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Actually, Vautrin, you have lit upon a great idea. A grand epic production.

 

The Earring of the Eurotwits.

 

Maybe someone can write a tretrology of operas.

 

Wagner would have had a ball with this.

 

:D

 

..

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Eurotrash is a term invented for that trash that Europeans make so as to differentiate it from the gold standard of trash set in the U.S.

 

U.S. trash is the trashiest of trash, you see. So, it's important to warn consumers that this trash (European) is actually less trashy than they would expect from a U.S. production.

 

Hence the term "Eurotrash".

 

If it's trash you want, it's best to stick with America.

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Eurotrashers? Vautrin, I am quite taken aback by that ;-). The term is jarring because it does not belong to the same world as the movie. EuroT is a fairly recent coinage while the movie was made in 1953, depicting an even more distant era. The term also refers more to the lower classes rather than to the uppers.

 

It's correct that the word Eurotrash/ers is anachronistic when applied to 1953 and even more so to

the era the movie is set in. But in the meanwhile there is sixty years of cynicism about the upper

classes of old Europe, who now don't appear in as favorable a light as they did way back when,

so I use Eurotrash. There seems to be some disagreement about the definition of Eurotrash,

but I've heard it as meaning well off Europeans who are over here with little else to recommend

them except their cash.

 

Piece of Tail? The current vernacular is awkward when in fact it was common---no, practically de rigeur---for an aristocratic gentleman and certainly a heroic commander (Like Andre the Count) to maintain a mistress.

 

It was quite popular for aristos to have a mistress. And though they were likely very discreet

about it, this was still basically having a piece of tail on the side, however they might want to

fancy it up. This also leads to the humorous sight of the husband being upset when his

wife might want to indulge in the same thing he was. Then again, it was a man's, man's,

man's world.

 

The Two men decided to have a duel. It was the Count who wanted the duel. Donati (de Sica) would have liked to run away. The Count, finally losing patience with whatever was going between his wife nad Donati, concocted a pretext for the duel because the real reason would have exposed am as a cuckold. A rather cheap strategem. Donati had no choice but to accept and he does it with a long face. He had little or no chance in a duel with a military commander. Although the Count had his concerns there is something untoward about baiting someone into a dual that was tantamount to murder.

 

It is more faithful to the plot that the instigator of the duel was the Count and that De Sica wasn't

exactly excited about the prospect, but as a man of some honor, well he had to go through with

it. And the odds were with the Count, who we are informed is a crack shot. Of course, the Count

wasn't much concerned that he had already cheated on his wife. so much for honor and standing.

 

Old European nonsense? Well, honor and position was, pretty, pretty, pretty important back then.

 

Yes they were. In such refined circles, reputation, however superficial it might have been,

was everything. It must have been tough to die for a minor or even major breach of this

system.

 

All three Eurotwits are kind of bores. Eurotwits? Oof. I enjoyed their dance, not bored in this quarter. But yes, Madame was bored with hubby (hubby? ;-) ) after all he wouldn't sleep in the same room with her (or was it the other way around.) But above that the poor woman was bored with everything. There were signs that Andre (Boyer) had misgivings that they didn't communicate better but at least he was a man and had his wars and drills to go to while she has nothing to do. Her life is necessarily circumscribed as dictated by the age in which she lived, which is why she embarks on her little trivial pursuits. On the outside she is hardly a sympathetic character, but as a victim of her station her plight resonates a little differently (for me). She was a goner for someone like Donati, someone who actually paid attention to her (for awhile). The Count restrains himself early but ends up with more than a hint of bully as is the wont of someone in his station. Donati was a little vapid.

 

I think this film can be taken two ways--as a pictorially  sumptuous tale of people who are locked

hopelessly into their social roles or as an unintentional send up of rather stupid upper class

relations and their overall absurdity. I think back in 1953 it was seen mostly in the first light and

that in 2016, I tend to see it in the second, not that it can't be seen both ways. Donati does seem

a bit wishy washy, but it's hard to see how he deserved to die for that.

 

==

 

Okay, I'm done nitpicking, Vautrin. Actually your capsule review is rather well done, clever in fact and no doubt, I gather, was intended as tongue-in-cheek in its expression. My problem is I'm adamant about accepting the world of the movie and refrain from judging from own modern vantage point (you see how stuffy I am) which includes, doggone it Vautrin, these Euro words and the modern vernacular to characterize these fragile, quaint societies (in the movies anyway) the settings of which provide us (stuffy people) with so much viewing pleasure ;-). I thought your review a little irreverent and no doubt I appreciate the movie a little more that you do. But I'm partial to this sort of thing. I have a vast appreciation of the Old World and feel it should be treated with respect, doggone it man.

 

;)

 

--

It was partly exaggerated and tongue in cheek, but mostly true. I think Orphuls meant

to play this pretty straight as an examination of a certain time and place and class

and the complications of all that, especially as it involves love. It's well done on that

level. I just can't take it that way for the most part. Too much water under the bridge,

but I would recommend it to anyone who enjoys a well done film.

 

 

 

 

===

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Actually, Vautrin, you have lit upon a great idea. A grand epic production.

