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Watch Online The Test & The Art of Thinking

(161) 6.9 85 min 2018

For decades, the SAT & ACT have loomed colossal as a teenage rite of passage for those aspiring to college in the U.S. The experience, and the score, remain indelible for many. Students, academics, and test-taking professionals expose the bias and influence, both cultural and psychological, in this surprising documentary.

Michael Arlen Davis

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Wednesday, 29 Apr 2020 20:30

I am not familiar with Tarkovsky's works, but I think that this film, which takes its title from his first and most important film, The Test, is a well-made, accurate portrayal of a man's personal struggles in the face of near-catastrophic events. The Test chronicles the early days of Tarkovsky's career as a film-maker, starting with his film The Last Picture Show, which was a model for what he would eventually make. The film covers the years between 1936 and 1937, but it's really the later years that hold the film together, particularly the year 1936. There is a discussion of the following year's movie, The Last Picture Show 2, which was a huge flop, but had a positive reception among the Russian audience. After Tarkovsky's big failure, he took a break from filmmaking, focusing on teaching art to the students at a university. There he met both Maria, the younger of his two daughters, and Vladimir, the eldest of his three daughters. In the film, we see how these two different ways of life interact. After several years, Tarkovsky returned to the movies, doing not just film, but also painting, and performing in various theatrical and philosophical performances. We see the real-life struggle of those two men in the face of the difficulties they faced. The Test is very much a personal documentary, with Tarkovsky himself narrating most of the movie. The film does not cover every aspect of his life, but it does cover his wife, his children, and the numerous people who are related to him through his work and his artistic activity. This documentary may be not be the most important documentary out there, but it is a well-made one, and it is the best of its kind. Recommended for people who are interested in Tarkovsky's life.

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