Prince of Broadway was 2008, Starlet was 2012, and Tangerine was this year. before Prince were two other movies. in tv land he was a co-creator of Greg the Bunny and wrote the twelve episodes of Warren the Ape. Sean Baker.
he was the co-writer, director, cinematographer, and sound designer for Prince of Broadway. that’s called “bringing it.” that’s being a Carpenter.
my gateway was Tangerine, which is indeed the best movie of his i’ve seen, but i like how my backward travel allows me to know what he’ll become while i watch his earlier movies. i think he’s a miracle, he’s a hero figure to me now, and i still don’t know a lick about him, since i think he has a talent for creating selfless cinema, with characters unlike him and his life (yet richly detailed within their movie worlds).
that’s Mike Leigh and Ken Loach stuff. that sounds like people movies, and it is. and he bakes these movies in modern and effortless ways. he feels natural to his times. i think his world perspective is marvelous, as he operates in realms of morality without magnetizing himself to their analytics.
his movie are 100% about the actors on screen and exist as such. there only being people and their emotions, his movies have ended with — what does one do during one’s hard times? one moves forward along with others the same. the feels. the strong ones. i think the final texture of Tangerine is the one created with the confidence of experience. and watching Prince and Starlet i see how he gets and deserves this confidence.
this is Kenneth Turan’s LA Time Review:
"Prince of Broadway" thinks outside the box. It's an undeniably small yet almost indefinable film, warmhearted and bittersweet, laced with both humor and tough emotions. Plus it has a kind of bicoastal appeal.
Though it won the grand jury prize at the 2008 Los Angeles Film Festival and was a nominee for the 2009 Independent Spirit Awards' John Cassavetes nod, "Prince" owes a lot of its allure to its very New York situation and state of mind.
As directed by Sean Baker, "Prince" greatly benefits from its gritty cinéma-vérité setting on the edges of Manhattan's wholesale fashion district, a place where street-level clothing hustlers try to make a few dollars on the far side of the law.
"Prince's" script is credited to Baker and Darren Dean, but an on-screen message tells us that the dialogue "was realized through improvisation and a collaborative process with all actors.”
New York state of mind. love it. i always miss it in LA. i usually miss this quality in LA movies, except Baker is indeed bicoastal. and transcultural. and i assume everyone is simply jealous he brought the iphone 5s to the big screen because goddamnit he did it.
in Prince what's realistic is a hustler brings customers from the street into the backroom of a store owned by Karren Karagulian (who's in Prince, Starlet, and Tangerine). the hustler sleeps on the floor of a shabby apartment in new york city, yet he dresses with style, and his style pattern is interrupted by his ex bringing him his child. escapades ensue, of both the practical and emotional variety. and the kid is a flawless actor, he's a child doing the type of acting that makes the adults jealous.
a thing i'd meant to mention while chatting Starlet is James Ransone. because this trivia for fans of The Wire:
he was Chester 'Ziggy' Sobotka in The Wire, he was in Generation Kill, and he's pitch perfect in both Tangerine and Starlet.