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Movie of the Week

WATCH: Dancing Equals Life in New ’80s Period Drama “Test”

Test — a film by Chris Mason Johnson

Co-stars Scott Marlowe and Matthew Risch give a pair of excellent performances in Chris Mason Johnson’s new 1985 period piece drama, Test. Set against the backdrop of the AIDS crisis in San Francisco, the film is unique in that it isn’t about activism or gay men dying. In fact, it’s about dancing. This is not The Normal Heart — there are no deathbed scenes, but rather an authentic sense of vulnerability and anxiety as young dancer Frankie (Marlowe) navigates his life. Think Dancing = Life vs. Silence = Death. Of course the film’s title evokes the early days of HIV testing but it also points toward the film’s central coming of age theme as Frankie faces the trials of homophobia and effeminophobia in the modern dance world. As Frankie rehearses, his dance company director warns him, “Dance like a man!” When butch fellow dancer Todd (Risch) comes to his aid the two young men form a friendship and more. The film’s impressive choreography beautifully supplements the story, and the period soundtrack completes the film’s spot-on mid-’80s atmosphere with hits from Laurie Anderson, Bronski Beat, Cocteau Twins and Sylvester. Earning almost universal raves on the film festival circuit Test is currently rocking a very nice 89 percent RottenTomatoes.com rating.

Look for the film in theaters in San Francisco (June 6th), New York and Los Angeles (June 13th) and other cities in the coming weeks. It’s out today on digital nationwide (and coming to DVD June 17th).

Test is this week’s WolfeOnDemand.com Movie of the Week. Watch the trailer above and then stream or download it directly from WolfeOnDemand.com and other fine digital platforms now.

Test

Test the film

About WolfeOnDemand.com
WolfeOnDemand.com is the global LGBT digital movie platform from LGBT specialty distributor Wolfe Video. The service showcases more than one hundred titles — features and documentaries — including popular favorites and hits like I Am Divine, Free Fall, Pit Stop, Undertow and many more. Most titles are available in Auto-HD™ and are priced at US $3.99 for streaming rentals and US $14.99 for digital download to own. Most of the films are available worldwide and are all also available on DVD directly from WolfeVideo.com for US viewers.

By:           Editors
On:           Jun 6, 2014
Tagged: , , , , , , , , ,
  • 2 Comments
    • jmmartin
      jmmartin

      I recall reading “The Normal Heart” about the same time I read a play on similar themes: William M. Hoffman’s “As Is.” Hoffman won the Tony for Best Play in ’85. I don’t think Mr. Kramer’s play did that. I have read scores of plays during my life and acted in some, too. For what it’s worth, “As Is” is twice as good as “Normal Heart.” I hope Mr. Kramer doesn’t read this. He has a Type A personality and might go apoplectic.

      Jun 6, 2014 at 11:20 pm · @ReplyReply to this comment ·
    • Realaw2
      Realaw2

      I came out at 21 in 1985. I’m sure its a great movie but I was, am, and will be until the day I die, in a state of complete and overwhelming shock about those years. Its just a part of me that I keep deep down and rarely visit…if ever. I’ve never been able to develop the ability to process even the slightest bit of what happened during that time. It was way beyond a total and thorough nightmare for me to see all the suffering and death.

      Jun 7, 2014 at 2:27 am · @ReplyReply to this comment ·

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