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.”
   The New York Times

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

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
Launched in June 2014, Gay Essential is the world’s largest gay themed film blog promoting new and rare features. I am helped by some amazing writers and we also cover film festivals in the UK and USA. We are 100% independent, without advertising or funding by film distributors. Help to keep Gay Essential independent by purchasing our merchandise GET (Gay Essential Tees)
Alexander Ryll
- 8 hours ago
Alexander Ryll
Alexander Ryll