“The film depicts the community of New York as we all live in it, but that we don’t see so often in cinema, in the sense that the boundaries between gay and straight have disappeared,” Filmmaker Ira Sachs recently told Nicolas Rapold of the New York Times. He is referring to his upcoming film "Keep the Lights On," a love story that is part autobiography and part poem depicting love, sex and art in the city that never sleeps.
The film follows the 10 year relationship between Erik, a documentary filmmaker and Paul, a closeted lawyer struggling with crack addiction. Erik, played by Thure Lindhardt, loosely relives Sachs' past relationship with Bill Clegg, a hot New York-based literary agent with a serious problem recounted in his memoir, "Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man." The film itself was pulled from ten years of Sachs' journal entries, and was co-written by Mauricio Zacharias.
Painful memories, intoxicating chemistry and bittersweet non-endings create a pulsating love story that depicts a homosexual relationship without dwelling on it. Following in the footsteps of more mainstream films like "The Kids Are All Right," the characters in "Keep the Lights On" embrace sexual identities beyond gay and straight while conveying the essential emotions that make up the human experience. As a result, it's easy to see why Eric Hynes at the Village Voice wrote: "Sachs's stunner is a front-runner for best American film of the year."