Why You Need to Watch “Tangerine.”

What do you get when you have two transgender sex workers, one “crack whore” and an Armenian cab driver with a heavy secret? A recipe for disaster, that’s what. Tangerine takes place in Los Angeles on Christmas Eve, so this film is technically a Christmas movie as well which makes it even better. Tangerine is a reminder that all humans have feelings that can be hurt because betrayal hurts all of us no matter who we are.
The logline states:

“Fresh out of a stint in jail, transgender prostitute Sin-Dee and her pal Alexandra hit the crazy streets of LA to get revenge on her fickle pimp.”

I want to point out that this film is shot entirely on an iPhone. I really liked the cinematography of the film because it added legitimacy to live on the streets in LA. The rhythm of the film was unique as well. Whenever the characters were indoors, the pacing of the film was slower, and when the characters were in cars, buses or walking around on the streets, everything would speed up. The soundtrack was fantastic as well, which helped enhance the cinematography, acting, and pacing/rhythm of the film. The music brought more entertainment value to this movie, making you want to jump off your couch and run all over the streets of LA.

This film is exciting and will make you laugh.  After all, it is a Christmas comedy. The constant situations are hilarious, and the acting was superb. It was like I was actually watching people that I didn’t know on screen in a movie versus actors playing different roles in a film. It was totally believable. I just didn’t think that they were actors. I felt that they were real people. I had no idea who these people were, and I wanted to get to know them throughout the entire film.  What I am trying to say is that this film felt so real and raw that I thought that I was on the streets following these people around and I wasn’t watching your typical film.

The build-up to the climatic point of the film was fantastic. Despite knowing what was going to happen, you still didn’t know what the end result was going to be. That is a tricky thing to do as a filmmaker or storyteller. What was revealed at the end was that no matter how different you are from society, all humans have feelings, and we all can be hurt emotionally.

Society looks down upon hookers, transgender men/women, crack heads, pimps, and corrupt cab drivers. But this film humanizes those people to show how we all can relate to someone so different from us.

I studied the Meisner Technique for acting, and my teacher said something about playing a “crack whore” that really stuck with me.  He talked about most actors do not have any experience doing crack or being in the sex trade, but we do have a lot more in common with that person than we think we do because we all want something in life that we will do anything to get. For a “crack whore,” she sells her body to feed her crack addiction, but for us, we do or give up something needlessly to get something towards what we need regularly. It may not be as drastic, but we can relate to that in a way and use that commonality to play certain characters as actors. You can apply that concept in terms of empathy towards anyone.

What do you have in common with the person you are sitting next to? Probably a lot more than you think.

This film makes these characters likable because of the fact that they are humanized. They show us that people who are different from you, and I have feelings, attachments, and emotions that are similar to the ones that everyone else has. Humans all share the same emotions, no matter how different we look or act. Tangerineshows us that these people are human and that we should not ignore that.  No matter how different we all appear to be, we still all share the same feelings and emotions.

I would love to know what you think! Comment below and let me know!


“The Zos Knows”

-David Zosel 

If you want to support my writing and for me to be able to create more content you can make a donation here: Venmo

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