IMDb > Keep the Lights On (2012)
Keep the Lights On
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Keep the Lights On (2012) More at IMDbPro »

Photos (See all 9 | slideshow) Videos (see all 5)
Keep the Lights On -- In New York City in 1998, documentary filmmaker Erik and closeted lawyer Paul meet through a casual encounter and soon find themselves embroiled in a deeper connection.
Keep the Lights On -- 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.
Keep the Lights On -- KEEP THE LIGHTS ON chronicles an emotional and sexually charged journey of love and addiction. In 1997 New York, filmmaker Erik and closeted lawyer Paul meet through a casual encounter and soon find themselves embroiled in a decade-long relationship.
Keep the Lights On -- Trailer for Keep the Lights On
Keep the Lights On -- Trailer for Keep the Lights On


User Rating:
6.3/10   3,735 votes »
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Popularity: ?
No change in popularity this week. See why on IMDbPro.
Writers (WGA):
Ira Sachs (written by) &
Mauricio Zacharias (written by)
View company contact information for Keep the Lights On on IMDbPro.
Release Date:
27 July 2012 (Taiwan) See more »
In Manhattan, film-maker 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. Full summary » | Add synopsis »
5 wins & 8 nominations See more »
User Reviews:
It seems like some reviews here didn't quite "get" it... See more (25 total) »


  (in credits order) (complete, awaiting verification)

Thure Lindhardt ... Erik Rothman

Zachary Booth ... Paul Lucy
Marilyn Neimark ... Herself

Paprika Steen ... Karen

Sebastian La Cause ... Russ

Julianne Nicholson ... Claire
Sarah Hess ... Katie

Roberta Kirshbaum ... Katie's Mom
Jamie Petrone ... Katie's Cousin

Maria Dizzia ... Vivian

Stella Schnabel ... Esther

Jodie Markell ... Jill

Justin Reinsilber ... Dan
James Bidgood ... Himself

Souleymane Sy Savane ... Alassane (as Souléymane Sy Savané)
John Michael Cox Jr. ... Himself
Henry Arango ... Himself
Agosto Machado ... Himself
Ed Vassallo ... Thomas

Miguel del Toro ... Igor
Calder Kusmierski Singer ... Club Kid
Shane Stackpole ... Luca - Age 7
Christopher Lenk ... Hustler (as Chris Lenk)
rest of cast listed alphabetically:

Virginia Bryan ... Restaurant Patron (uncredited)

Alexander Jameson ... Boy in Park (uncredited)

Darwin Reina ... Himself (uncredited)
Tuna Tekeli ... Nightclub Goer (uncredited)
Todd Verow ... Himself (uncredited)
Yumi Vong ... Background (uncredited)

Directed by
Ira Sachs 
Writing credits
Ira Sachs (written by) &
Mauricio Zacharias (written by)

