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4 hours ago, Ilov80s said:

I think this gets at the unanswerable question of what is noir. If it’s shadows, dark interiors, off kilter angles, etc than Simple Plan ain’t it. If noir is the cynical, the sense of dread, menace, a world corrupted and characters who have lost control of their world and who’s best attempts to control it only seal their fates than I think it’s perfect neo noir.

A Simple Plan owes as much to noir as it does to another genre of movies I'm going to call "#### happens" where a cascade of improbable problems and poor decisions ensnare the protagonists.  .  Other films of this ilk include The Out of Towners, After Hours, Very Bad Things, Adventures in Babysitting and Date Night.  The Hangover Part III might have killed the genre off temporarily but it will return because #### happens..

 "

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I've always considered the essential element of noir to be the search for redemption against all evidence.

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58 minutes ago, wikkidpissah said:

I've always considered the essential element of noir to be the search for redemption against all evidence.

Which I think A Simple Plan surely qualifies 

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1 hour ago, Eephus said:

A Simple Plan owes as much to noir as it does to another genre of movies I'm going to call "#### happens" where a cascade of improbable problems and poor decisions ensnare the protagonists.  .  Other films of this ilk include The Out of Towners, After Hours, Very Bad Things, Adventures in Babysitting and Date Night.  The Hangover Part III might have killed the genre off temporarily but it will return because #### happens..

 "

#### happens? They went about murdering people left and right (including each other) to try and protect the fortune they stole. 

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3 hours ago, Eephus said:

A Simple Plan owes as much to noir as it does to another genre of movies I'm going to call "#### happens" where a cascade of improbable problems and poor decisions ensnare the protagonists.  .  Other films of this ilk include The Out of Towners, After Hours, Very Bad Things, Adventures in Babysitting and Date Night.  The Hangover Part III might have killed the genre off temporarily but it will return because #### happens..

 "

one of my favorite movies and a rough gem from Marty. for me, it's a tone poem and a real difference from madcap misadvantures from others mentioned.

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4 hours ago, Ilov80s said:

#### happens? They went about murdering people left and right (including each other) to try and protect the fortune they stole. 

OK, it wasn't my strongest take but have you seen Adventures In Babysitting?  It's dark, man  <<<<Gratuitous Sam Raimi reference

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4 hours ago, Eephus said:

OK, it wasn't my strongest take but have you seen Adventures In Babysitting?  It's dark, man  <<<<Gratuitous Sam Raimi reference

I love Adventures in Babysitting- watched that a ton as a kid. I also appreciate your hot take.

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12 hours ago, saintfool said:

one of my favorite movies and a rough gem from Marty. for me, it's a tone poem and a real difference from madcap misadvantures from others mentioned.

i lived in SoHo a couple yrs before this was made and thought After Hours to be almost verité

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12 minutes ago, wikkidpissah said:

i lived in SoHo a couple yrs before this was made and thought After Hours to be almost verité

I can easily believe it. I think anyone who lived in NYC when it was still kinda weird and not quite so rich can find a truth in it. I lived in NYC from '95-'04 and this movie speaks to me as if it were mother tongue.

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Here's an interesting sounding early 2020 release with some film noir and FBG Movie Club connections.  The Burnt Orange Heresy is based on a 1971 novel by the great noir novelist Charles Willeford about conmen in the art world.  Scott B. Smith who wrote A Simple Plan adapted the screenplay and Donald Sutherland appears as a reclusive artist.

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The screenwriter of The Killing was Jim Thompson.  He was a hard-boiled novelist who wrote some terrific books about desperate characters on the fringes of mid-century American society.  A number of them have been turned into films including The Grifters, The Getaway (twice) and After Dark, My Sweet. 

Thompson's reputation outlived him as new generations of readers discovered his works.  More of his books are in print today than at the time of his death.  I've read a few of his books and recommend them as quick colorful reads.  For me, his dialog worked better on the page than the screen. 

 

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2 hours ago, Eephus said:

The screenwriter of The Killing was Jim Thompson.  He was a hard-boiled novelist who wrote some terrific books about desperate characters on the fringes of mid-century American society.  A number of them have been turned into films including The Grifters, The Getaway (twice) and After Dark, My Sweet. 

