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3 hours ago, Allhallowsday said:

DEATH IN VENICE (1971) was on TCM yesterday late afternoon.  I watched it again; it's gorgeous even when it shows ugly.  I love LUCHINO VISCONTI movies but the whole time I was looking at it, I was reminded how boring audiences must have found the film when it was new. 

here's validation for you- i made it about 25-30 minutes in before i checked out. from the film's opening moment when the boat FITZCARRALDOS its way sloooowly and IN ENTIRETY across the screen, I remember thinking I was not gonna have the patience for this.

I was right.

i not recognize DIRK BOGARDE for a long while, which any actor would (and should) take as the highest compliment.

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1 hour ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

here's validation for you- i made it about 25-30 minutes in before i checked out. from the film's opening moment when the boat FITZCARRALDOS its way sloooowly and IN ENTIRETY across the screen, I remember thinking I was not gonna have the patience for this.

I was right.

i not recognize DIRK BOGARDE for a long while, which any actor would (and should) take as the highest compliment.

There are a few movies that I describe as "motionless" which of course they aren't.  But hypnotic films with long stretches to look, listen, and think I have come to love.  Like 2001: A SPACE ODYSSEY or LAWRENCE OF ARABIA or DEATH IN VENICE.  Each must be in my list of top 10 favorite films. 

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"Rationing," part of this afternoon's tribute to Marjorie Main, starring Wallace Beery.  A comedy with a bit of an action sequence at the end, it was a fun satire of small town American life in 1944, with good fun made of the apparently endless government paperwork involved with goods rationing back on the home front to support the war effort.  Most everyone dealt with it with some forbearance and a bit of carping, a bit like the social cooperation we're going through to get through today's pandemic.

Donald Meek co-stars but it's mostly an underwritten role.  Gloria Dickson, who I see died tragically from a home fire the next year, is a hoot as the new va-va-voom gal in town.  The young couple temporarily split up by the war are Dorothy Morris, who had a long television career after mostly minor movie parts, and a guy named Tommy Batten, who seems to have retired from show business after this -- at least there's nothing much about him online except that he lived until 2005.  Wallace is endearing as always, and Marjorie has line readings only she could deliver.   All you need to verify this is her pronunciation of the number "72" at the end, about the number of government forms required to dissolve her and Wallace's business partnership.

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On 2/24/2021 at 5:56 AM, LornaHansonForbes said:

Now I'm hungry for calamari.

Calamari... There's an amazing brew pub near me that has this amazing calamari with an aioli sauce; but it hasn't been available on the menu since COVID hit.  Fried Calamari is either really good, or tastes like rubber bands.

Homer Simpson Drooling Mmm Meme Meme Generator - Imgflip

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Another Woman Poster

Another Woman (1988) HBO On Demand 8/10

A middle aged woman (Gena Rowlands) rents an apartment in order to write a book, the apartment next door is a psychiatrist's office and she can overhear the sessions with another woman (Mia Farrow).

The second drama in a row for director Woody Allen. It is much better than the last , September. I had seen this one before, yet it felt like the first time when I re watched it last night. Allen often talks of Ingmar Bergman as his favorite filmmaker, and this the most Bergmanesque of his films that I have seen. There are great dream sequences and striking cinematography by Sven Nykvist. Gene Hackman has a small role as a man who wants to have an affair with Rowlands. John Houseman (in his final film) plays Rowlands' father. In a flashback scene his character is played by David Ogden Stiers. I was struck by how similar they were,  never noticed it before. One more treat for me was seeing a pregnant Mia Farrow, mainly because Rosemary's Baby is one of my favorite films of all time. And there is beautiful orchestrations of music by French composer Erik Satie.

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23 minutes ago, Det Jim McLeod said:

John Houseman (in his final film) plays Rowlands' father.

I thought Scrooged was his final role, but IMDb says Houseman had an uncredited role in The Naked Gun.

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1 minute ago, Fedya said:

I thought Scrooged was his final role, but IMDb says Houseman had an uncredited role in The Naked Gun.

yes, he plays the driving instructor and it is, possibly, the funniest scene in the whole movie.

 

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13 hours ago, speedracer5 said:

Calamari... There's an amazing brew pub near me that has this amazing calamari with an aioli sauce; but it hasn't been available on the menu since COVID hit.  Fried Calamari is either really good, or tastes like rubber bands.

 

I'm from the south, so you could literally deep fry rubber bands and- provided the breading was adequate (with a bonus for good dipping sauce) I would  eat them.

around this time last year, I got into watching KITCHEN NIGHTMAREs with GORDON RAMSEY, and in EVERY EPISODE they LIE without hesitation** and say the CALAMARI is FRESH, and he finds the bag in the freezer FIRST THING.

