This is just another day on some of the meaner streets of the underbelly of a city which is the home turf of these very tough sharp-tongue lady boys who make their living selling sex and whatever else they can lay their hands on. They are fearlessly fabulous and rule the roost of these few blocks between Highland Avenue and Santa Monica Boulevard where straight ‘johns’ cruise to get a fix.
As the two manically rush around town separately Alexandra comes across Razmik a middle-aged Armenian cab driver who is a regular client of most of the ‘girls’ in the area and he is overjoyed to learn that Sin-Dee is back on the beat. She tells the cabbie that Sin-Dee will be at the Bar later to watch her perform, and he promises to meet them there in the hope of scoring a ‘date’ with her. However nothing ever works out as planned and Alexandra ends up plaintively singing to an audience of one, so tonight is obviously not going to be when she gets the break to go legit that she pines for.
The plot gets messy from there when it takes a farcical turn, but frankly it is really not that important anyway. This whole movie is much more like a bizarre reality show with its the high voltage of energy that its cast of larger-than-life characters bring to it that is the essential ingredient of this wonderful big-hearted frenetic street drama. The fact that filmmaker Sean Baker shot the whole thing on IPhones adds a real frisson plus the performance of his two lead transgendered newbie actors Kiki Kitana Rodriquez and Mya Taylor made such compelling viewing. Baker credits the actors for drawing on their own personal experiences that gave such a authenticity and vitality to all their unstoppable bad-mouthing which is such a sheer delight to watch and listen too.
When this rather audacious indie movie premiered at Sundance Film Festival audiences leaped to the feet at the end, a reaction that I feel will be repeated quite often whenever it is screened.
Wednesday, April 22, 2015