When I finally saw the film at Sundance, it excited me so much. My personal admiration for Ira aside, I think "Keep The Lights On" is an amazing, engrossing achievement, emphasized only further by its fearless autobiography. But at the time, I felt the Sundance premiere was premature. Although the Sundance crowd received the film well and debated it day and night, and despite its universal themes of companionship and heartbreak, I couldn't help but feel that "Keep the Lights On" just wasn't made for them. It's a film about New York and its people, past and present.
When I arrived for its long-awaited NYC premiere last night, I was surprised and thrilled that the long, long lines outside the theater were packed with New York's gay men of all ages. I spoke with a few people outside. "I heard it was a New York gay film," said one boy, "which is great because "Weekend" didn't cut it for me."
As I expected, the reception was rapturous. After the screening, Ira took the stage and told everybody who was involved with the film to get on stage, which is something that often happens at festivals. I didn't expect such a massive percentage of the audience to take the stage.
We don't often have the luxury of these moments at premieres these days. Usually, the audience arrives and leaves and discusses (or not), and the filmmakers answer to some dumb criticisms for the overeager and uninformed, but last night, "Keep the Lights On" played in the right town for the right people, and those who worked on it received their due acclaim.
The Lost Boys @ Tribeca, brought you by Diet Coke. Diet Coke is giving away free Tribeca screenings online. Just go to Tribecafilm.com and hit the “Shift” and “X” keys at the same time and a special film will be unlocked for you to view. Do it now!
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