 

**sometimes even when the restarant is 1,000 miles inland they lie and say it's fresh. like they got a giant aquarium tank full of octopi in the backroom or something.

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Just watched PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE (1974) 

when I was a teenager in the 1990s, this showed up quite a bit on Cinemax, I did not particularly like it, but it was an impactful film and I remembered much of it over the years. It gets some bonus points for working FAUST in to the standard LEROUX story remodeled as a GLAM ROCK FABLE and adding a supernatural element as well...

I guess one can only wonder what the result would have been had they cast someone besides PAUL WILLIAMS In what is more or less the lead role as the chief antagonist and villain who is supposed to be sexually irresistable, Intimidating, charismatic, diabolical and threatening.

PAUL WILLIAMS Looks at all times in this film like Truman Capote dressing up as Martina Navratilova for Halloween and is about as intimidating as Audrey Hepburn.

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the music is not memorable either.

When BEEF dies, a very special light goes out in this movie. 

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7 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

I'm from the south, so you could literally deep fry rubber bands and- provided the breading was adequate (with a bonus for good dipping sauce) I would  eat them.

around this time last year, I got into watching KITCHEN NIGHTMAREs with GORDON RAMSEY, and in EVERY EPISODE they LIE without hesitation** and say the CALAMARI is FRESH, and he finds the bag in the freezer FIRST THING.

 

**sometimes even when the restarant is 1,000 miles inland they lie and say it's fresh. like they got a giant aquarium tank full of octopi in the backroom or something.

Kitchen Nightmares cracks me up.  This restaurant is the one who asks Gordon Ramsey for help and then are incensed that he calls them out for advertising frozen calamari as "fresh."   They'll say something like: "This guy doesn't know what he's talking about, this calamari is good!" Cut to a shot of a customer eating the calamari and they say: "This calamari tastes old and mushy, like it was frozen or something." 

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The Gingerbread Man (1998) -- 7/10

215px-Gingerbreadmanposter.jpg

The Gingerbread Man is one of those rare examples of a film that has a subpar story given a little extra ooomph by a talented cast and crew, but ultimately the story traps them in the end. This was a notoriously troubled production, with PolyGram Filmed Entertainment trying and failing to override Robert Altman's version of the film. And ultimately, the film, originally supposed to be released in late 1997, was pushed into the hinterlands of January 1998, post the release of Clint Eastwood's Midnight in the Garden of Good and Evil, another steamy tale in Savannah that was actually filmed just after this one. And since the studio was livid over their fight with Altman, the expensive film (Altman's most expensive film of his entire career) was barely released.

So, in the aftermath of all this rubble, what can be found? Well, the story itself is lacking. Even if some of the details might be surprising, its a pretty easy tale to figure out where its going since it follows the basic noir/neo-noir prototypes where things are not what they seem to be on the surface, people are sneakier than they let on, and there is a red herring prominently in place to lead you the wrong way. But I feel that most of these problems were inherant in the john Grisham story, and one knows from the director's commentary on the disc that Altman greatly reworked the first half of the story, and that the cast members also contributed to changing it. IMDb even claims that David Mamet did some script doctoring on this one.

The result of all this doctoring is that the film starts blazingly well. The cast is pretty well chosen across the board, especially the eternally underrated Embeth Davidtz, who underplays to fine effect. Kenneth Branagh has an ideal Southern accent. Robert Duvall and Robert Downey Jr chew the scenery entertainingly, and Daryl Hannah completely melts into the role of a loyal, honest secretary so well that you have to remind yourself at times that it's her. The atmosphere (Savannah, just before a hurricane comes roaring through) is thick and rich as gumbo. 

But then about halfway through, around the time that Branagh pulls his children from school to protect them, the basic wheels of the formula plot take over and start to deflate all the hard work made to juice this thing up. It never regains its footing, and begins to feel like a waste of Altman and everyone else. But that first act showed that there was real ingenuity and crackling minds working on this, which makes it a cut above a routine thriller, a bit more honest and knowing. But ultimately, it must rate as a near miss, despite all the best efforts and intentions.

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44 minutes ago, speedracer5 said:

"This guy doesn't know what he's talking about, this calamari is good!" Cut to a shot of a customer eating the calamari and they say: "This calamari tastes old and mushy, like it was frozen or something." 

