Grand Jury Award — Best Screenplay and Best U.S. Dramatic Feature, Outfest
Set in the free-spirited San Francisco of 1985, Chris Mason Johnson’s Test lovingly portrays this exciting and harrowing era as young Frankie (dancer Scott Marlowe in a breakout acting debut) confronts the challenges of being an understudy in a modern dance company where he’s taunted to “dance like a man!” Frankie embarks on a budding relationship with hunky Todd (Matthew Risch, HBO’s “Looking”), a veteran dancer in the same company and the bad boy to Frankie’s naiveté.
As Frankie and Todd’s friendship deepens, they navigate a world of risk — it’s the early years of the epidemic — but also a world of hope, humor, visual beauty and musical relief. The captivating dance sequences were especially choreographed for the film by acclaimed U.S. choreographer Sidra Bell. The film’s vibrant soundtrack includes work by ‘80s icons Jimmy Somerville (Bronski Beat), Klaus Nomi, Romeo Void, Laurie Anderson, Martha and the Muffins, Cocteau Twins and Sylvester.
Test is a beautiful new gay drama from writer-director Chris Mason Johnson (The New Twenty).
Awards & Press Quotes
WINNER! Grand Jury Award — Best Screenplay and Best U.S. Dramatic Feature, Outfest
WINNER! Emerging Filmmaker Award: TAMPA INT’L GAY & LESBIAN FILM FESTIVAL
* NEW YORK TIMES CRITICS PICK!
“Extraordinary… 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
“In 2014, a story about AIDS in San Francisco in 1985 is as relevant as ever.” — Gawker
“It’s a thrill to see an indie this fresh again that speaks so personally to the LGBT audience.” — Towleroad
“There’s a performance scene at its midway point — Frankie’s first opportunity to perform with the company — that stands out as one of the best from any film this year.” — NPR
“Touching, funny, and beautiful.” — Next Magazine
“Writer-director Chris Mason Johnson has created a visually compelling film about an important subject that until now had pretty much defied cinematic expression.” — San Francisco Chronicle
“Director Chris Mason Johnson’s sensuous, cinematic film sidesteps queer cinema tropes, telling an earnest story of desire and terror full of gorgeous modern dance numbers and steamy one night stands.” — Way Too Indie
“A magnificent period piece.” — Examiner.com
“One of the strongest entries in this year’s festival…’Test’ has already been compared to Bill Sherwood’s 1986 film, ‘Parting Glances,’…widely regarded as a landmark of gay cinema.” – Stephen Holden, THE NEW YORK TIMES
“If there was ever a contemporary film that illuminates why queer cinema still matters, this is it.” – Matthew Connolly, FILM COMMENT
“Deeply rewarding…with a delightful feel for period detail.” LA WEEKLY
“Excellent, gripping, surprisingly funny and beautifully shot.” OUT MAGAZINE
“A breathtaking little film…beautiful and captivating.” THE ADVOCATE
“Hugely Entertaining…Test climaxes gloriously in a late-night dance-your-ass-off.” BAY AREA REPORTER
“The lithe Marlowe and his staggering cheekbones give a nuanced performance.” INDIEWIRE
“Hits many grace notes…An appealing variation on a popular genre…A vibrant period piece with a genuinely likable love story at the center of the action.” -Stephen Farber, THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER