Keep the Lights On
Erik (Thure Lindhardt), a sex-obsessed man that enjoys masturbating while talking to strangers on a phone sex hotline, first encounters Paul (Zachary Booth) in 1998 during what was intended to be an anonymous tryst. Paul claims to be with a girlfriend at the time yet a relationship between the two develops, eventually leading to the two men moving in together. The contrast between the men is evident: Erik is a fledgling documentary filmmaker trying to incorporate stability in his life, while Paul is a literary lawyer that goes off on crack binges to lose himself.
Continuing to follow the men over the years, we watch as they navigate intimacy and coldness, never maintaining an organic narrative, but dropping in on isolated moments of their relationship. It's no coincidence that these moments play like flashbacks, seeing as this is a semi-autobiographical tale of Sachs and his stormy relationship with literary agent Bill Clegg (author of Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man).
As the tale unfolds, you begin to feel as though you're viewing something that wasn't intended for you to see. Sachs frequently shoots from awkward angles or close-up on the actors to hone in on the smallest of details, while the sex scenes are a mixed bag of tenderness, clumsiness and sheer lust, which brings an air of authenticity to a gay relationship that has long been absent in mainstream cinema. The entire film is shot with a deliberately grainy aesthetic and thoughtful, inexact composition, as though appearing as if we're viewing the actual memories in Sachs's mind.
Keep the Lights On is a story of a relationship that brings out the best and the worst in two people, which is something any adult can relate to. This is a confessional platform for Sachs and it's a marvel that he was willing to share such a deeply personal story with the world, making this a liberating experience for not only him, but the many viewers that can relate to issues of co-dependence and fear of abandonment. (Music Box)
ReviewsDec 11, 2014
Top FiveChris Rock
It's no secret that while Chris Rock has established himself as one the world's funniest stand-up comedians, he's also struggled to translat...
ReviewsDec 08, 2014
The Jeffersons: The Complete Series [Blu-ray]
George and Weezy finally get their own deee-luxe DVD box set that was long overdue. Shout Factory's The Jeffersons box set collects all 253 ...
ReviewsDec 05, 2014
The strength of Canadian director Jean-Marc Vallée's award-winning film the Dallas Buyers Club was ultimately its universal depiction of a g...
ReviewsDec 05, 2014
The ScarehouseGavin Michael Booth
For those that like their horror films especially grisly and prefer their humour to be of the pitch-black variety, step inside The Scarehous...