Be great if just once they cut to a shot of an OLD ITALIAN STEREOTPE-AH CHEF fighting off a giant Wriggling tentacle with a cleaver shouting over his shoulder: “EESA CRAZY!! THEESA CALAMARI, IT-A DONNA GET-A NO MORE- A FRESH THAN THIS!!”

(Now that I think about it, I would say about 90% of calamari is probably frozen. I mean I live on the coast of North Carolina, but in so far as I know the octopi in calamari come from some other part of the globe.)

 

 

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2 hours ago, LornaHansonForbes said:

Be great if just once they cut to a shot of an OLD ITALIAN STEREOTPE-AH CHEF fighting off a giant Wriggling tentacle with a cleaver shouting over his shoulder: “EESA CRAZY!! THEESA CALAMARI, IT-A DONNA GET-A NO MORE- A FRESH THAN THIS!!”

(Now that I think about it, I would say about 90% of calamari is probably frozen. I mean I live on the coast of North Carolina, but in so far as I know the octopi in calamari come from some other part of the globe.)

I honestly don't know if my calamari is fresh either.  I live about an hour-ish away from the Oregon coast.   But wherever it comes from, it's delicious.

Sometimes in Kitchen Nightmares, if the owners were particularly horrible, I always hope to hear that despite Gordon Ramsey's efforts, the restaurant failed. Lol.

I think I've seen one episode of Kitchen Nightmares where Gordon Ramsey actually left in the middle and didn't even end up helping the restaurant. 

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12 hours ago, speedracer5 said:

I honestly don't know if my calamari is fresh either.  I live about an hour-ish away from the Oregon coast. 

When I lived in Rochester NY, I worked for a fresh fish market as a teen (Capone's, it must have been a front) and it was MY JOB to clean the squid-no one else would do it. It was delivered fresh every week and would be completely sold out within 2-3 days. Fresh fish only has a shelf life of a few days before deteriorating.

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The Girl In 419 (1933)

Fast paced comedy-drama pre-coder from Paramount set in a police hospital full of crime cases.

Smiley James Dunn plays the hospital's chief doctor who is also Don Juan to many of the nurses. When an orderly at one point asks how to find him the receptionist replies, "You make a sound like a woman and he comes running." But this doctor also gives scoops to a reporter as long as that reporter compensates him with a bottle of good liquor.

Soon Dunn takes a special interest in an unconscious woman brought in (Gloria Stuart) because, well, as he says, she's too beautiful to die. And it's not that long before he declares, even though she hasn't been able to utter a single word as she passes in and out of consciousness, that he's in love with her. As it turns out she was found in an alley after suffering a terrible beating for reasons explained towards the end of the film. Good thing she didn't have a mark on her face or it's doubtful Dunn would have taken such an interest in her.

William Harrigan plays a gangster who is on semi friendly terms with Dunn, with good ol' Jack La Rue as a henchman Harrigan gets angry didn't knock Stuart off as ordered and now wants him to go to the hospital to finish the job. David Manners plays a young doctor who hero worships Dunn (who's hardly a great role model for medical professionalism, to say the least). Vince Barnett does his accented comic shtick as a sidekick to Dunn who does everything for him, including scrubbing his back after he hunts him down in the shower. Speaking of comic shticks, Billy Gilbert is also on hand as a hospital patient going for a world record when it comes to sneezing. Awww-choo!

Finally there is also Kitty Kelly as the hospital's receptionist who is always making with the wisecracks as she fends off eager doctors wanting to take her out. She might not be the most sensitive type to answer emergency calls, though. In responding to one call she cracks wise, "Jumped off the 58th floor? That's a new high!"

Needless to say, this film is a fun breezy ride that only runs a few minutes past an hour. Those who enjoy pre-coders for their fast paced punchiness, as well as political incorrectness (wait till you see what one doctor does to a patient at the film's end), should have a good time. Dunn is a likeable lead and the cast surrounding him all give professional accounts of themselves.

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2.5 out of 4

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More in re CALAMARI:

You know it’s funny, this weekend I watched THE BAY OF BLOOD, a 1971 giallo film whose influence beCame increasingly clear as it went on. it wasn’t good, But there was a scene where a dead body is pulled out of the lake and an octopus has attached itself to its face. It quite clearly influenced the scene where the two scientists look at the body of the dead diver in JAWS 3D.

it was pretty well done. Nice foley too. 
 

I don’t particularly like graphic or gory films, but most of this movie was so boring that it only seemed to  come to life and have a passion behind it during one of the “SHOCK!” shots. 

