Today’s screener was “1985” which had two of my favorite actors Virginia Madsen and Michael Chiklis playing straight out of the bible belt and church-going followers. I didn’t read synopsis what the film was about until it was over. At first, I thought it was a horror story because its shot in black and white and you could tell it was 16mm Kodak film because it was so grainy. But the film continues on and tell the story of a gay man who has AIDS which in truth was a horror story in the 80’s.
Director / Writer Yen Tan did a great job of telling the story. However, the Art Direction on the film was totally wrong… it made 1985 look like 1965.
I was inspired to write and make 1985 when I was feeling oppressed and dispirited as a queer filmmaker of color. I kept thinking about the heartwrenching stories I heard in my early 20s, largely from and about marginalized people in a culturally conservative era, and wanted to deflect and distill what I was going through in my own time. How does one carry on when the tide is relentlessly against you and there’s no respite in sight?
Having been gone for three years, closeted advertising executive Adrian (Cory Michael Smith, “Gotham”) returns to his Texas hometown for the holidays during the first wave of the AIDS crisis. Burdened with an unspeakable tragedy in New York City, Adrian looks to reconnect with his preteen brother Andrew (Aidan Langford) while navigating his relationship with religious parents Eileen (Academy Award Nominee Virginia Madsen) and Dale (Golden Globe Award Winner Michael Chiklis). When he reaches out to his estranged childhood friend Carly (Jamie Chung, “The Gifted”), their unresolved issues force Adrian to confront an uncertain future that will significantly alter the lives of those around him.
Shot on black-and-white super 16mm film, “1985” takes a unique look at a pivotal moment in American history through the prism of empathy, love, and family.
Director: Yen Tan
Screenwriter: Yen Tan
Cast: Cory Michael Smith, Virginia Madsen, Michael Chiklis, Jamie Chung, Aidan Langford, Ryan Piers Williams
Distributor: Wolfe Releasing
Release Date: Oct. 26th (NY – Quad Cinema; LA – Laeemle Noho 7)
Producers: HutcH, Ash Christian
Director of Photography: HutcH
Editors: HutcH, Yen Tan
Instagram / Twitter / Facebook: @1985thefilm
Official Site: 1985thefilm.com
TRT: 85 min.