Sunday, May 18, 2008

Testy Testy

In honor of our nation's dedication to End of Grade testing, we presented an evening of odd films about tests, testing and various quizzes.

Your Study Skills - Taking Tests (1977) Coronet
Struggling test-taking students write to newspaper columnist Betty Bright, asking specific questions about taking tests and getting useful answers. Cheerful Betty responds with workable suggestions to help them in estimating their test time, sticking to the point, following instructions, and dealing with multiple choice, essay, or true-false questions. It has a great beginning soundtrack and the advice isn't so bad.

You Bet Your Life (circa 1948) Crawley Films
Sponsored by Molson's Beer, this Canadian film is set up like a quiz show. Our Emcee is Stan Francis (you may know him as the voice of Santa Claus in Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer)who appears in a cap and gown - reminiscent of some of the early TV game shows. We learn of Dorian and see over twenty examples of why he is a reckless driver. Then a police officer politely tells us that auto accidents are on the rise and why alcohol and gasoline don't mix.

Giving The Rorschach Test - Klopfer Method (1951) Central New York University Film Unit
Presents a brief outline of the Klopfer method of presenting the Rorschach test with a single subject. In one inkblot, our nervously timid test subject thinks he sees a bat or Halloween mask or a naked woman with her arms up in praise. Another inkblot is interpreted as two Scottie dogs fighting with blood dripping from their paws. Finally, the subject describes an inkblot as two waiters bowing to a red butterfly. Oh and there are some monkeys too...

Color TV Test Film #2 (1965) Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers

A test film for film labs to ensure that TV color camera equipment is correctly calibrated. Unfortunately, thanks to Kodak's Eastmancolor film stock, the colors are slowing fading to red. Still there are some great shots of glamorous models walking through once vividly colored sets. The best shot is of a housewife in the kitchen with a big tray of beef.

The Handtrap Test (1966) U.S. Steel / Matt Farrell
Zeros in on finger and hand safety, showing viewers some very valuable tips on how to protect their fingers and hands. Studies the causes of hand injuries. An audience participation film to guide industrial employees in the prevention of hand and finger injuries. Alan Edwards hosts this and provides some comic relief - especially when he reveals that there's a small steel trap in his desk drawer.

Comparative Tests On A Human And A Chimpanzee Infant Of Approximately The Same Age, Part 2 (1932) Pennsylvania State Univ. Psych. Cinema Register

Compares the reactions of a normal human infant between the ages of 10 and 14.5 months to psychological tests, and the responses of a chimpanzee companion, age 7.5 to 12 months, to the same tests. Brings out the effects of different rates of growth and learning abilities and illustrates the capacity of the animal to outdo the child in many tests. Includes hand preference, startle reaction time, delayed reaction, cap-on-head, detour, tickle, ice and rotation test. I commented earlier about this film and every time I watch this it gets better. It is quite a crowd pleaser as well.

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