The Advocate's 18 Favorite Films at Outfest 2013
BY Daniel Reynolds Sunnivie Brydum and Diane Anderson-Minshall
July 11 2013 4:00 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.