The Advocate's 18 Favorite Films at Outfest 2013

This year's Outfest features more than 150 films. The Advocate has chosen 18 of our favorites.

BY Daniel Reynolds Sunnivie Brydum and Diane Anderson-Minshall

July 11 2013 3:00 AM ET

Thursday, July 18, 8:30 p.m. at Ford

Set in 1985 in San Francisco, Test is a breathtaking little film about the early days of AIDS, the first HIV test, and life as a young gay man in a burgeoning artistic career. Comparisons to Parting Glances, the beloved and critically acclaimed ‘90s film, are warranted, but Test also has a dancer’s sensibility, a lithe fluidity to the narrative that lends itself well to the story. The lead character, Frankie, is a modern dancer, bullied at work for his lack of masculinity and his inability to be macho on the dance floor (in a dance company filled with gay men, mind you). Frankie’s also trying to become the man he’s meant to be — whatever that is — find love (or sex), and decide whether to get “the” test. It’s a reminder to viewers who are too young to remember what life was like before AIDS, but in a sexy way; like when Frankie and a love talk about whether they’ve ever used condoms — the answer is no, because in 1985 those are for straight boys — and end up in bed blowing them up like balloons. And because director Chris Mason Johnson was a former choreographer himself, the scenes of the dancers are always beautiful and captivating too. The film’s showing at L.A.’s historic outdoor screening venue only adds to the whole experience.

Tags: Diana Nyad, film