Long a fan of director Sean Baker, the existence of The Florida Project took me by surprise. I wasn’t surprised to love it, or to find it exquisitely intimate and compassionate, but it is a true mental shift to accept we live in a world in which Sean Baker films have a budget. Baker has spent most of his career making films on a shoestring, which he then manages to pull a mile. In terms of making the absolute most of what he has been given, The Florida Project is no exception. It’s a beautiful film that deals in contradictions: quiet and loud, brassy and sensitive, painful and lovely to watch. Baker is already well practiced in toeing the line between drama and comedy, as demonstrated through his previous films, particularly 2015’s Tangerine. Instead of erecting humor and melancholy as two separate poles which one may oscillate between, Baker finds the comedic within the dramatic, compromising neither. Thus, he provides a unique illustration of how films can engage with overlapping emotions that are conventionally considered contradictory, and ultimately produce deeply resonant and truthful stories.
Tag: Sean Baker
Sean Baker’s TANGERINE was one of 2015’s major accomplishments. It blended together a balanced mix of social relevance, ingenious technical elements, excellent visuals, and a story that touched on cerebral themes without neglecting entertainment value. Most importantly, however, the film portrayed the experiences of trans women in a way that was honest and intimate. This insight is owed to the collaboration between director Sean Baker and star Mya Taylor, whose stories from the neighborhood where the film was shot impacted the film’s writing. YouTube comment sections and opinion pieces are full of trans viewers mentioning the film’s accuracy in the trans experience.