Produced by
Ali Betil .... executive producer
Marie Therese Guirgis .... producer
Adam Hohenberg .... executive producer
Lucas Joaquin .... producer
Lars Knudsen .... executive producer
Tory Lenosky .... line producer
Jawal Nga .... executive producer
Iddo Patt .... associate producer
Ira Sachs .... producer
Alex Scharfman .... associate producer
Jay Van Hoy .... executive producer
Original Music by
Arthur Russell 
Cinematography by
Thimios Bakatakis (director of photography)
Film Editing by
Affonso Gonçalves 
Casting by
Avy Kaufman 
Production Design by
Amy Williams 
Art Direction by
Laura Miller 
Set Decoration by
Amilia Tybinka 
Costume Design by
Elisabeth Vastola 
Makeup Department
Emily Ansel .... key hair stylist
Emily Ansel .... key makeup artist
Lizzie Arneson .... additional hair stylist
Denise Guerra .... additional hair stylist
Laura Jefferson .... additional hair stylist
Darlene Martinez .... hair consultant
Liliana Meyrick .... assistant hair stylist
Liliana Meyrick .... assistant makeup artist
Production Management
Urs Hirschbiegel .... unit production manager
Second Unit Director or Assistant Director
Urs Hirschbiegel .... first assistant director
Cary Kehayan .... co-filmmaker: 'In Search of Avery Willard' shoot
Keith Marlin .... key second assistant director
Art Department
Jonah Bleicher .... storyboard artist
Lee Clayton .... additional property master
Peter Danshov .... props assistant (as Peter Danshov)
Erin Fenton .... art department coordinator
Luke Green .... assistant art director (as Luke T. Green)
Melina Greene .... lead woman
Ashley Lehrer .... on-set dresser
Mitch Moore .... assistant property master
Boris Torres .... artist: title paintings
Mariaclara Zazzaro .... property master
Sound Department
Bo Asdal Andersen .... adr recordist: Denmark, Lyddynastiet
Jon Bozeman .... boom operator
Ryan Collison .... foley mixer
David Ellinwood .... dialogue supervisor (as Dave Ellinwood)
Brian Gallagher .... adr mixer
Mariusz Glabinski .... sound designer
Bobby Johanson .... adr mixer
Brian Lagace .... sound recordist
Jay Peck .... foley walker
Michael Rivera .... adr recordist
Dominick Tavella .... sound re-recording mixer
Brett Van Deusen .... sound mixer
Damian Volpe .... sound designer
Damian Volpe .... sound re-recording mixer
Damian Volpe .... supervising sound editor
Paul Yurt .... systems engineer
Rob L. Hubbard .... sound mixer (uncredited)
Camera and Electrical Department
David Barreda .... director of photography: 'In Search of Avery Willard' shoot
Daniel Choy Boyar .... gaffer
Seth Coleman .... electric
John David Devirgiliis .... second assistant camera
Neil Goldberg .... photography and video exhibit
Alvah Holmes .... first assistant camera: title sequence
Jean Christophe Husson .... still photographer
Kirsten Johnson .... photographer: title sequence
Matt Kessler .... best boy electric
Olivia Kimmel .... camera intern
Stephen Long .... key grip
Olivia Owen .... electric intern
Dave Palestine .... best boy grip
David Regan .... first assistant camera
Jeremy Sam .... electric intern
Scott Templeton .... key grip
Joe Del Balzo .... additional grip (uncredited)
Stephen Troy .... additional grip (uncredited)
Casting Department
Gabrielle Demeestere .... background casting crew
Charles L. Gariepy .... casting associate (as Charles Gariepy)
Jon Goracy .... casting associate
Onur Karaoglu .... background casting crew
Jason Klorfein .... background casting
Paola Lappicy Lemos Gomes .... background casting assistant
Seamus Moran .... background casting crew
Leeba Zakharov .... casting office assistant
Zachary Luke Kislevitz .... casting intern (uncredited)
Costume and Wardrobe Department
Krystle Harrington .... assistant costume designer
Amanda Williams .... costume supervisor
Editorial Department
Chris Beardsley .... arri scan technician
Joseph Borges .... digital intermediate video technician
Martin Burga .... assistant editor
Ben Caweizell .... post-production assistant (as Ben Cawiezell)
John Dowdell .... digital intermediate colorist (as John J. Dowdell III)
Katie Hinsen .... digital intermediate finishing artist
Jean Lane .... digital intermediate producer
Stephen Mortell .... digital intermediate video technician
Tim Spitzer .... digital intermediate supervisor
Music Department
Susan Jacobs .... music supervisor
Jackie Mulhearn .... assistant music supervisor
Suzana Peric .... music editor
Transportation Department
Steve Richardson .... driver: process trailer
Other crew
Andrei Alupului .... assistant: Mr. Sachs
Henry Arango .... provider: archival photos
Adam Baran .... website editor
Paul Brennan .... legal counsel: Bruns Brennan & Berry
Kelly Byrnes .... banking services: HSBC
Coco Cashman .... production assistant
Yara Caubet .... production coordinator
Taylour Chang .... production assistant
Bruce Cheung .... fundraising trailer
Mickey Cottrell .... publicist
John Michael Cox Jr. .... provider: archival photos
Ian Crowther .... website designer
Peter Farnsworth .... production assistant
Christina Fontaness .... location intern
Morris Fung .... production assistant
Morris Fung .... researcher: 'In Search of Avery Willard' shoot
Alex Hadel .... production assistant
Amanda Hammett .... assistant: 'In Search of Avery Willard' shoot
Phil Henken .... production assistant (as Philip Henken)
Joe E. Jeffreys .... provider: archival photos
Joe E. Jeffreys .... representative: Manuscripts and Archives Division, The New York Public Library
Adam Keleman .... production assistant
Adam Kersh .... unit publicist
David Laurentin .... parking coordinator
Jerry Li .... production assistant
Benjamin Logan .... grip (as Ben Logan)
Veronica Lupu .... script supervisor
George Macdonald .... key production assistant
Janelle Malak .... production assistant
Beth McGuire .... dialect coach
Pete Millward .... production assistant (as Peter Millward)
Sarah Elizabeth Mintz .... location assistant (as Sarah Mintz)
Jin Pak .... title designer: Champion Graphics
Stephen Parnigoni .... production assistant
Heather Quick .... script supervisor
Evan Sachs .... production assistant
Adam Salberg .... set medic
Andrew Schaffer .... production secretary
Amanda Scharf .... production assistant
Alex Scharfman .... location manager
Richard Sheehan .... banking services: HSBC
Kelly Spall .... assistant production coordinator
Stuart Sudekum .... location assistant
Leanda Taitt .... permits coordinator
Nick Turk .... production assistant
Misha Turner .... production accountant
Mandy Ward .... location manager
Carl Williamson .... website designer
Steven Wilsey .... production assistant
Matt Wunsch .... production assistant
Brian Yankou .... production assistant: title sequence
Spencer Pesce .... production assistant (uncredited)
Eric Bogosian .... thanks
Steve Buscemi .... thanks
Shannon Camperson .... special thanks
Patty Casby .... special thanks
Justin A. Chortie .... thanks
Patricia Clarkson .... thanks
Jay Duplass .... thanks
Mark Duplass .... thanks
P. David Ebersole .... thanks
Ben Foster .... thanks
Todd Hughes .... thanks
Craig Kestel .... special thanks
Mitchell Lichtenstein .... thanks
Craig Lucas .... thanks
Oren Moverman .... thanks (as Yael & Oren Moverman)
Jim O'Hagen .... in memory of
Michael Shannon .... thanks
Todd Solondz .... thanks
Rose Troche .... thanks
Mark Wheaton .... thanks
Avery Willard .... acknowledgement: includes original films by

