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Keep the Lights On (18)

Keep the Lights On (18)


 In Manhattan, filmmaker Erik bonds with closeted lawyer Paul after a fling. As their relationship becomes one fueled by highs, lows, and dysfunctional patterns, Erik struggles to negotiate his own boundaries while being true to himself.

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The critical consensus

A thoughtful, tender film.

****(*)Allan Hunter, The List, 03/10/2012

What’s refreshing about Ira Sachs’ film is that it doesn’t feel compelled to hit some of the more predictable touchstones. He is matter of fact and understated about coming out or an HIV test, and commendably reistant to turning these moments into teachable, preachable scenes. However, his script is less nimble when it comes to dodging the clichés of drug addiction.

***(*)(*)Siobhan Synnot, The Scotsman, 21/10/2012

The film effectively drops in on the characters’ lives and it’s to Sachs’ credit that, rather than making the film seem episodic, it feels as if we’re being given glimpses into real lives unfolding.

****(*)Alistair Harkness, The Scotsman, 01/11/2012

Every frame pulses with hard-gained experience: it may be the most lived-in film of 2012, and certainly counts among the most moving.

****(*)Mike McCahill, The Guardian, 01/11/2012

Lindhardt’s fine performance and the greater substance in Erik’s development as a character tends to make the film too one-sided.

****(*)Allan Hunter, Daily Express, 02/11/2012

In individual scenes Sachs works wonders...but the narrative, swirling around personal irresolution and flakiness, hasn't quite the impetus required in the absence of a plot.

***(*)(*)Anthony Quinn, The Independent, 01/11/2012

Monitoring the peaks and troughs of this fractious relationship is more fascinating than enjoyable.

***(*)(*)Vadim Rizov, Little White Lies, 01/11/2012

While not quite on a par with Andrew Haigh’s Weekend, this is still an undeniably powerful piece of filmmaking.

***(*)(*)William Thomas, Empire Online, 02/11/2012

Features about Keep the Lights On (18)

Where and when?

Edinburgh Filmhouse, Edinburgh from Friday December 28, 2012, until Sunday December 30, 2012. More info:

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