Keep the Lights On
EXEC PROD Jawal Nga
PRODS Lucas Joaquin, Marie Therese Guirgis
SCR Ira Sachs
CAM Thimios Bakatakis
ED Affonso Goncalves
PROD DES Amy Williams
PROD CO Parts and Labor / Post FactoryNY Films / Tiny Dancer Films / Alarum Pictures / Film 50
Talented New York filmmaker Ira Sachs (The Delta, Forty Shades of Blue) returns to VIFF with his latest acclaimed drama. A deeply personal work taken from his own life experience, the film chronicles one couple’s emotional and sexual journey through love and addiction.
Documentary filmmaker Erik and closeted lawyer Paul meet through a phone sex line in 1990s New York City. They form a deep bond and remain a couple for nearly a decade. When they first meet, Paul smokes crack casually. But as their relationship evolves into something more serious, so does Paul’s drug habit. The film takes the couple through several years involving rehab, infidelity and break-ups.
Boasting a raw intensity in its depiction of gay sexuality, the film is also lovingly romantic as it explores the ups and downs of this volatile relationship. With the film’s narrative seen primarily through Erik’s eyes, Danish actor Thure Lindhardt delivers a gentle yet powerful performance, exposing the character’s isolation and vulnerability. Frank, brave and inspiring, Keep the Lights On is also a moving film that looks at love and all its messy, damaging entanglements. "The writer-director’s first same-sex relationship drama since 1997’s The Delta plays out episodes of sexual awakening, substance abuse and romantic indecision against a luminous, beautifully textured canvas."—Justin Chang, Variety