Dr. Rich Edwards

8/2/17 Lecture Note Discussion: Who Would be a Hitchcock Collaborator in 2017?

99 posts in this topic

Collaborators in today's cinema?

 

Neal Purvis and Robert Wade.  The current two main writers for the James Bond franchise.   They would be able to translate well, I think.  There is a sequence of an escape in Spectre when Q realizes that he is trapped in a funicular with the bad guys that I feel would be right in place in a Hitchcock film.

 

I agree on some of the actors I've seen in other posts, and have added a few others:

 

Clive Owens, Christian Bale, Michael Caine (especially as the villain), John Cusack, Hugh Jackman, Daniel Craig, and Ben Whisaw.

Scarlett Johanson, Lea Seydoux for blondes, and 

Julienne Moore or Amy Adams for redheads, and 

Sandra Bullock or Ann Hathaway for brunettes

 

and Patrick Stewart as a Professor type.

 

Walter3rd

 

My dream cast for the Frenzy?

 Anthony Newley as Richard Blaney  (a very underrated actor)

Michael Caine as Robert Rusk

and Sean Connery (with mustache) as C.I. Oxford.

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I am looking forward to this as well. I read the stories about 20 years ago. Rear Window seems to be very loosely based on the story, and I seem to recall that Rear Window also pulled elements from another Cornell Woolrich story in the same collection I had read, but it's been so long I couldn't say what. 

 

It's an interesting question. Hitchcock tended to use source material as a jumping off point and then made the film he wanted to make. 

 

Chris

 

I do not see a message board topic for August 3, so I am posting about tonight's Fan Panel here:

 

 

FAN PANEL #1: FRESH LOOKS AT REAR WINDOW

  1. DOUG LONG: Rear Window and Cornell Woolrich’s 1942 crime story “It Had to Be Murder”
  2. LESLEY M. SARGOY: Hitchcock's Uses Grace Kelly's Wardrobe in Rear Window to Visually Demonstrate the Lisa/Jeff Relationship
  3. CHRIS STURHANN: Inside Jokes in Rear Window

​I am looking forward to watching all three presentations, but particularly to Doug Long's presentation, as it appears to be about the differences between the story told in a film versus the story told in the book on which the film was allegedly based.

 

​I say allegedly based, because it seems that seems that many films are only loosely based on the books that inspired them. In Hitchcock's case, Rebecca very closely resembled the book, but only because David O. Selznick insisted upon it. When John Huston directed The Maltese Falcon, ​he kept the dialogue almost word for word identical to what Dashiell Hammett had written in his book.  So, it sometimes happens that films do resemble the books that inspired them.

 

However, when left to his own devices, Hitch deviated significantly from the original stories, as he did in ​Rear Window, Strangers on a Train, and The Birds. He is not the only director to do this. The film ​Deadline at Dawn versus the short story version is another example of how other Directors have also deviated widely from the book versions.   

 

What Hitchcock often did reminds me of an experience I had when my daughter was taking a writing course in college. The students were given prompts and asked to write a story based on the prompts. For one assignment, the prompt was "a man, a woman, and a cigarette." My daughter and I decided it would be fun for each of us to write a story based on that prompt and to compare the results. As you might guess, the resulting stories bore little resemblance to each other. For The Birds, ​it is as if Hitch had taken from the original story only the prompt of "birds attack and kill people." For Rear Window, he took only the prompt of "man with broken leg spies on neighbors and suspects a murder." Sometimes, this approach is necessary because the book version is not easily transferred to film, but sometimes, it seems as if the screenplay writer was just indulging his ego. I think the changes Hitch made were for the better.          

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I apologize again for my lack of knowledge.  The comments made by everyone here - everyone is so knowledgeable.  I am going to write down a lot of these movies because I have not seen them or do not remember them well.  What a treasure trove!  Thanks!!!!

