Ira Sachs and Zachary Booth on the loud intimacy of 'Keep The Lights On'
PARK CITY - One of the better films I saw at this year's 2012 Sundance Film Festival was Ira Sachs "Keep The Lights On." The drama about the ups and downs of a gay couples long term relationship as one of them battles a drug addiction and both of them keep secrets from each other was a moving and artistic portrait between two men we have rarely seen on screen. And yet, I was surprised by how many different reactions there were to the picture in the days following. While many appreciated it as much as I did, a significant amount of younger viewers didn't seem to get it (perhaps too little life experience?) and others didn't understand the motivations of one character or another. That could be one explanation why the picture still hasn't been officially acquired out of the festival yet (obviously indie gay films have their limitations at the box office). It's hard to imagine the film being relegated to just the gay film festival circuit, but stranger things have happened.
The day after the film's premiere I sat down to chat with Sachs and star Zachary Booth to shed more light on "Lights." Thure Lindhardt, who stands in for Sachs in this semi-autobiographical tale, couldn't make the premiere because he was busy shooting a new Neil Jordan film in Ireland, but his co-star discussed how they initially found their chemistry by doing the big sex scene first and worrying about the "groaning" that could be heard from the apartment later. For Sachs, "Lights" has allowed him to be a little rougher, a little less precious and a more open filmmaker which he's quite happy about. We also discussed why Sachs decided not to mention 9/11 during a film that takes place in New York between 1998 and 2006 (and you may nor may not agree with his answer). The interview is insightful as both men talk about the transparency that was needed from both the director and actors to make the picture.
You can watch the entire interview - which includes footage from the film - embedded in the post above.
Hopefully, you'll catch "Keep The Lights On" in a theater near you later this year.
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