Archive of films Keep the Lights On / Keep the Lights On

2012, 102 min

Section: Another View
Year: 2012

A sexually open account of a ten-year relationship between documentary filmmaker Erik and lawyer Paul. Sexual and emotional satisfaction alternate with dramatic upheavals and breakdowns. Awarded at Berlin, this subtle drama also presents a contemporary portrait of New York City.


This sexually open picture from screenwriter and director Ira Sachs records the ten year relationship between documentary filmmaker Erik and a lawyer named Paul who struggles with drug addiction. Hailing from Denmark, Erik is in New York to work on a documentary about Avery Willard, a fundamental figure in the artistic gay community of the 20th century. Sensual Erik discovers sexual and emotional satisfaction with his lover Paul, but the flipside reveals dramatic upheavals and breakdowns. Director Ira Sachs based this intensely intimate movie on his own personal experiences. He offered the starring role of conflicted artist Erik to Danish actor Thure Lindhardt (Into the Wild, Angels & Demons) for his first lead performance in an American film. The project benefits much from Thimios Bakatakis’s outstanding camerawork; the Greek native creates a vivid portrait of contemporary New York City.

About the director

Ira Sachs

Ira Sachs (b. 1965,  Memphis, Tennessee), screenwriter and director, is one of the most important figures of New York’s artistic gay community. In addition to teaching film at New York University, he is founder and curator of the monthly series Queer/Art/Film at New York’s IFC Center. He also organizes Queer/Art/Mentorship, a program supporting mentorship between queer working artists in New York City. Sachs’s filmography contains mainly gay-themed movies, including The Delta (1997, screened at KVIFF) and Forty Shades of Blue, which grabbed the Grand Jury Prize at Sundance in 2005. His fourth feature, Keep the Lights On, screened at Sundance and was awarded the Teddy for best gay film at the Berlinale.


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About the film

Color, HD CAM

Section: Another View
Director: Ira Sachs
Screenplay: Ira Sachs, Mauricio Zacharias
Dir. of Photography: Thimios Bakatakis
Music: Arthur Russell
Editor: Affonso Gonçalves
Producer: Marie Therese Guirgis
Production: Keep the Lights On
Cast: Zachary Booth, Thure Lindhardt, Julianne Nicholson
Contact: Films Boutique


Ira Sachs

Film Director

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Sales Agent


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