 

My husband and I are always talking about which actor would play which role if the Alfred Hitchcock movies were to be remade.   I also would love a line of clothes based on the different female characters - especially the Thelma Ritter and Grace Kelly dress lines.  They don't seem to make nice dresses like that anymore.  Women need clothes with big pockets for cell phones and wallets.  The flouncy dresses would be good for that!   

 

So I always think that George Clooney would be good for Cary Grant parts.  Tom Hanks in the Jimmy Stewart parts.  Frances Mcdormand in the Thelma Ritter role in Rear Window and Edith Evanston as the housekeeper in Rope.  Cool blondes - Gwyneth Paltrow, and Charlize Theron.   I don't know who would be good for some of the male character actors.  Hmmm?  More research

 

Danny Elfman came to mind as a composer collaborator.   Coen brothers.  For writing Paula Hawkins - The Girl on the Train.  I am not sure about Stephen King.  Peter A. Dowling and Billy Ray - Flightplan.  

 

The other thing I always think about is what happened to these characters - I do that with so many movies.  I want to especially know what happened to Rose Sayer and Charlie Allnut in the African Queen.  did they stay in Africa or go to England or Canada.  Maybe Australia.  I know this is not an Alfred Hitchcock movie but there is something about the simplicity and complexity of that movie that gets to me!   Anyway,  Does anyone survive in The Birds?   Do Roger Thornhill and Eve Kendall live happily ever after?  And what about Mom?  Does Phillip Vandamm go to jail for life or is he traded for a spy?  

 

What about everyone in Rope?   How does the trial go?  Life or a death sentence.  How do the family members deal with it.

 

I'll stop! 

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I think a very interesting collaboration would be for Hitchcock to work with director M. Night Shyamalan. Hitchcock would enjoy movies like "Unbreakable", "The Village" and other movies for their MacGuffin's and interesting turn of events in Shyamalan's films.

 

John Williams is always my choice for composer, he is one of the best that ever lived. Howard Shore (Lord of the Rings), or Klaus Badelt (Pirates of the Caribbean)

 

The actor choices for me are Gary Oldman, Cate Blanchett, James McAvoy (Split), Tim Curry, Johnny Depp, Jack Nicholson, Olivia Wilde, Bruce Campbell and Chalize Theron.

 

I'm not sure about collaborative writers, I enjoy movies written by Stephen King, Joel Cohen, Wes Anderson, Mel Brooks and Rob Zombie.

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Hi #Hitchcock50 Students:

 

We continue our final reflections on 50 Years of Hitchcock with a twist today. 

 

I want you to engage in some speculative thinking.

 

Based on what you learned about Hitchcock's collaborators in this class, who do you think Hitchcock would reach out to today to collaborate with him or her, if Hitch were making new films in 2017?  The most recent historical /thriller film that recently came out directed by Christopher Nolan.  Time and structure elements and creating suspense, tension and emotion, as he did in a film called, "Memento".  Focusing on human survival similar to "Lifeboat". The context of British identity in war.  Trains and ships during wartime - a common theme in Hitchcock films.  

 

In other words, who would be his new Bernard Herrmann? Who would be his new Edith Head? What contemporary writer would Hitchcock have loved to collaborate with? Hans Zimmer for musical score, "Dunkirk" for its dramatic, and classic music.  Christopher Nolan for contemporary writer.  Jeffery Kurland for costume design with contrast of uniforms, and clothing worn in the 1940s.

 

Be creative! Hope you enjoy this assignment!

