Keep The Lights On (2012)


Personally I wouldn’t agree with Time Out, New York, nor would I with Attitude. You do not “simply have to see it”, and while it might be “provocative” it certainly isn’t “engaging” – so much so that I turned it off about an hour in. Ira Sachs’ Keep the Lights On was far too slow paced, and I didn’t particularly find the characters engaging. At first I thought it would be an interesting approach, but once Paul lit up his crack pipe I realised it was just going to be another queer film with too many drugs. Now I understand that you can’t just portray the great, you also have to portray the ugly. Trust me, I have seen enough depressing films over the course of my degree to confirm this (Deutschland, bleiche Mutter… anyone?), but unlike the fantastic Weekend by Andrew Haigh (2011), this queer film about drug addiction and love just doesn’t seem to impress in the way that Weekend did. Haigh’s film is deeply impressive, moving, entertaining and thought-provoking. Plus it is enjoyable to watch. The characters fall in love but there are still issues.

In Keep the Lights On Erik is just flogging a dead horse yet, despite this there is still something about Erik that doesn’t really make you want to sympathise with him. When Erik sat on the edge of the bed Paul was having sex with a prostitute in, on the verge of tears, holding Paul’s hand, I decided it was time to call it a night…

(I do not own this image).


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