Thompson's reputation outlived him as new generations of readers discovered his works.  More of his books are in print today than at the time of his death.  I've read a few of his books and recommend them as quick colorful reads.  For me, his dialog worked better on the page than the screen. 

 

Even as Chandler and Cain go, Thompson is dark as hell. 

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December Movie Club Double Feature

Tis the season for a new movie month. @KarmaPolice and I wanted to lighten things up a bit. This year we've done depressed vampires, racial tension, oppressive police states and a school bus crash. So to end the year on a bit of a lighter note we are doing our first pair of comedies. And with it being December, we did want to incorporate the holidays. So the theme this month is Holiday-ish Comedies. 

1960: The Apartment 

A man tries to rise in his company by letting its executives use his apartment for trysts, but complications and a romance of his own ensue over the holidays. 

Streaming on Amazon

1979: Monty Python's Life of Brian

Born on the original Christmas in the stable next door to Jesus, Brian of Nazareth spends his life being mistaken for a messiah.

Streaming on Netflix

due 1/6 (extended time due to the holidays)

Edited by Ilov80s
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So excited that I might strain some spaghetti with a tennis racket (or I would if I did not think my wife would outright murder me).

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I wouldn't strain yourself looking for any connecting themes.  :lol:   

We just wanted to keep it light with some "Christmas adjacent" movies that most have probably seen.  

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I think my copy of The Killing is coming in today, so I hope to watch that over the weekend and maybe add some thoughts.  I think this time around I will 100% make sure that I have access to the movies before the eve of discussion.  

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3 hours ago, Don Quixote said:

So excited that I might strain some spaghetti with a tennis racket (or I would if I did not think my wife would outright murder me).

 

3 hours ago, KarmaPolice said:

I wouldn't strain yourself looking for any connecting themes.  :lol:   

We just wanted to keep it light with some "Christmas adjacent" movies that most have probably seen.  

Back to back strain posts. 

 

 

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I always think of the Dudley Moore film "Wholly Moses" when "Life of Brian" is mentioned. Broader, more slapstick comedy - it is Dudley Moore after all - but it still makes me laugh.

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Finally got around to The Killing rewatch last night.  I won't argue too much with people saying it's not upper tier Kubrick, but I think it's still a damn fun heist movie.  Love the back and forth between George and Sherry, and I think that alone jumps the movie up a point.  Have a smile on my face all the while Sherry is taking snipes at whoever is around her.  Also love some of the details of the actual heist itself and the additional players they brought in for the distraction as they pulled it off.  

I will fully admit that part of my love for the movie was confirmation bias of my reverence for Kubrick as I see so many other heist films in this movie and getting that lesson that even films I thought were original and ground breaking at the time have been done before.  That was an important lesson for me to learn and to keep in mind as I developed my love of movies.  Obviously Reservoir Dogs comes to mind and is brought up a lot because of the heist gone bad and the chopping up of the time line, but last night I was even getting flashes of The Dark Knight (Johnny's mask) and others.  I am sure somebody smarter than me can point to a movie before this one that used these techniques and visuals too.  

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19 minutes ago, KarmaPolice said:

Finally got around to The Killing rewatch last night.  I won't argue too much with people saying it's not upper tier Kubrick, but I think it's still a damn fun heist movie.  Love the back and forth between George and Sherry, and I think that alone jumps the movie up a point.  Have a smile on my face all the while Sherry is taking snipes at whoever is around her.  Also love some of the details of the actual heist itself and the additional players they brought in for the distraction as they pulled it off.  

I will fully admit that part of my love for the movie was confirmation bias of my reverence for Kubrick as I see so many other heist films in this movie and getting that lesson that even films I thought were original and ground breaking at the time have been done before.  That was an important lesson for me to learn and to keep in mind as I developed my love of movies.  Obviously Reservoir Dogs comes to mind and is brought up a lot because of the heist gone bad and the chopping up of the time line, but last night I was even getting flashes of The Dark Knight (Johnny's mask) and others.  I am sure somebody smarter than me can point to a movie before this one that used these techniques and visuals too.  

Good point about the Kubrick bias. I'm guilty of that too.

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Posted the usual poll. I am assuming pretty everyone has seen Life of Brian, but a little curious about The Apartment. 