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On 2/24/2021 at 1:00 PM, LornaHansonForbes said:

here's validation for you- i made it about 25-30 minutes in before i checked out. from the film's opening moment when the boat FITZCARRALDOS its way sloooowly and IN ENTIRETY across the screen, I remember thinking I was not gonna have the patience for this.

I was right.

i not recognize DIRK BOGARDE for a long while, which any actor would (and should) take as the highest compliment.

Well, there's not a lot of plot involved, but I can't say I was bored watching it. I haven't seen it in a long while. I recorded it last week, but haven't watched it yet. It's not a film for everyone. I think it bombed in the U.S. (which doesn't surprise me). Too bad Bogarde was not nominated.

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Last night I watched GODS LITTLE ACRE '58, a movie based on Southern writer Erskine Caldwell. I was attracted to it for the cast/crew: Directed by Anthony Mann, starring Robert Ryan, Aldo Ray, Jack Lord, Vic Morrow, Buddy Hackett. "Introducing Tina Louise"? The only Tina Louise I knew of was Ginger from Gilligan's Island... and was shocked when I recognized this was the same woman. I just couldn't imagine what this story would be about, but figured it was going to be pretty gritty & sexist which it was in spades.

The first half of the story was kind of frustrating & tedious while introducing the charactors & the situation. Robert Ryan's charactor, idiotically named TyTy is the patriarch of a farm family of 5 mostly grown kids. One daughter & one son have left home but live nearby. TyTy chases his dream there's a treasure buried on the farm and spends his days digging huge holes in the land looking for it.

The only business in town is a huge textile mill (linen?) that is closed, putting everyone out of work. Aldo Ray is the husband of one of TyTy's daughters and can't accept the Mill's closing, or his marriage so is drunk a lot of the time. Most of the story is the dynamics of all the quirky charactors, mostly unlikeable, pretty much like most Southern novels of the era.

Incredible power house performances of ALL involved is what really makes this film. Robert Ryan is mesmerizing in his portrayal outshining anyone sharing the frame. As the story unfolds, Ryan's role recedes and each actor gets a chance to show their talents. Most outstanding was smoldering Tina Louise expressing dignity, empathy and nuanced emotions instead of just "being beautiful". Unknown to me, Fay Spain was also a standout as a lusty manipulative youngest daughter, played just perfectly, teasing & joyous.  I love Aldo Ray and his performance was really intense, but he played the big dumb lug he always plays. Although I saw his name in the credits, I did not recognize 20 year old Michael Landon as "The Albino" charactor, what an amazing long career he had! Buddy Hackett is well, Buddy Hackett but it's revelatory to see him in a dramatic role.

The second half of the story, IS the story and I won't tell you how it unfolds. There is one very very illogical scene (at the climax) that truly ruins believability but is ironically hilarious because it alludes to "climax". Although it tries to sell itself as salacious, it's really not. If you liked TOBACCO ROAD '41 and other gritty tales of quirky Southerners...here's another one made worthy by the talent involved.

Fay Spain enjoying a cold bath-

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Yes, this is Michael Landon. He just couldn't get rid of his pompadour, even when wigged-

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One of the funniest scenes is after digging, the boys convince their Dad to "go into town" for some carousing- without changing clothes or washing up!

God's+Little+Acre.jpg

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9 hours ago, TikiSoo said:

The only Tina Louise I knew of was Ginger from Gilligan's Island

Then you need to watch The Stepford Wives.

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On 2/26/2021 at 3:30 PM, LornaHansonForbes said:

Just watched PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE (1974) 

when I was a teenager in the 1990s, this showed up quite a bit on Cinemax, I did not particularly like it, but it was an impactful film and I remembered much of it over the years. It gets some bonus points for working FAUST in to the standard LEROUX story remodeled as a GLAM ROCK FABLE and adding a supernatural element as well...

I guess one can only wonder what the result would have been had they cast someone besides PAUL WILLIAMS In what is more or less the lead role as the chief antagonist and villain who is supposed to be sexually irresistable, Intimidating, charismatic, diabolical and threatening.

PAUL WILLIAMS Looks at all times in this film like Truman Capote dressing up as Martina Navratilova for Halloween and is about as intimidating as Audrey Hepburn.

YiZsEcpduzgcyrJRyZjacs=&risl=&pid=ImgRaw

the music is not memorable either.

When BEEF dies, a very special light goes out in this movie. 

I saw this one around this time last year late at night. I think I was traumatized by it a bit, at least by the finale.....