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This is something my Gen X daughter (yes, she loves Hitchcock, and classic films in general. She has good taste!) and I do often - and actually had begun thinking along these lines a couple of weeks ago! Following are my thoughts about current Hitchcock collaborators:

 

Writers:  J.J. Abrams, Katherine Bigelow, James Cameron, Francis Ford Coppola, Sofia Coppola, David Fincher, Paul Haggis, Spike Lee, Sergio Leone, George Lucas, Christopher Nolan, Stephen King, Sam Raimi, Martin Scorsese, Aaron Sorkin 

Composers:  Hans Zimmer, Nino Rota, Ennio Morricone, John Williams, James Horner

Actors:  Tom Hanks, Kevin Spacey, Leonardo DiCaprio, Russell Crowe, Denzel Washington, Christian Bale, George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Matt Damon, Daniel Craig

Actresses:  Charlize Theron, Cate Blanchett, Jennifer Lawrence, Scarlett Johansson, Eva Green, Kate Winslet, Angelina Jolie

Costume Designers: Colleen Atwood, Catherine Martin, Jacqueline Durran, Sandy Powell, Giorgio Armani

 

As some other posters have mentioned, it is fun and interesting to try casting some of Hitch's movies with present day actors, such as Tom Hanks in Jimmy Stewart's roles, George Clooney portraying Cary Grant's characters, or Kevin Spacey as "Bruno" in Strangers on a Train. The list could go on and on.

 

Many thanks to you Dr. Edwards and to Dr. Gehring for a memorable (train?) ride with the master of suspense!

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Oh what an interesting question this is and I could do a paper on this topic, but choose just three of my major interests as writers and some honorable mentions:

 

Maya Angelou

Writer, singer, actor for over 50 years and just amazing.  My mother gave me, "I know why the caged bird sings" and I was hooked.  She had such a rich life and was awarded over fifty degrees.  Would tie into Hitchcock's humble start in life, like Maya, both of their love of music, writing, life and interesting experiences.  She was friends with Martin Luther King, Jr. 

 

Nelson Algren

Mr. Algren (1909-1981) is an American writer that won the National Book Award in 1949 for The Man with the Golden Arm, later a film.  He was the lover of Simone de Beauvoir (She was the lover of John Paul Sarte) and just an interesting writer since he was from the Midwest, in WWII, married a woman who was severely injured in an accident he may have caused and wrote a lot of pushing the edge books on Chicago and other topics.  He worked with Otto Preminger and did some acting too!

 

Woody Allen

Most all know him, so just briefly.  Six decades of films, writing, acting is enough said ...I suggested TCM and Dr. Edwards so a class on Woody as it would be amazing!

 

Honorable Mentions

 

Ray Bradbury - a brilliant mind

Dan Brown -adventures written like 30 Steps, NBNW, James Bond, etc.

James A. Michener - culture and adventures in different timelines

Clive Cussler - adventure with a Cary Grant type leading man with green eyes

Pat Conroy - Southern charmer and Hitchcock could learn the dark side of Pat's mind

Michael Crichton - outstanding physician-medical writer and an imagine to go to many worlds

Ken Fowlett - totally cool writer that is comfortable in many centuries

Upton Sinclair - just pure class and would have been amazing

J.K. Rowling - she is cooler than glass this woman of great talent and imagination

Dylan Thomas - oh, he was a man who could write and bring you into his world

Ian Rankin - Scotland comes alive with the local police and dark crimes

Edith Wharton - interesting view on the world

John Updike - just amazing body of work

Stieg Larsson - we lost our author of four (3.5) books of the 'Girl with the Dragon Tatoo" too early as   he was a very talent man and would have written well with Hitchcock

 

Hope that was enough to generate some thoughts 

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I think an interesting collaboration would be Hitchcock and Jordan Peele (writer/director of Get Out).  The suspense thriller possibilities from this pairing could be prolific; and Jordan Peele comes from a comedy background which would also complement Hitch.

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I will have to defer to my more knowledgeable, up-to-date colleagues on this topic as I am a self-admitted 'old soul' who, believe it or not, rarely goes to current-release movies these days.  As long as TCM is around, my movie cravings are satisfied!  So my knowledge of current writers, art directors, composers, etc, is somewhat limited.  One recent film I did see, however (and that was a couple of years ago!), was Woody Allen's Irrational Man, mainly because of the reported Hitchcock influence.  I see where one of the other writers here mentioned Allen as perhaps collaborator as screenwriter with a contemporary Hitchcock, which I think would be cool since they both share a droll sense of humor and inject subtle sophisticated wit into their movies.

