“And now we’ve reached the last movie in my Chicago adventures. The last full day I was there was leading up to our big event for the evening, the aforementioned Move Live on Tour with Derek and Julianne Hough. But we had some time to kill first. After an amazing breakfast at a legit Mexican place (just when I’d resigned myself to only having real enchiladas suizas and menudo at Christmas), we stomped around lincoln park for a bit. But there was still more time. Movie? My buddy checked out the options that were near us or near our eventual destination. We were originally seeking out Paper Towns, until he remembered a cute independent theater that showed independent movies that wouldn’t be too hard to get to. On their lineup, they had Tangerine. He’d heard some good buzz for it and I remember spying a good review in EW. Sure, what the heck.

First off, the Music Box theater in Chicago is pretty great, at least from what I saw. Its a cute venue with intimate screening rooms and an adjoining bar room beside the box office. Besides, you’ve gotta love a place that nonchalantly (can you use that word not describing a person’s attitude?) places a leg lamp in a corridor that’s filled with similarly lighted but non descript lamps.

Tangerine follows a day in the life of transgender working girl Sin-Dee Rella, who soon after her release from prison finds out that her pimp/fiancee has been cheating on her. It’s her mission to find both of them and give them hell to pay.

First off, it’s just great to have a movie like this with transgender lead characters (her BFF is as well). Even better that the film is not just about that part of them. It’s a detail in their characters, and an important one, but not the focus, and not the main plot point. Society is making (small) progress!

It certainly had that small indie feel. Minimal on all fronts: story, setting, scope in general. No flashy effects or big name actors to wow you. Just an imtimate look at some real life characters. While I may not have always liked what Sin-Dee was doing on screen (she was sometimes a bit too loud and in your face for a quiet introvert like me) she was a very likeable character. You wanted her to catch a break instead of staying stuck in her less than ideal life, and you cared about her.

Oh and very important note: the whole thing was shot on iPhone5. No fancy equipment or exclusive technology. Just some everyday tools that are easily available. That on its own should be inspirational.

Tangerine – \m/ \m/ \m/”

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