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A scene from “Keep the Lights On”
A scene from “Keep the Lights On”

THE BREAKOUT

Keep the Lights On’s Thure Lindhardt: Denmark’s man with 1,000 faces Add to ...

  • Directed by Ira Sachs
  • Written by Ira Sachs, Mauricio Zacharias
  • Starring Thure Lindhardt, Zachary Booth, Julianne Nicholson
  • Genre drama
  • Year 2012
  • Country USA
  • Language English

Ira Sachs’s film, Keep the Lights On, which opens Friday at the TIFF Bell Lightbox, is a heart-breaking love story and call for emotional transparency in relationships. It features a remarkably open and vulnerable performance from Danish actor Thure Lindhardt as Erik, a Danish filmmaker in New York who has a decade-long relationship with a drug-and alcohol-addicted lawyer, Paul (Zachary Booth). The story is based on the director’s fraught relationship with literary agent Bill Clegg, author of the 2010 memoir Portrait of an Addict as a Young Man, but when it came to casting the part based on his own life, Sachs changed the character’s nationality. With his matted blond hair and gap-toothed smile, the 37-year-old Lindhardt is also currently starring in a very different kind of movie: Canadian director Boris Rodriguez’s horror/comedy Eddie: The Sleepwalking Cannibal. Lindhardt plays Lars, a once-famous painter who rediscovers his creative spark through his relationship with a somnambulistic serial killer named Eddie. As different as these movies are, they’re linked by Lindhardt’s offbeat charm, a mixture of calculating intelligence and emotional openness. In his native Denmark, where Lindhardt’s flexibility is well-known, he has been dubbed “the man with 1,000 faces.”

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