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Michael Gambon and Alfred Molina To Lead Ira Sachs’ ‘Keep the Lights On’ Follow-Up ‘Love Is Strange’

Written by on January 18, 2013 

The still-brief career of writer-director Ira Sachs has been a largely uneven affair, spanning everything from his well-received The Delta, which debuted at Toronto in 1996, to Married Life, another Toronto selection (from 2007) that was greeted with far more mixed-to-negative notices. Last year’s painstakingly authentic Keep the Lights On (reviewed here), however, immediately jived with the assurance of a return-to-form success, making it unsurprising that Sachs’s just-revealed follow-up, Love Is Strange, plans to chart strikingly similar narrative material.

Like Keep the Lights On, Love Is Strange will be a “NY-based relationship drama” that follows “the romantic ups and downs of a gay relationship.” Embodying the central couple will be Michael Gambon (Quartet) and Alfred Molina — a move that’s a far cry from the relative-unknown casting of Keep the Lights On. But it’s worth keeping in mind that the characters of Gambon and Molina are “longtime partners,” so their experienced screen image could be used to communicate that sense of experience and duration in interesting ways.

Parts and Labor, the company that sheltered Keep the Lights On as well as other recent indie-film achievements such as Beginners, Cold Weather, and The Loneliest Planet, will be producing the film, and their current hope is to begin shooting this summer in New York. I’m interested to find out if Sachs ends up working again with cinematographer Thimios Bakatakis (Dogtooth, Attenberg), who brought no shortage of photographic panache to the on-location visual stylings of Keep the Lights On.

What are your early thoughts on Love Is Strange? Did you see Keep the Lights On?

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