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Life of Brian is one of those films (Barry Lyndon, Blood Simple, Brazil, Inception probably) i watch every 5 yrs or so hoping i'll like it better because i'm supposed to like it more than i do

The Apartment is the Ur romcom and i look forward to TCM showing it most holiday seasons

Edited by wikkidpissah
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I go back and fourth with which is my favorite Python comedy between Holy Grail and Life of Brian. I give the edge to Grail. But still, Brian has some of their best jokes on film. 

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1 hour ago, wikkidpissah said:

Life of Brian is one of those films (Barry Lyndon, Blood Simple, Brazil, Inception probably) i watch every 5 yrs or so hoping i'll like it better because i'm supposed to like it more than i do

The Apartment is the Ur romcom and i look forward to TCM showing it most holiday seasons

The romantic comedy seems a very simple genre. There are really only a handful of original films and from there most are copies (not a knock, some of the best are copies). The 3 that jump out to me as the genre defining rom-coms are

It Happened One Night- this gives us the mismatched pair who hate each other at first but the bickering turns to a last minute realization they are in love 

The Apartment- introduced a level of cynicism and loneliness that romantic comedies didn't touch before this film- 50 years later and we still see movies like Silver Linings Playbook trying to replicate the balance of comedy, desire and heartache that The Apartment brings.

Annie Hall-  the romantic comedy becomes meta, timelines get messy and we don't just see how the guy got the girl, but also how he lost the girl

Edited by Ilov80s
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2 hours ago, wikkidpissah said:

Life of Brian is one of those films (Barry Lyndon, Blood Simple, Brazil, Inception probably) i watch every 5 yrs or so hoping i'll like it better because i'm supposed to like it more than i do

The Apartment is the Ur romcom and i look forward to TCM showing it most holiday seasons

I am sad to read that you don't like the movie much, but I am glad that I am not the only weirdo that does the bolded.   I have a handful I keep taking stabs at because they are so widely loved and at the top of lists, but I don't get - mostly would be Coen Brothers, Wes Anderson, and Scorsese movies - specifically O Brother/Lebowski and Goodfellas.  It's looking like Mad Max: Fury Road will be one of these as well.  

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17 hours ago, jdoggydogg said:

I go back and fourth with which is my favorite Python comedy between Holy Grail and Life of Brian. I give the edge to Grail. But still, Brian has some of their best jokes on film. 

I thought Holy Grail was much more consistently funny while Life of Bryan just had a few highlights.

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17 minutes ago, Mr. Mojo said:

I thought Holy Grail was much more consistently funny while Life of Bryan just had a few highlights.

Grail seems to have more jokes per minute.

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Put me in the camp that prefers Life of Brian 

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I don’t think Life of Brian is Python’s funniest movie but I do think it’s their best. Been meaning to watch the Apartment, now I have a reason.

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I’d put Life of Brian over Holy Grail too.  I think Holy Grail has some funnier moments, but Life of Brian holds up as a more complete movie.  Sticking the landing is pretty important, and has a lot to do with it for me. Holy Grail’s ending seemed like something more out of the Flying Circus where they did not really know how to end a sketch — they could not end it with Graham Chapman saying “And now for something completely different,”  so had a close approximate instead. But Always Look on the Bright Side of Life has you laughing and whistling to the very end.

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I'm a big fan of Monty Python, not sure why I haven't been more interested in seeing Life of Brian. 

I've heard of The Apartment always give it a pass when it's on TCM.

This should be interesting; there's no reason either film won't exceed my low expectations going in, yet I feel like I still won't have really missed much from having not seen them all these years.

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1 hour ago, Osaurus said:

Gonna pass on another month. Meh

Movies you saw but didn’t like or movies you have no interest in seeing?

1 hour ago, Charlie Steiner said:

I'm a big fan of Monty Python, not sure why I haven't been more interested in seeing Life of Brian. 

I've heard of The Apartment always give it a pass when it's on TCM.

This should be interesting; there's no reason either film won't exceed my low expectations going in, yet I feel like I still won't have really missed much from having not seen them all these years.

If you like MP, why are your expectations so low? 

As for The Apartment, I don’t want to create too high of expectations but it’s probably my favorite movie ever. Won best picture, screenplay, director, Sight and Sound has it as the 14th best film ever made, AFI has it at 80th best American film. Not many movies come with more praise. 

