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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
An interesting drama set during the identifying of AIDS and the onset of blood testing in San Francisco. Frankie is an understudy at a modern dance company trying to earn his part as a main dancer at work whilst surfing the wave of sexual paranoia at play, in 1985. This is a pretty great character drama. The cast handle an intelligent script very well. Great characters are formed and though there are no great arcs, it tells the story it set out to tell. There is a bit of unnecessary 80s signposting with props. The Walkman I can forgive as it takes a soundtrack precedent, but an etch-a-sketch?! These aren't needed as the excellent soundtrack and the general storyline sets the scene. Great cast; Gorgeous modern ballet and an amusing, yet touching script make this a very worthy watch.
This seemed to deal with the subject of AIDS or HIV, but it never focused enough to add tension or emotion that will convince the audience that tragedy has struck.
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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