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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.

Genres
Documentary
Director
Michael Arlen Davis

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Top reviews

Tuesday, 06 Oct 2020 01:55

This is the second of the Documentary "Thinking" series. There were 4 documentaries in the first series: "Red Flags", "The Public Enemy", "Flash Boys" and "The Firestorm". The first movie had a brilliant view of the US. Here we see a little more of the work of the TSA and how they can infiltrate a country in 5 minutes without getting a single ticket checked. Here, there's just one ticket checked to see if the suspect has a computer or cell phone. It's a "filter" from a 7.5 billion dollar airport. They have to have "follow the blue line" security procedures at airports. I was astonished at how they can just write "Follow the blue line" on a ticket and give them an extra screen. It's really ludicrous. And, just think about the screener. How did they find that out? This is beyond stupid. To add insult to injury, they knew they weren't going to check any cell phones or computers. It's so outrageous. How does that security procedure not give them an incentive to check the computer and cell phones of everyone to make sure they're secure. But, they make it their mission to build a massive airport, and they do it so effectively. Now, it's really a clear cut case of TSA and Homeland Security competing for profit at the expense of the American people. They need to start holding the TSA accountable to serve the American public. This is a must see. It was well edited and informative, even if it did have some repetition from previous movies, such as the before mentioned "Red Flags". I highly recommend it. A must see for anyone who loves America, like me.
Friday, 28 Aug 2020 05:12

Cpt. James R. Maxwell, who spent most of the interview speaking about the heartwarming story of his son, when asked what his son "saved his life" at age 6 by speaking out against the Vietnam War. The question was the most poignant moment of the movie. Maxwell responded: "He's saved my life." (It has a sub-plot about how the son, Marvin, became a folk hero in the old country for speaking out against the war. He recalls how his son, a career Air Force officer, wrote and sold the book that provided the critical part of his story. Maxwell's character, Major James W. Hoad, who was writing the book and enlisting Marvin as a defense force role model, puts the force of his family through the absolute hardships of war with him. He has struggled to make ends meet and keep the house in order. His father used to take over when he got sick and was eventually replaced by Marvin, whose humor and energy has kept him going. When Maxwell and Marvin have seen each other recently, the bond is palpable. It is incredible to watch the impact of the son's life-giving speech on a fellow man who was born in 1946, and later went on to have a career as a Navy officer, and then a defense force recruiter, both in the ranks of petty officer and major. Marvin's role model book was featured in a PBS special. (The DVD edition is available for viewing in 2002.) All of us can relate to the question of whether war can make one a hero. Maxwell puts it this way: "You think you're saving the world, and you're not."
Wednesday, 19 Aug 2020 20:30

The goal of the New York Times series was to examine what it means to think, not necessarily how thinking works, but rather the effort that people make to think and the consequences of that effort. The video begins with the story of a university professor who lost his job, wife and his home to foreclosure, and had to rely on the social safety net of Social Security and unemployment benefits. One can only imagine the effect of such a situation on any person. "The Test and The Art of Thinking" tells the story of a woman named Mary Brown. Mary was a hypochondriac who experienced extreme anxiety, and who has had numerous strokes and cardiac arrest in the past. She lived in a state of extreme and disorientation, unable to recall much of her past. Mary could not write her name and it was impossible to find her phone. The result was that she developed a test for describing the first two steps of an illness, namely, "the first sign that the patient is ill is a red spot on the tongue," and she also developed the art of thinking. After being assigned to a psychiatric hospital, Mary learned to associate various conditions with disease symptoms and to differentiate between symptoms of depression and anxiety. Mary's IQ was so low that she could not recall the details of any patient she had ever met. Mary began to think more, even if she could not do the things she had been doing. She developed the skills to perform tasks that were normally difficult for her. Mary became a writer, in a series of articles for the New York Times, and she began to produce one of her articles every day. Mary also began to use other techniques for thinking, such as hypnosis, parapsychology and hypnotherapy. Mary is able to perform activities that are normally beyond the capacity of normal people, and she continues to learn new things and learn how to improve the skills she has acquired. Mary also experienced a great deal of social stigma in the past. Because of her illness, she was labeled an idiot and ridiculed. She was afraid to talk about her illness with her family. She was afraid to interact with her coworkers. She was afraid to leave the apartment she shared with her husband, and she was afraid to talk to her neighbors. She had trouble adjusting to her surroundings. Mary had been through a lot in her life. Yet, she began to use the skills she had learned, and she became more and more productive. As the video states, "People often think that when they get sick, their lives are somehow more meaningful. But that's not the case. There are no lessons in sickness. There are only lessons in recovery." The video concludes with Mary and several other hypochondriacs and hypnotherapists talking about their experiences and how they had overcome their limitations. They concluded that "thinking makes you smarter."
Tuesday, 11 Aug 2020 02:09

My first review of any film, and I feel I should be pretty brief, as I think this film deserves a much higher rating than it has. The whole point of the film is that they focus on the various ways that the mind works, from the physical to the metaphysical. To illustrate, we have videos of people trying to be as abstract as possible and their ability to do so is spectacularly showcased. The video on their website has people doing everything from writing poetry to drawing on the walls to simply becoming completely passive and even enjoying the mental process as a way to escape from reality. They show various different types of visualization of different kinds, including visualizing a blank page, one being drawn on the wall, or just doing things as they would be happening in the world, like going to the bathroom. The videos are so spectacular, I can't even make them up! We also have interviews with people who have different different approaches to thinking. One is an engineer who says that they simply think to the most efficient way they can think about something. The other is a neuroscientist who says that they use their brain as a kind of a calculator, using it to evaluate and calculate their own actions. Some people think that they can visualize a person walking on a train in their mind, and even say that they can visualize a person jumping in front of a moving train, or a person jumping into a moving train. I personally found this the most interesting, as it seems like the more abstract the thoughts, the more often people use their mind in a different way. Another thing that is shown in the videos is that people have various different ideas about the world around them. One is that you can think about the world in black and white, but in reality, all the colors are part of our world, and so it's also very possible to think of a person driving a car through the trees, and suddenly, the trees are red. Another person is able to visualize something different in his mind, like thinking about a different planet that he thinks is Venus. Another video shows a scientist describing how different people think differently, and how the brain processes different ideas in different ways. The more abstract the thought, the more often people use their brain in a different way. To give you an example of this, this scientist says that we are able to think of colors as having different kinds of meaning. He says that we think of the color red in the same way as we think of other colors, because when we see a red, we can immediately know that it has a different meaning to it. I was thinking about this a lot when I watched the film, and as a result, I felt like I was able to get a better understanding of what it means to think differently. The end of the film is about some of the other theories of the mind, and how they all tie together in a very interesting way. I was really touched by it, and I hope that others can get the same feeling I did, and also understand what I mean. Overall, I enjoyed the film, and I think it's one of the best I have ever seen. It really seems to be about people who do a lot of different types of thinking, and it is also about how the mind works, and how different people think about the world around them. The fact that they are all different in different ways, it seems like it would be hard to make a connection between all of them, but it's also very possible. I really recommend this film, and I really hope that others will also enjoy it.
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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