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Billy Wilder belongs on any list of the greatest writer/directors of film comedies but unlike a lot of comedic creators, he was equally adept at drama. 

Amazon Prime has a good selection of his later work.

Sunset Boulevard
Stalag 17
Sabrina
Witness For The Prosecution
Some Like It Hot
The Apartment
Irma La Douce
The Fortune Cookie
The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes
Avanti

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14 minutes ago, Ilov80s said:

Movies you saw but didn’t like or movies you have no interest in seeing?

If you like MP, why are your expectations so low? 

As for The Apartment, I don’t want to create too high of expectations but it’s probably my favorite movie ever. Won best picture, screenplay, director, Sight and Sound has it as the 14th best film ever made, AFI has it at 80th best American film. Not many movies come with more praise. 

I’ve seen both of them more than once recently and lots of other things to watch on my list right now. 

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17 minutes ago, Ilov80s said:

If you like MP, why are your expectations so low? 

As for The Apartment, I don’t want to create too high of expectations but it’s probably my favorite movie ever. Won best picture, screenplay, director, Sight and Sound has it as the 14th best film ever made, AFI has it at 80th best American film. Not many movies come with more praise. 

I guess with these two movies I get a sense of been there, done that, but upon actually watching, I have come around to appreciating them. Casablanca was such a film for me, Guys and Dolls as well. We'll see if that happens with these two. It's like they say: some people can read War and Peace and come away thinking it's a simple adventure story, while others can unlock the secrets of the universe by reading the ingredients on a chewing gum wrapper. Here's to hoping for more of the latter and less of the former.

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19 minutes ago, Osaurus said:

I’ve seen both of them more than once recently and lots of other things to watch on my list right now. 

I totally get that

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29 minutes ago, Eephus said:

Billy Wilder belongs on any list of the greatest writer/directors of film comedies but unlike a lot of comedic creators, he was equally adept at drama. 

Amazon Prime has a good selection of his later work.

Sunset Boulevard
Stalag 17
Sabrina
Witness For The Prosecution
Some Like It Hot
The Apartment
Irma La Douce
The Fortune Cookie
The Private Life of Sherlock Holmes
Avanti

Not sure anyone balanced drama and comedy so well. 

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12 minutes ago, Eephus said:

Billy Wilder belongs on any list of the greatest writer/directors of film comedies but unlike a lot of comedic creators, he was equally adept at drama. 

For my money, greatest auteur of people pictures.

That's why i call The Apartment the Ur romcom. It Don't Happen One Night Unless One of Us is Clark Gable did get the romcom away from screwball (a form i used to adore but can no longer abide) but Apartment is possible, palpable and, most importantly, of Manhattan. The losers of NY (as i wrote in one of my own NYC romcoms, the people with "great views of the people with great views") are my favorite people in the world and the ones most deserving of excellent love. And this kicked it off.

Warning: If you have a low Jack Lemmon tolerance, stay away, gf. He is truly in his element here (matter of fact, i think Wilder's whole point in writing this was to create a role worthy of him) and his performance is fabulous but it's also, y'know, fabulous. Enjoy -

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Despite mostly filming indoors on sets and not being a big on location director, Wilder was a genius as bringing the heart of the location into his room. The Apartment and The Lost Weekend are peak NYC films. Sunset Boulevard is the ultimate Hollywood film and LA’s presence is all over Double Indemnity. 

@wikkidpissah how did he do it?

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I love Monty Python and liked Life of Brian, although Holy Grail was their best movie IMO.  I've never seen The Apartment but don't have Prime so I don't think I will be able to watch it.  I would be happy to comment on Life of Brian when the time comes.

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6 minutes ago, Ilov80s said:

Despite mostly filming indoors on sets and not being a big on location director, Wilder was a genius as bringing the heart of the location into his room. The Apartment and The Lost Weekend are peak NYC films. Sunset Boulevard is the ultimate Hollywood film and LA’s presence is all over Double Indemnity. 

@wikkidpissah how did he do it?

A gift from the gods.

