A male stripper spends the majority of his time playing a therapist to the club’s clientele in James Kicklighter’s latest short film Angel of Anywhere.
“Can I touch you?”
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.
Such an occasion happens when Angel is hired to go into the private room by a shy woman called Michelle (Briana Evigan). She is married but is understandably down due to her believing she can’t be herself around her husband. Angel listens and offers her some advice, whilst brushing up against her.
James Kicklighter has featured on Screen Critix before, with his well received documentary Digital Edition (review here) and the romantic Desires of the Heart (review here) of which he co-directed with Rajesh Rathi. So we were already aware of his great skills as a filmmaker. Angel of Anywhere is no different from his previous works, in that it’s a very well-crafted short film.
Jonathan Pope does a remarkable job as the cinematographer. He frames the shots well and makes great use of the lighting which, when combined with Jerimiah Morey’s grading and Christopher Cullen’s production design, creates some beautiful imagery. From the deep blues and reds of the private rooms, to the complete contrast of the strip club and the supermarket – Angel of Anywhere looks and plays like it should – cinematic.
Axel Roldos is well-cast as the likable Angel. I was impressed with all the performances including those of the background artists – the women going crazy at the sight of some male flesh. 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.
Written by Kate Murdoch and Casey Nelson, the screenplay is strong with some great dialogue and pacing. I had to laugh in one instance though, when a man, who is drinking in the strip club, asks Angel if he worked there. Seeing as Angel was walking around in nothing more than a pair of tight underpants, I think the answer was rather obvious.
Still, Angel of Anywhere was an enjoyable 16 minute short film created by James Kicklighter and his group of talented cohorts. You should definitely check it out if given half a chance.