Skip to main content

Tangerine (2015): Review (repost)

Commissioned by Marilyn Roxie for their website, Video Hook-Ups, I recently wrote a review for Sean Baker's Tangerine (2015).

Tangerine was shot on smart phones for $100,000 and tells the story of Sin-Dee. A trans sex worker released from jail, Sin-Dee expects her fiance/pimp, Chester, to be waiting for her. Instead, she's greeted by another trans woman, Alexandra. A close friend and fellow trans sex worker, Alex splits a pastry with Sin-Dee at the local donut shop; she also tells Sin-Dee that Chester hasn't been faithful. Sin-Dee is livid; she's only been inside for twenty-one days! Enraged, the scandalized bride-to-be marches off to learn the truth...


Below is an except from my review, which you can read in its entirety on Marilyn's website:

"I confess, if not for the gender variety the premise would be somewhat rote. Here, however, it isn’t tacked on or cheap. Much of the drama, comedy and action revolve around the fact that Sin-Dee is trans, and that many of the other characters are not. The contrast is vital. Sin-Dee is the heroine, but a tragic one: she’s a bit too feisty to merit the title “whore with a heart of gold,” and a bit too criminal to be seen as innocent or pure. All the same, the drama works; she merits pity without feeling preachy or demonic. Neither scapegoat nor stock, she simply is what she is. Here, we’re given a rare opportunity: to have a trans woman in a starring role that doesn’t feel pigeonholed."

Follow me on Twitter!


Become a Patron

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

My Two Cents: An Interview with Ahdy Khairat

Hello, everyone! My name is Nicholas van der Waard. I have my MA in English Studies: the Gothic, and run a blog centered on Gothic horror, Nick's Movie Insights. However, if you follow Ahdy Khairat's channel on YouTube, you probably know me as "the two cents guy." With this post, I wanted to interview Ahdy himself and talk to him about his work. But first, a bit of history...


Preface
March 25th, 2018. It was a dark Manchester night. I was wearing a Cthul-aid t-shirt and standing in the kitchen of my student-provided flat. Holding my phone in my hand, I was making myself some dinner (rice, eggs and soy sauce—a student diet if ever there was) after a seminar earlier in the evening. I had on my headphones and was listening to some nightly music—some subscribed content on YouTube when Ahdy Khairat's latest remaster, "Call of Ktulu," popped up.

This caught my eye; I had several of Ahdy's remasters on my iPod, and enjoyed his work. However, I also knew he …

Dragon Ball Super: Broly (2019) - Is it Gothic?

Can Dragon Ball be Gothic? As a scholar of the Gothic, that's exactly what I wondered when I sat down to watch Dragon Ball Super: Broly (2019). In the movie, the death god Beerus literally takes a vacation. The Gothic mostly does, too, but let's take a closer look...


The movie more or less starts with King Vegeta looking upon his infant son, Prince Vegeta. Incubating inside the royal saiyan maternity ward, the boy is small; his power levels are not. The king looks smug. "I look forward to watching you grow into a vicious king!" he boasts. King Vegeta and those under him work for King Cold, an even bigger tyrant. At the movie's start, Cold retires, putting his son in charge. Ever the enfant terrible, Freiza belittles the saiyans for their poor technology. After killing a handful for seemingly no reason, he introduces the now-infamous scanners for the survivors to use. With more explanation than the original show ever bothered to provide, DBS: Broly throws the sava…

Mandy (2018): Review

Panos Cosmatos' Mandy (2018) borrows from many films. It opens with a scrolling forest, but the camera soon nods upward, at a colorful planetscape. This reverses the opening shot in Star Wars (1977), when the camera falls from the sky to rest on Tatooine and her moons. Murky and rich, the music sets the tone. It's a tale of good versus evil, of a pastoral scene broken by violence and repaid in kind.


Mandy is a fantasy tale of revenge that forces Cage into a largely mute role. The actor's somewhat constrained delivery assists the narrative versus hijacking it; the story is at once a fairy tale and a Western, with horror themes: an old gunslinger working a menial job must return to a life of violence after his wife is killed. To do so, he must also return to drinking and meeting with old, bellicose friends. His bloody quest is two-fold, the villain tucked away in a tower, guarded by parallel agents who swear fealty to no one and delight in mayhem. They cannot be killed; Cage …