sean Baker writes and directs this comedy drama about the life of a transgender sex worker in downtown Los Angeles. Having just been released from prison, Sin-Dee Rella (Kitana Kiki Rodriguez) discovers that her pimp and boyfriend Chester (James Ransome) has been cheating on her with a white girl called Dinah (Mickey O'Hagan). With nothing but revenge on her mind, Sin-Dee spends the entire night searching the city for the cheating couple.Technical Specs: Languages(s): EnglishInteractive Menu
New From: £39.99 GBP In Stock
Used from: £32.92 GBP In Stock

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14th Nov2015

Tangerine (Film)

by timbaros

TangerineTwo transgender prostitutes tear up Santa Monica Boulevard in the brilliant new film ‘Tangerine.’ In a week that also sees the releases of Michael Fassbender in ‘Steve Jobs’ and Dame Maggie Smith in ‘Lady in a Van,’ Tangerine’ is far and above the best film of the three.

It is one of the most funny and original films of the year. and stars two transgender actresses in the lead roles, roles that will make them both stars.

Mya Taylor is Alexandra, and Kitana Kiki Rodriquez is Sin-Dee (yes, Sin-Dee), it’s Christmas Eve in Los Angeles, and Sin-Dee has just got out of jail after spending 28 days for holding drugs for her pimp boyfriend Chester (James Ransom). She finds out, from Alexandra, that Chester has been having sex with Dinah (Mickey O’Hagan), so Sin-Dee goes on a mission to find Dinah and then to confront Chester. And Alexandra is having her own drama – she’s performing at a local bar that night and has passed out fliers to everyone she knows. Meanwhile, she’s got one of her regular customers, Razmik (Karren Karaguilian), looking for her. Razmik has problems of his own, he’s attracted to transgender prostitutes, but he’s married with a young daughter at home. He’s also got his nosy mother-in-law visiting for the holidays.

TANGERINE_still_two_girls_in_sunset

Sin-Dee finds Dinah in a motel room with several other prostitutes and their naked male customers, so she literally kidnaps her and then heads to confront Chester. Alexandra, meanwhile, scuffles with a customer who doesn’t feel like he should pay her because he didn’t come. But she does have sex with Razmik in a brilliant uncut sex scene in a car wash. All these characters converge together at the local Donut Shop as they confront each other about infidelity in a very dramatic and hilarious ending. Tangerine is a Christmas tale not of the typical Christmas kind.

Shot on three iphone 5s’ on a $105,000 budget, Tangerine is not the sort of movie you would expect to be dazzling, funny, dramatic, adventurous and original, but it is. Thanks to the many elements that bring this 88-minute film to fruition which make it so; the guerrilla style filmmaking is excellently created by Director, Editor, Co-Cinematographer and Co-Writer Sean Baker (co-written along with Chris Bergoch). And the actors are fantastic. Baker initially met Taylor at the Los Angeles Lesbian Gay Bisexual Transgender and Queer Community Center, and she introduced him to all her friends, including Rodriquez, which is how ‘Tangerine’ came to be, and these two actresses more than carry the movie, they are the movie, you can’t take your eyes off them. The rest of the cast is also brilliant; especially Karaguilian (who is a professional actor) brings sympathy to his role as a man trying to do the right thing but who also harbours a secret, and O’Hagan as the ‘other’ woman who is literally dragged around Los Angeles by Sin-Dee in the search for Chester. The Los Angeles neighborhood where this film is shot feels like another character in the film; the hued and hazzy skies, cheap motels, strange people and very cheap fast food restaurants litter the area. And the music (and script) is cutting edge; pulsating, loud, sharp, a perfect match for a film with characters who are the same, who spew lines such as ‘He just went from half fag to full fag’ to ‘You forget I’ve got a dick too,’ and ‘you don’t have to Chris Brown the bitch’ with copious amounts of the word ‘bitch’ and ‘whore.’ ‘Tangerine is a smorgasbord of wit and sarcasm. It’s also brilliant and must be seen to be believed.

Tangerine is now playing in UK cinemas.

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