James Kicklighter Interviews, Press Reviews and Articles

Review: Angel of Anywhere is a deeply human, dramatic exploration

  • A deftly written, intelligently executed, deeply human, dramatic exploration into the very heart of what it means to have the desire to see things that are broken fixed. With a beautiful sense of itself and its purpose, the film’s perfect pacing allows us to experience a full immersion into the intricacies of the emotionally scarred individuals Angel comes into contact with, allowing him opportunity to infuse an almost otherworldly calm, idealistic, and empathetic wisdom to each. Throughout the narrative as well, both visually and verbally, whether forefront or in background, everything points to the aforementioned notions above, while the film’s setting and cinematography greatly speaks to the naked, raw vulnerability being presented as well. Plus, suffice it to say, the film’s finale puts a well earned exclamation point on the proceedings, highly evocative and richly effective in conjunction with the themes here.

    September 11, 2017. One Film Fan >>

Near flawless design and execution: Angel of Anywhere review

  • Should you find yourself randomly watching this film at some point down the road, unless told by another, you would think it was produced by any one of your favorite studios. An exercise in near flawless design and execution…Angel himself, played by Axel Roldos, feels almost perfect. A real person who happened to be caught on camera for seventeen minutes. I simply can’t stress enough how excellently this production flows onscreen. From the technical to the acting. It’s all really top notch.

    September 7, 2017. IndyRed >>

Remarkably intelligent and impressive: Angel of Anywhere review

  • Aside from the wonderful dialogue between the main players, Kicklighter also adorns his short film with a visual smorgasbord of filmmaking treats. From the aforementioned one-take opening of Angel entering the club, to a charming little sequence where he fixes a lightbulb, several sequences in Angel of Anywhere are beautifully filmed and delivered. There is a daring to the craft that does not let the central themes do all of the heavy lifting. Instead, the aesthetic and mise en scéne are just as integral to the movie’s power as the characters and dialogue. This can be seen in the wonderfully atmospheric backroom where the key scenes take place, with its cold blue light and sparseness, and Angel filling the room with his almost naked body. This expertly suited the emotional vulnerability of the characters who entered.

    September 7, 2017. UK Film Review >>

Smart and Challenging: Angel of Anywhere review

  • There’s quite a bit of symbolism tucked inside the short runtime of James Kicklighter‘s latest film Angel of Anywhere, a 16-minute, well-made short that hides a greater message about human relationships behind the skin of an all-male strip club. While the setting isn’t exactly a new one of course, it’s far less about the stage show or even the relationships of the dancers, but rather the impact of one man who serves importance in ways even he’s not entirely aware of.

    It’s important to pay attention to these details in Kicklighter’s movie, written by Kate Murdoch and Casey Nelson, as nothing is not connected, every action tied to the next and ultimately to a twist ending. Things might seem superfluous and have potential to be disregarded as filler, but that is missing the larger point of who and what Angel is and what the end reveals about his fate. It’s smart and it’s challenging. Any film that forces questions like this are worth a closer look.

    September 7, 2017. That Moment In >>

If Angel can help, he will: Angel of Anywhere review

  • The Anywhere club is a small dive where women, who are just looking for a fun time, can go to watch male strippers perform on stage or in private rooms for a little one-to-one action. One of the most popular dancers is Angel (Axel Roldos), a genuinely nice guy who can’t help but try and fix everything he comes across that is damaged and/or broken; from light bulbs to speaker systems, people with monetary problems to crumbling marriages – if Angel can help, he will. Axel Roldos is well-cast as the likable Angel. Briana Evigan, who also starred in a couple of Step Up films, as well as Sorority Row and as Sonja in the From Dusk Till Dawn series brings some gravitas to the production and is very strong in her performance as Michelle.

    September 6, 2017. Screencritix >>