Gay Essential Films To Watch, Test

In the film Test, The year is 1985, and the first licensed HIV test is finally being released for use in the public, nearly 4 years since the first identified case of HIV.  In San Francisco, a professional modern dance company is confronted with the realities surrounding the disease and intrigues by a test that can finally help people identify the disease early enough to make proper life adjustments and learn to cope with HIV/AIDS.

Frankie (Scott Marlowe) is a young and innocent understudy in the dance company.  Working for the company, Frankie discovers Todd (Matthew Risch), an older and experienced dancer who has been with the dance company for many years.  Todd is a tough, no nonsense type of person, and is the polar opposite of the subdued and quiet Frankie.  Naturally, Frankie is infatuated with Todd and the two men begin to form a friendship and budding relationship.

In the height of the AIDS epidemic, a great amount of fear is spreading throughout the gay community in San Francisco, including the dance company where Frankie and Todd dance.  Learning to navigate these new risks together, Frankie and Todd build a relationship of trust, love, and hope.



“As Frankie, Mr. Marlowe delivers a quiet, moving performance of such subtlety and truthfulness that you almost feel that you are living his life.”
   Stephen Holden, The New York Times

“Adept as both timely character study and epochal drama, Test wonderfully manages fully formed humanism without sentimentality.”
   Clayton Dillard, Slant Magazine

“Writer-director Chris Mason Johnson’s important, assured drama best succeeds as a snapshot of a moment in time when every gay man is forced to decide how AIDS will change his life.”
   Inkoo Kang, TheWrap

Did You Know?

The medical community recognizes the first diagnosed case of AIDS in 1981, with the first test to identify the disease appearing in 1985.  AZT, the earliest drug approved for the treatment of HIV/AIDS didn’t come out until 1987.  The film Test is smartly set in this time between 1985 and 1987 when, historically speaking, a vast amount of the disease was unknown.  As Frankie and Todd discover, the test can identify the disease, but at the time there was still no way to treat it other than by preventing the spread of the disease to others. Review our Gay Themed Films Here

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Alexander Ryll
When I couldn’t find a gay themed romantic film online via search engines or on any websites in early 2014, I created Gay Essential. launched in June 2014 we regularly promote rare and new gay-themed titles. Gay Essential is the first independent film website to categorize gay-themed films making it easier for visitors to learn about films based on their mood preference. Together with an incredible writing talent, we promote films and we make it easy for you to purchase them based on your location. Please add your support and purchase one of our incredible gay themed film T Shirts , unique and full of attitude.
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