With his latest feature, Memphis-born, New York-based Ira Sachs has created a landmark film about a gay relationship. With a strikingly frank depiction of man-on-man sex, and a refreshing honesty about the potential depths a dysfunctional bond can descend to, Keep the Lights On is an unforgettable cinematic experience.
The film opens when documentary filmmaker Erick (Thure Lindhardt) hooking up with a possible sex partner in New York in 1998. He meets up with Paul (Zachary Booth), a closeted lawyer and the two have intense sex. But when Erick leaves his phone number, Paul warns him “I have a girlfriend, so don’t get your hopes up.”
So begins their complicated tryst, which evolves into a full-fledged relationship, one encumbered by addiction, jealousy and compulsive sex – hurdles that ultimately prove insurmountable.
What Sachs does so admirably is capture the decade-long struggle of this couple with such brazen honesty – there is no effort to sanitize the dark depths of this relationship. He proves himself, once again, to be an actors’ director with a keen ability to build an ensemble. This semi-autobiographical feature will undoubtedly find its way onto multiple top-ten critics’ lists, and deservedly so. The pain and anguish of a tortured relationship can be felt in every frame. – M. Hays
Presented in collaboration with TD.
Thursday 22 November 19:00 | PGM
Cinéma du Parc