Keep the Lights On
USA  2012, 101 min

One of the exceptional films of 2012, Ira Sachs’s captivating and sexually-charged narrative is about a gay couple’s intimately intense and vulnerable relationship.

Ira Sachs (The Delta, Forty Shades of Blue) is not afraid to delve deeply into our effervescent and sometimes carnal nature that makes us tick as humans. Set in New York City in the late '90s, Keep the Lights On follows blond and handsome documentary filmmaker Erik (Thure Lindhardt) during his sexual awakening as he finds johns through one-night stands or phone sex chat lines. That is where he meets sweet and sexy literary agent Paul (Zachary Booth) that sparks an hedonistic relationship that goes beyond their occasional hot sex. The couple embarks on an explosive and equally destructive nine-year journey of drug addiction, emotional turmoil and heartfelt sacrifices. What makes this absorbing drama such an essential piece of queer cinema is how brutally honest, raw and unnerving Erik and Paul’s relationship unfolds on screen. Both Lindhardt’s and Booth’s remarkable performances and the film’s razor sharp dialogue perfectly capture the volatile time period when the AIDS crisis loomed heavily over the gay community. The real beauty behind this powerful work is that the storyline is based on Sachs’s life experiences and thus boldly epitomizing “life imitating art.” -- Kelly Burkhardt

Purchase Tickets
Saturday, July 21, 7:15 PM
Ritz East Theater 2

Tickets at Venue
Guests and Events
Director Ira Sachs will be in attendance to discuss the film with the audience and take questions.
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Philadelphia Premiere
Director: Ira Sachs
Cast: Thure Lindhardt, Zachary Booth, Julianne Nicholson, Souleymane Sy Savane
Screenwriter(s): Ira Sachs, Mauricio Zacharias
Producer(s): Marie-Therese Guirgis, Lucas Joaquin, Ira Sachs
Cinematographer: Thimios Bakatakis
Editor(s): Affonso Gonçalves
Print Source:
Music Box Films
Contact: Ed Arentz