 

Another potential collaborator that just popped into my head would be Danny Elfman for music.  There are, of course, the great, whimsical scores for Tim Burton (yet another potential collaborator and influence mentioned here), and I remember him as front man for the zany new-wave band Oingo Boingo in the early 80s.  I think Herrmann's score for Trouble With Harry sounds a bit like Elfman's style, so Hitch may have gone for it and appreciated it.

 

That said, however, since we are being speculative here -- I would be further intrigued to think about how Hitch would respond to the current craze for social media, gadgets, and the growing phenomenon of interpersonal relationships becoming more mediated.  Since much of Hitchcock's work involves identities (mistaken identities, doubles, etc), the cyber world might have presented Hitch with inspiration, perhaps to situate a story plot line in the cyber space -- or at least a space in which to move the narrative.  Perhaps as a MacGuffin or place to situate a MacGuffin.  

 

A final note of thanks to Rich Edwards, everyone who worked so hard to bring this course to life and everyone who posted in these forums.  I have learned SO MUCH from this deep dive into the craft of the Master.  Hate to see it end!  Best regards and a great summer to all! 

 

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This was difficult since I mostly watch TCM but I think Hitchcock would have love working with the creators of Sherlock on PBS. There is  a mixture of comedy and suspense and that the update of a modern Sherlock is very well done. You have his quirks, intelligence and solving of mysteries with today's technology.

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I guess I love the late Barry White and his love unlimited orchestra. I believe he may have the ability to direct an orchestra and provide the creativity to Mr Hitchcocks masterpieces if given the opportunity

 

I love Vera wangs driven beautiful lines and I also think she is mature enough to allow for the beauty that Mr Hitch. would demand

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I don't watch many new movies, I'm an old soul, but I think JK Rowling would be an interesting match and in terms of TV production, I would absolutely love to see what Vince Gilligan and Peter Gould would come up with if they collaborated with Alfred Hitchcock.  It would be Breaking Bad on steroids.  In terms of writers, as many others have mentioned, a Stephen King collaboration would be interesting to say the least.

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1.)  Most definitely I think Brian DePalma would.  I think composer Giorgio Moroder and Alan Silvestri.  Also, Tangerine Dream.

 

2.) As for screenwriters, I could see Hitchcock working with David Mamet.

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It seems like the directors, actors, and composers that I would suggest have already been discussed.  And I have to admit that I don't really stay up-to-date on fashion designers.  Besides, I don't think anyone could compete with Edith Head!  Someone stated that Edith Head's clothes were never pretty -- Did you see Grace Kelly's dresses in Rear Window?​  Absolutely incredible!!

 

As far as writers, in addition to Stephen King and some of the other suggestions, I would love to see what Hitchcock would do with some of the books written by David Baldacci, Sandra Brown, and Lisa Scottoline.  And I totally agree that he would probably not work with the brilliant Aaron Sorkin because he is so dialogue-driven.

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In thinking about who would be a Hitchcock collaborator in 2017, I immediately went to the Coen Brothers. The movies these 2 have written, produced and directed beginning with Crimewave in 1985, and especially 1996's Fargo, have definite Hitchcock nuances. The dark humor, the seemingly "normal" people in extraordinary circumstances, the dark hidden motives of character all point to Hitchcock. Like Hitchcock, the Coen's also don't seem too concerned with logic at all times. 

As far as a modern collaborator in music, it is hard to think of anyone with the genius of Berrmann, but I could see a successful collaboration of Hitchcock and Danny Elfman. His film scores run the gamut from child-like to dark and terror filled. I think Danny would be a great musical collaborator for the types of stories Hitchcock liked to tell. He is prolific in his scoring of movies with more than 90 to his credit. The films range from children's movies like Flubber, to the Hitchcockian Dolores Claiborne, and even some Hitchcock remakes like 1998's Pyscho. Danny Elfman would be a composer, I could imagine Hitchcock seeking out.

