6. Tangerine (2015)
Much like his 2017 film The Florida Project, Sean Baker’s breakout hit is ostensibly upbeat, awash with lurid colours whose brightness obscures the seedy underworld he is unmasking. Famously shot on an iPhone, Tangerine is a day in the life of the trans prostitute Sin-Dee (Kitana Kiki Rodriguez), who finds out that her pimp boyfriend Chester has been cheating on her with a cisgender woman. Alexandra (Mya Taylor), another of Chester’s trans sex workers, vows to accompany her best friend Sin-Dee on her quest for vengeance, on the proviso that there be no drama. To this end, Tangerine‘s protagonists traipse through the unvarnished surrounds of Downtown Los Angeles – past dive bars and grubby laundrettes – to the sound of pounding dubstep, chattering away in fast-paced street slang. Sin-Dee and Alexandra’s friendship weathers abandonment and recklessness before a cataclysmic confrontation pushes their bond to its limits.