Keep the Lights On chronicles the emotionally and sexually charged journey through the love, addiction, and friendship of two men. Documentary filmmaker Erik and closeted lawyer Paul meet through a casual encounter, but they find a deeper connection and become a couple. Individually and together, they are risk takers—compulsive, and fueled by drugs and sex. In an almost decade-long relationship defined by highs, lows, and dysfunctional patterns, Erik struggles to negotiate his own boundaries and dignity, and to be true to himself.
Keep the Lights On is shot with a grainy beauty that transports us to its late ’90s setting. It resonates with textures of New York City, accentuated by disco beats and a mournful cello, both from musician Arthur Russell’s eclectic catalog. Director Ira Sachs’s fearlessly personal screenplay is anchored by Danish actor Thure Lindhardt, who embodies Erik’s isolation and vulnerability with a gentle presence. Harrowing and romantic, visceral and intellectual, Keep the Lights On is a moving film that looks at love and all of its manifestations, taking it to dark depths and bringing it back to a place of grace. –Sundance Film Festival
Ira Sachs is a writer and director based in New York City. His films include Married Life (2007), The Delta (1997), and the 2005 Sundance Dramatic Grand Jury Prize–winning Forty Shades of Blue. His most recent film, Last Address, is a short work honoring a group of New York City artists who died of AIDS. Sachs is the founder and cocurator of Queer/Art/Film, a monthly series held at the IFC Center in New York, as well as its newly established program that supports mentorship among queer working artists. –Sundance Film Festival
the fact that this wasn't displayed as a gay stereotypical film should be plenty of reason to watch it but more to go more in depth, i enjoyed the raw emotion captured by the two main characters. the rise and fall of relationship as well as the in-between was done really well and i wasn't expecting to be as impressed as i was.
Two things about this: Erik and the opening credits. Sadly, only its first half really works. After that, it gets annoyingly unrealistic and painfully pointless. 9 years going to nowhere? Not an ultimatum here but it feels like in real life they could not exceed 3. And worse: they both looked exactly the same after almost an entire decade (and I'm not talking about the same haircuts all over the years).
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It’s rare for film to explore the dynamics of relationships without running into cliches that defend the idealistic traps of romance as binding and compromising, which is common in Hollywood studio… read review
Keep the Lights On, Ira Sachs’ delicate new feature, came to Bristol last night with the first snow. A candid and intimate memoir loosely set in Manhattan, the… read review
The art of Boris Torres featured in the opening titles of Keep the Lights On it stunning. It evokes both the homoerotic subtleties of Henry Scott Tuke and the modern, almost voyeuristic realism of… read review