In the area of costume design, I am not that familiar with modern day designers. My son's friend from college is a young costume designer trying to make it in L.A. His name is Chad Edward Lee Evett, and he has done some design work for Whoopie Goldberg, and has done temp work at DreamWorks.  Chad does lots of elaborate work for cosplayers in many different genres from fairy tale characters, superheros and villains to historical figures. He is extremely talented and hungry, so I am going to suggest Chad as a collaborator who could work with Hitchcock. He has the ability to work with so many different styles and time periods, he would be a perfect collaborator for Hitchcock. He would be able to work within Hitchcock's personal vision and do well. Chad's attention to detail on costumes would probably rival Hitchcock's detail orientation.

To close, I would like to also suggest some actors who could pick up the Hitchcockian torch from the likes of Jimmy Stewart, Grace Kelly, Cary Grant and Eva Maria Saint. I would love to see Johnny Depp and Scarlett Johansson in a Hitchcock film. I could also see Denzel Washington as a leading man in a Hitchcock thriller.

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This post is about the Fan Panel presentations that were made last Thursday. I really enjoyed them and am looking forward to the Monday Fan Panels. The presenters provided some very interesting insights, as did the audience members who made comments.

​I am still wondering what the "L. B." stood for on Jeff's cast. IMDB says the character played by Jimmy Stewart was named L. B. "Jeff" Jefferies, but it does not say what the initials stood for. In Cornell Woolrich's short story, the character was named Hal "Jeff" Jeffries.

 

I suspect the "L. B." was one of Alfred Hitchcock's inside jokes - one which he did not share with us. The only moviedom L. B. I can think of is L. B. Mayer, the head of MGM, but it seems unlikely that this was whom Hitchcock had in mind.

 

Speaking of inside jokes, I thought the "Miss Torso" thesis was interesting. She was not one of the characters in Woolrich's story, so Hitchcock certainly could have named her anything he wanted. I had not seen the possible inside joke connection to her name. I did see another joke, albeit not necessarily an "inside" one. At the conclusion of the short story, Jeff's doctor tells him “Guess we can take that cast off your leg now. You must be tired of sitting there all day doing nothing.” That in itself was a joke, considering all that Jeff had recently been through, but Hitchcock took it to another level by having Jeff fall from the window and break his other leg (Jeff did not fall out the window in the short story). I think the sight gag of Jeff's second leg cast was even funnier than the joke Cornell Woolrich wrote.     

 

By the way, the second leg cast at the end of the film is a good example of the trickiness of attributing meanings to what we see in Hitchcock's films. I suspect some analysts would say the two leg casts are another manifestation of Hitchcock's penchant for "doubling." Maybe so, maybe not?  

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For music, Hitchcock certainly could have continued to work with John Williams, and I can also see Danny Elfman or Alexandre Desplat.

For costume design, Catherine Martin does wonderful work but I can't imagine Hitch wanting to share her with Baz Lurhmann. I'm thinking Tom Ford, who's also a director and would clearly relate to Hitchcock's love of elegance and his experimentation with color to portray a psychological state. 

For DP, I think Hitchcock would love the technical mastery of Emmanuel Lubezki as well as his willingness to experiment, but he might not like the high profile he's developed. He might be happier with Roger Deakins, a fellow Brit who has been consistently overlooked by the Academy while doing consistently brilliant work. 

For writer, maybe Lawrence Kasdan, who already wrote a Hitchcock film in Body Heat and writes both highly commercial and prestige projects.  

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For film scores, there are so many great talents.  I think John Williams, Jerry Goldsmith,  Danny Elfman and Howard Shore are proof that great composers are still creating fantastic movie scores.

 

I love the Coen brothers work and think they would fit perfectly with writing and producing films that match Hitchcock's style.