My last few years in Reno, i became friends w a man named Bill Kelley. He was a knockaround TV writer for years, his passions were writing poor-selling novels about religious practices in exotic locales, flyfishing & poker (which is how i met him). He and some old writing partners expanded an idea from a TV ep they'd written together into a movie script and ended up winning a Best Screenplay Oscar for it. The movie was Witness, my pal Bill credited director Peter Weir w 99.9% of its success and said that some people have all our archetypes that Jung talked about in their heads, that those people invented religion and the visual arts and Peter Weir was one of those people. We'd have dinner a half-dozen times a year and Bill could talk about archetypes & the imprints of consciousness maybe even better than Joseph Campbell, through 5 courses of food, several bottles of wine, without ever doubling back. He believed Weir (Year of Living Dangerously, Dead Poets Society, Master & Commander, Truman Show, Mosquito Coast - all films w great sense of place, as was Witness) was one of those artistic shamans, so much so that when my director cousin got Memoirs of a Geisha (the highest-priced novel rights of all time when he got it) as a followup to Chicago, i told Rob to look up Weir during awards season for pointers. It's archetypes & imprints, my friend, and some folks got it. All i know. Big ups, ol' Bill.

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11 minutes ago, RC94 said:

I love Monty Python and liked Life of Brian, although Holy Grail was their best movie IMO.  I've never seen The Apartment but don't have Prime so I don't think I will be able to watch it.  I would be happy to comment on Life of Brian when the time comes.

i checked TCM because they usually have The Apartment on during the holidays, but their next showing isn't til 1-31-20

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46 minutes ago, RC94 said:

I love Monty Python and liked Life of Brian, although Holy Grail was their best movie IMO.  I've never seen The Apartment but don't have Prime so I don't think I will be able to watch it.  I would be happy to comment on Life of Brian when the time comes.

If you have a DVD/blu Ray player than your local library may have it (assuming you live in reasonably populated area) if you wanted to try to see it (and I think it’s worth it).

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oddly, the definitive (not best, just definitive) Manhattan romcom, Crossing Delancey, is coming on TCM in 5 minutes

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This month's picks are perfect. 👍

Also, @Ilov80s, I did not vote in the last poll. (I've been tied up with some family stuff lately.) I would have given' em both a 4, if you want a better count of participation and opinion.

 

Now, regarding this month ... Python has been my favorite comedy group since ???  - well - always. I also grew up a rabid fan of mythology. Anyone who followed the GoT thread, surely witnessed my nerdom irt to the Arthur mythos. So - Holy Grail is my wheelhouse. And, by coincidence, my college frat used this movie as an "official" source of "secret #### talk". I did not know this until after I was initiated, and it was quite a nice surprise, as it gave me a good head start in learning the "bro speak".

So - what's the point? Even with all this crap weighing in favor of HG, Life of Brian is still my #1 Python movie. It is not because I have been over exposed to HG, as I've seen LoB just as much - LoB just speaks to me much more. I can't really put it into words now, but that's OK; I'll have some words by the new year. I'm really looking forward to the watch.

IRT The Apartment, I honestly can't remember if I have seen it. I'll have to do a little research and remembering. But, if it is your fav, I highly suspect that I'll dig it.

 

 

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On 12/9/2019 at 8:47 PM, KarmaPolice said:

I am sad to read that you don't like the movie much, but I am glad that I am not the only weirdo that does the bolded.   I have a handful I keep taking stabs at because they are so widely loved and at the top of lists, but I don't get - mostly would be Coen Brothers, Wes Anderson, and Scorsese movies - specifically O Brother/Lebowski and Goodfellas.  It's looking like Mad Max: Fury Road will be one of these as well.  

As a Coen fan with the O Brother handle, I'll try to give you my biased perspective.

I'm sure you recall our GoT discussions and my obsession with comparing it to the King Arthur stuff. With O Brother, it is the connection to the Odyssey that put it over the top for me. While I do love the technical aspects of it, I am not sure how high I would rate it without the connection. The Odyssey is a bigger love of mine than the Arthur stuff, and when I view the movie through the lens of the book ... well, you saw what it did to me in Thrones. LOL. I'll spare the thread that kind of answer.

IRT Lebowski. I like it a lot, but it's not in my higher tier of movies. I just mostly enjoy the community that sprung up in the Lebowski Fest scene - discussed earlier in this thread.

So, that's it. I don't think you're a weirdo or nuttin'. At least not for this. ;)

 

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