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Additional Details

Also Known As:
101 min
Aspect Ratio:
1.85 : 1 See more »

Did You Know?

Anachronisms: Modern iMac box.See more »
Paul Lucy:Would you turn that light on, above the bed? I don't want to be in the dark with you.See more »
Movie Connections:
Schoolbell/TreehouseSee more »


This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.
7 out of 9 people found the following review useful.
It seems like some reviews here didn't quite "get" it..., 14 December 2013
Author: kirker from Austin, Texas

Okay, really? This movie is "homophobic" and "makes it look like all gay men smoke crack"? That it didn't seem "believable"? Huh. Maybe because I watched it not only knowing it was largely a true story, but also having read the real-life memoir of the man represented in the film by "Paul" (Bill Clegg), but I thought it did a very good job of depicting the tragedy of being in a relationship with someone fundamentally f*cked up and not being able to let them go until far too late. The acting was spot-on, particularly from Thure Lindhardt, and the portrayals were entirely believable. In no context whatsoever was it intentionally designed to depict gay men as insatiable crackheads.

As for complaints that basically go back to verisimilitude: people, it's an indie flick, and a super- low-budget one at that. You can't realistically depict Manhattan circa 1998 that way, nor can you have characters whose attire and hairstyles change all that much during the film. (That said, I've seen photos of Bill Clegg, and his super-preppy "look" -- which is how Paul is consistently depicted in the film -- hasn't really changed much over the years.) My only issue in this regard was in terms of easily avoidable problems; in the second scene for instance, set in 1998, Erik walks by what is clearly recognizable (to a New Yorker, at least) as one of the bus shelters constructed within the past five years or so. They really had to shoot on *that* street?

My problems with the film weren't with the acting, but more with its failure to fully flesh out Paul as a character. I'm unclear whether this was intentional -- in the context of "you can never *really* know someone" -- but Paul started out as an enigma and largely stayed that way. I understand that this comes with the territory with a largely autobiographical film written by the protagonist, Erik (though I have no clue whatsoever why he's Danish, to the extent of having conversations in Danish with his sister - Ira Sachs is American and Jewish, though obviously a real-life filmmaker), but hewing so closely to a real-life timeline left Sachs with too little time to delve into what compelled him to stay with "Paul" for such an extended period. I also thought there were a few too many largely extraneous side plots, particularly involving Erik's BFF's biological-clock issues and the weird muscley guy Erik inexplicably hooked up with two times five years apart. And why did a solitary, unexplained pair of scenes have him going to Virginia for an extended period of time? (neither of which had anything whatsoever to do with the main plot)

Still, even given its flaws, it's one of the best gay-themed indie films I've seen in quite some time (though "Weekend" is still better all around). It avoids the most typical gay-film clichés (the coming-out stories, the happy endings, the life revolving around discos and fabulous hags) to deliver something raw and real.

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