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Brothers Bond Over AIDS and Madonna Tape in '1985'

We all remember our first Madonna album. 

In the beautiful new black-and-white 16mm film 1985, Cory Michael Smith plays Gotham, a closeted young gay man visiting his Texas family for Christmas during the first wave of the AIDS crisis. With unspeakable tragedy on his mind, he aims to reconnect with his preteen brother, Andrew, while struggling to be honest about himself to his religious parents. In this scene, Gotham plucks a Madonna cassette tape out of Andrew's Walkman and the two bond over her Virgin tour. Young Andrew brightens up, then sinks and admits their father has thrown away other tapes because of a sermon on secular music. "That's nothing new, Andrew. They always find ways to make that stuff up," Gotham says knowingly. His brother responds, "People around here don't think it's made up." 

1985 opens today at the Laemmle Glendale in the Los Angeles area and the Quad Cinema New York.

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Allison Tate