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Set in the free-spirited San Francisco of 1985, Test lovingly portrays this exciting and harrowing era as young Frankie (dancer Scott Marlowe in a breakout acting debut) confronts the challenges of being an understudy in a modern dance company where he's taunted to "dance like a man!" Frankie embarks on a budding relationship with hunky Todd (Matthew Risch, HBO's "Looking"), a veteran dancer in the same company and the bad boy to Frankie's naiveté. As Frankie and Todd's friendship deepens, they navigate a world of risk - it's the early years of the epidemic - but also a world of hope, humor, visual beauty and musical relief. The captivating dance sequences were especially choreographed for the film by acclaimed U.S. choreographer Sidra Bell. The film's vibrant soundtrack includes work by '80s icons Jimmy Somerville (Bronski Beat), Klaus Nomi, Romeo Void, Laurie Anderson, Martha and the Muffins, Cocteau Twins and Sylvester.(C) Wolfe … More
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Critic Reviews for Test
Here is San Francisco as it was in its bohemian twilight, on the eve of catastrophe.
"Test" is woefully inadequate and unnecessary when compared with "Parting Glances" (1986) and "Longtime Companion" (1989).
Test is most effective when it prioritizes mood over psychological melodrama (which is often), but Johnson's approach is torn between Albert Camus and Brian De Palma.
Six years after his debut feature, The New Twenty, writer-director Chris Mason Johnson returns with a film that's less polished but braver.
If Test can portray a dark time with an underlying sense of hope for the future, it's because almost thirty years later, looking back at 1985, it has no ambivalence about the progress that's occurred since.
Audience Reviews for Test
Really well-acted with incredible dance scenes. It tells the story of the AIDS epidemic from a different perspective: that of a real, everyday gay person who isn't already an activist or infected. The fear is real, but it's not all-consuming. Really, a worthwhile film.
A "little" movie, meaning a simple character drama that, upon first glance, would be right at home on the TV screen, only it's anything but simple as the director masterfully paints the social panic and tribal rituals of mid-80's San Francisco at the height of the AIDS epidemic when, for the first time, gay men are offered an antibody test that would reveal whether they had the dread disease that was killing thousands of men. It was like signing up for your own death sentence. I was there and remember, and this little movie nails it down and hammers home a lot of truth, as seen through the lives of a group of characters who are professional dancers, a very nice touch -- the beauty leavens the pain.
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