I don't know who the major story writers are today that are as prolific as Stephen King. Chandler and Hammett provided so many great stories brought to the screen, but, in my opinion, King's works just aren't portrayed as well as his written word.  The new movies coming out: The Dark Tower, the  'It' remake, and Mr. Mercedes may prove different.

 

 The only current fashion designers I know of are: Armani, Tom Ford and Dior.  Givenchy dressed Audrey Hepburn so spectacularly but Edith Head was just so dominant in film fashion.  Adrian and Orry-Kelly also come to mind in some of the greatest films ever made.

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Some have mentioned the Coen Brothers, and I agree that they would be an excellent match, as writers and editors. Along the same lines as the Coens, what about Noah Hawley, who brilliantly adapted their Fargo to the small screen? The series has the right amount of intrigue, well-drawn characters, atmosphere, and, well, murder, as any Hitchcock film.

 

In the previous thread in which we were asked to name modern-day films that have the Hitchcock touch, I mentioned Polanski's The Ghost Writer (2010). One of the elements of that film that stood out to me as particularly Hitchcockian was Alexandre Desplat's beautiful and haunting score. He's also my favorite film composer, so I'd like to also throw his name into the hat of potential collaborators.

 

And how about Dan Gilroy as a writing collaborator, off of the strength of his dark and twisted Nightcrawler (2014)?

 

George Clooney would make for a great Hitchcock leading man. He is the modern-day Cary Grant, after all. Someone else mentioned Scarlett Johansson, and I agree that she has the makings of a great Hitchcock leading lady (she's got a great mysterious quality), as does Naomi Watts for her ability to really tap into human emotion.

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As I said, I think hitch would do TV again.  I think he would bring back his Presents/Hour series.

It would play like this every week....who remembers this by the way?

 

 

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As I said, I think hitch would do TV again.  I think he would bring back his Presents/Hour series.

It would play like this every week....who remembers this by the way?

 

I remember it well; as a matter of fact, that TV show actually introduced me to Hitchcock when I was a kid. I loved his studio cut-ins. I thought they were entertaining and clever. And since they air on MeTV here in metro Detroit, I watch them every night! Thanks for mentioning this.

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Given his penchant for writers with commercial successes, I could see him adapting a work by John Grisham and perhaps even Stephen King. King's work especially has a certain irony and humor, particularly his short stories which are not necessarily seen as horror.

 

I could even see Tarentino as a collaborator.

 

Actors like George Clooney, Jude Law, Harrison Ford, Robert Redford would have made perfect everyman archetypes while fitting the commercial star desirability quotient. I could see Meryl Streep and Charlize Theron as perfect muses as well.

 

 

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Not Contemporary, but I wonder why Hitchcock didn't work with Graham Greene. They share some of the same interests: espionage; doubles/twins; obsession and guilt; the underbelly of the world; Ferris Wheels and carnivals; world travel, especially involving hot spots; great writing; suspense and thrillers.

 

For that matter, what about Malcolm Lowry?

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I love this idea of modern filmmakers converging with Hitchcock. The first writers that come to mind are Joel and Ethan Coen. They both possess a sense of the Hitchcockian flair within their filmmaking style. The Coen Brothers capture suspense by crafting​ their narratives with elemental effects conveying a sense of danger and urgency (No Country for Old Men.) As for a musician/film scorer, I would knight the supremely talented Mica Levi for this position. Her artistry is utterly incomparable. Mica captures the mood of a film so perfectly it's as though she rewrites its script via musical composition (Under the Skin and Jackie.) Finally, Thelma Schoonmaker would be an absolutely wonderful choice for editor (that being if Hitchcock could tear her away from Scorsese- I believe he would fight so hard to keep her!) Schoonmaker is such a gifted storyteller, making concise edits, strengthening​ a narrative to its very core. She brings a certain touch of her very own to a film and her collaborative efforts alone, I feel, lend aid to Martin Scorsese being the auteur he is known to be.

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