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On 2/26/2021 at 3:30 PM, LornaHansonForbes said:

Just watched PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE (1974) 

when I was a teenager in the 1990s, this showed up quite a bit on Cinemax, I did not particularly like it, but it was an impactful film and I remembered much of it over the years. It gets some bonus points for working FAUST in to the standard LEROUX story remodeled as a GLAM ROCK FABLE and adding a supernatural element as well...

I guess one can only wonder what the result would have been had they cast someone besides PAUL WILLIAMS In what is more or less the lead role as the chief antagonist and villain who is supposed to be sexually irresistable, Intimidating, charismatic, diabolical and threatening.

PAUL WILLIAMS Looks at all times in this film like Truman Capote dressing up as Martina Navratilova for Halloween and is about as intimidating as Audrey Hepburn.

I caught part of this recently on the Fox Movie Channel during its retro offhours. I thought that Swan was intended to be a mashup of Capote and Andy Warhol, and to be all the more dangerous BECAUSE he's such a baby face, but the results....

The total work is a flop, but the sort of beautiful, ambitious flop that I respect. Bonus: The sequence where Winslow breaks out of prison and into the record company is a homage to slapstick comedy--with suitable musical accompaniment.

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2 hours ago, CinemaInternational said:

I saw this one around this time last year late at night. I think I was traumatized by it a bit, at least by the finale.....

“YER VOICE! YOU PROMISED ME YER VOICE, REMEMBUH?!?!?!”
 

also just thank GOD that PAUL WILLIAMS’  “love scene” with JESSICA HARPER was just them laying side by side fully clothed on a bed. 
 

ETA: I can never get too mad at a film with dialogue like: “Some MANIAC KILLED BEEF TONIGHT and now  you want me to go out there and SING?!?”

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1 hour ago, Polly of the Precodes said:

I caught part of this recently on the Fox Movie Channel during its retro offhours. I thought that Swan was intended to be a mashup of Capote and Andy Warhol, and to be all the more dangerous BECAUSE he's such a baby face, but the results....

The total work is a flop, but the sort of beautiful, ambitious flop that I respect. Bonus: The sequence where Winslow breaks out of prison and into the record company is a homage to slapstick comedy--with suitable musical accompaniment.

Interesting fact: PAUL WILLIAMS was 5’2 while the guy who played THE PHANTOM was 6’5!!!

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Ladies in Retirement (1941)

Highly effective Gothic chiller, a Columbia adaption of a popular stage play, and a film that deserves to be better known today.

Set in an isolated house in a fog shrouded English moor, it features Ida Lupino as a spinster down on her luck who works as a housekeeper in the house owned by a wealthy woman. At the beginning of the film she receives a letter that her two dotty sisters, to whom she is protective and devoted, are about to be institutionalized. Greatly concerned for their welfare, she asked the home's owner if she can bring them there for a visit. The owner agrees but after six weeks of aggravation in dealing with the sisters' eccentricities she orders them gone. Knowing that the sisters face a bleak future on their own Lupino pleads with her employer to allow them to stay. The owner refuses, telling Lupino that she will have to leave with the sisters, as well. But a determined Lupino, ready, if necessary, to sell her soul to the Devil for the sake of her sisters, will do anything to protect them from being sentenced to a mental institution. Anything!

Charles Vidor effectively directs this chiller which slowly builds the suspense, and there will be one highly dramatic "ghost" sequence which could be out of a horror film. Beautifully photographed in black and white with wonderful art direction and a highly effective musical score by Ernst Toch which adds to the atmosphere. While the story's stage origin may show slightly on occasion, this remains, for the most part, very much a cinematic experience.

The entire cast is excellent. Lupino, in a role she considered the favourite of her career, delivers a tightly controlled, cold performance in contrast to the flamboyance of some of her recent work in The Light That Failed and They Drive By Night. She is highly effective in the role which had been played on stage by Flora Robson. Her two addled sisters are memorably performed by Elsa Lanchester and Edith Barrett, while character actress Isobel Elsom, in a repeat of her stage performance, has one of the best roles of her film career as the wealthy home owner whose nerves are frayed by the odd ball sisters.

But also effectively playing dominant roles in the film are Louis Hayward (Lupino's husband at the time) as a scheming duplicitous nephew of Lupino who drops by the home hoping for some quick money but stays when he starts to suspect that something terribly wrong had occurred there, as well as a delightful Evelyn Keyes as a naive maid in the home seduced by Hayward who is drawn into a scheme by him to discover Lupino's secret and the answer to the mystery of the house.

Don't be mislead by the innocent sounding title. This is a memorable Gothic suspenser, rife with atmosphere with its isolated moor setting, it shows the moral price a person may be ready to pay in the name of family loyalty.

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3 out of 4

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