“Tangerine” was the last film of a 6-movie-marathon – by far my busiest day of this years Viennale. As you can imagine, by that time, I was already a little worn out. However, Sean Baker’s rousing feature had me wide awake again in no time, and proved to be one of the best films that I saw at this years Viennale.
“Tangerine” is infamous for being one of the first movies that were shot exclusively with an iPhone, and while this may be noticeable – and the accompanying digital look would really annoy me in a fantasy of science fiction-film – in this case, since it told a very intimate and contemporary story, it fit the film perfectly. Also, because of the fact that it’s actually shot in 2.35:1, and not just the “regular” camera phone format of 1.85:1, it didn’t look cheap. I also really loved the characters – especially Sin-Dee and Alexandra, with whom I sympathized with pretty much right away – as well as the twists and turns their relationships took – like with Sin-Dee and Dinah starting out as ruthless enemies, but then they share a tender moment together in the bathroom of the club. The actors are all great, especially Kitana Kiki Rodriguez and Mya Taylor. Despite the fact that those two were very much the heart and soul of the movie, and at its center, I also liked everything about cab driver Razmik, his family, and the secret that he’s keeping from them. There were many funny moments, some great lines (“Merry fucking christmas, bitch!”), as well as a couple of quite emotional scenes. The soundtrack also was absolutely great, very infectious and inciting. “Tangerine”‘s biggest strength, however, is that it’s vibrant, energetic, and full of life. It’s a unique, extraordinary and riveting film that no fan of cinema should pass up on.