Chris Mason Johnson’s “Test,” is the award-winning new film set in San Francisco in the early years of the HIV/AIDS epidemic.
SF Gate offers a brief synopsis and critique of the film:
The story opens in 1985, when boyish dancer Frankie (Scott Marlowe of Ben Levy Dance) is trying to cope as an understudy in San Francisco’s modern dance scene. The company members pick on him, saying he needs to “dance like a man.” Soon enough, though, Frankie finds solace in Todd (Matthew Risch), a confident dancer who is more experienced than Frankie, both on and off the stage.
Hovering over them is the fear, uncertainty and risk of the AIDS epidemic – and the ominous challenge of taking a new test for the virus.
Johnson finds the right balance between the eye-popping dance numbers (some performed by San Francisco and Joffrey ballet members) and Frankie’s struggle to find himself artistically and sexually in a world where the rules are changing rapidly.
“TEST isn’t about getting sick or being sick; it’s about the fear of disease,” Johnson told The Huffington Post. “It’s a universal theme but heightened because the early AIDS epidemic was insane. And while the shift to fear may sound like a small thing, it’s actually big when you consider every other AIDS movie has focused on death and dying. Maybe that’s one of the reasons audiences seem happy after TEST. They don’t expect the genuine hope that comes out of it.”
“Test” hits select theaters in New York and Los Angeles on June 13. Watch the trailer below: