Tangerine

Sean Baker‘s Sundance smash Tangerine stands out in a couple of ways. For one thing, it chronicles the Christmas Eve misadventures of two transgender prostitutes — not a premise we see on film very often. For another, it was shot entirely on an iPhone 5. But beyond that, it seems worth checking out simply because it looks damn interesting.

Newcomers Kitana Kiki Rodriguez and Mya Taylor are instantly compelling as Sin-Dee and Alexandra, two BFFs working the streets of LA, and their journey takes them through some of LA’s more obscure corners and subcultures. Watch the Tangerine trailer after the jump.  Read More »

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Filmmaker Sean Baker (Four Letter Words, Take Out, Prince of Broadway, Starlet) premiered his new film Tangerine at the Library theater Friday at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival. A Q&A followed the screening during which Baker revealed that the film was shot entirely using three iPhone 5S phones. (Update: Our original story said “almost entirely,” before the film’s team provided a correction.) The revelation got an audible gasp from the crowd who had just watched the movie. It’s not the that film looked amazing — it had a digital look to it for sure — it’s just that no one could tell that it was shot on iPhones.

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Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: What better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising? This week we’re giving Ed Burns one more chance, I discover Australian musician Paul Kelly and have my mind asploded, we watch a feminine odd couple connect with one another, we get a little street, a guy begs for his wife to come back to him, and Gloria Estefan becomes the basis for a horror movie. 

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Trailers are an under-appreciated art form insofar that many times they’re seen as vehicles for showing footage, explaining films away, or showing their hand about what moviegoers can expect. Foreign, domestic, independent, big budget: I celebrate all levels of trailers and hopefully this column will satisfactorily give you a baseline of what beta wave I’m operating on, because what better way to hone your skills as a thoughtful moviegoer than by deconstructing these little pieces of advertising? Some of the best authors will tell you that writing a short story is a lot harder than writing a long one, that you have to weigh every sentence. What better medium to see how this theory plays itself out beyond that than with movie trailers?

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a-contract-with-god

One of the enduring examples of the graphic novel as a form is Will Eisner‘s A Contract With God, a collection of short stories that is often called the first graphic novel. It isn’t that, but it is a wonderful book, and a great example of why Eisner is considered a master of comic book storytelling.

Now, and this was probably inevitable, there is a film version in development. Read More »