 

The Earring of the Eurotwits.

 

Maybe someone can write a tretrology of operas.

 

Wagner would have had a ball with this.

 

:D

 

..

Die Anhanger der Eurotwits. Okay, sounds a little better

in German. It could be the Earring Tetralogy, though I

don't know if these characters are quite heroic enough

for Wagner.

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TRUMBO (2015)

 

I almost let this one pass me by, simply because of the previews I saw.  It looked lackluster and appeared pretentious in a Hollywood arty way.  In the end, I watched it because it was a nominated film for Bryan Cranston's performance.

 

But the previews were deceiving; it was neither lackluster nor pretentious.  Bryan Cranston does the chameleon-quality service of Trumbo quite admirably; he is neither saint nor sinner in this telling.

It is story of survival during sudden-shifts in the political waves. I get the feeling that maybe Leo DiCaprio is being extra nice to Cranston these days.

 

There is a little liberty taken with the narrative, there's a composite character played by Louis C.K. (who is also quite good in a non-funny role) and the whereabouts of the Trumbo family during their very chaotic period of blacklisted but working status of dad.  The story is much more family oriented about the Trumbo's and that's where the story wins me over.   It hits the highs and lows and the dynamics just right. 

 

I am going to watch Sabrina, Roman Holiday, and The Brave One this weekend in appreciation. I'll add Spartacus (here, Aug 30th) and put Exodus in my viewing list for later. 

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PERSUASION (1995) was on last night, and it was perfectly timed. I'm glad TCM shows this from time to time, even though it's "modern" and apparently was a TV movie, not strictly a theatrical release.

 

Done on a budget of nothing, & with no score- it would have been so easy for this to not work- but it does. It's one of those films that you have to kind of be the "Anne Elliot" of your family to get - and by that I mean the "spinster aunt" who is always drafted for babysitting, watching the house, and cleaning out the spare room because we all know " what else do you have to do?"

 

A wonderfully directed film' which coincidentally really is based on the best book Jane Austen ever wrote ( her deepest, most intimate, most thoroughly thought-out work.)

 

"Nothing happens" in this movie, and yet so very much is going on at every minute and there is not a Superfluous or unnecessary moment in the whole thing.

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DOS TIPOS DE CUIDADO (1953). I saw this Mexican film this week,.as part of the annual "Last Remaining Seats" program,.mixing classic.era films.with classic movie theaters in Downtown Los Angeles. The programming usually features a film.from the Mexican Epoca de Oro,.alonv with the usual Hollywood Studio-Era fare.

 

This movie, starring two Mexican superstar singers/actors of the era, Jorge Negrete and Pedro Infante, has a title which translates roughly as "Two Guys to Watch Out For". I've seen this movie before, as Pedro Infante was my mom's idol, and she had most of his films on vhs, and then dvd. It is a film very much of its time, politically incorrect on many levels; this is overlain.with a thick machista layer, underscoring the tale of male priviledge and the double standard.

 

The film.is great fun, a fast-paced farce of misunderstandings, about two friends fallen out over a marital mix-up. The film is a little disjointed at the beginning, with a fairly long prologue. This sets up the conflict.to follow. Once the actual story gets under way, it is fun to see the former friends try to trip up each other, and although not seemingly possible, there is a plausible and satisfactory denoument.

 

Throughout the film, the two stars,.and other cast.members, break into song quite frequently. These tend to be of the folkloric, "Ranchera" style, which is the genre usually associated with the two singers. The look of the film, additionally, plies in a folkloric vision of rural Mexico. The cinematography is excellent overall, with beautiful vistas.of countryside, as well.as chiaroscuro lighting in the interior scenes.

 

Great fun seeing it in a theater.with an appreciative audience,.laughing and clapping at all the right spots. Oh, and there was a stage show before the film, with the granddaughter of Pedro Infante singing, with backup of the all-female Mariachi Colibri. A really enjoyable evening.

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Caged! I'd actually seen this movie once before but last night I watched it again.  It seems that night time is the only right time for this film.  Anyway, this movie is probably the best example of one of my favorite genres: women in prison.  It's a delightful combination of noir, camp and drama.  Eleanor Parker gives an excellent performance.  Her slow transformation from a naive young woman to a hardened prisoner was fascinating and very realistic.  This is especially evident at the end of the film when there is the photographic comparison between her character when she enters prison to when she leaves.  I also like that the film does not end on a positive note.  It ends bittersweet.  On one hand, it's good that she's out, on the other hand, you know that Agnes Moorehead's character has correctly predicted Parker's destiny.  

 

Moorehead's prison superintendent character was excellent and is what keeps the film from being over the top.  She remains the calm, collected heart of the movie.  She's a nice contrast from Hope Emerson's bonkers matron.  If Moorehead and Emerson's respective characters had both been over the top nasty, then this film would have definitely been more campy.  Likewise, if both characters had been like Moorehead's, then the film would be unrealistic.  Emerson's matron was so delightfully horrid that you actually cheer for the Kitty Stark character in the dramatic cafeteria scene.  

 

Lee Patrick is such a fantastic character actress and she can play so many different types of characters very well.  What's delightful about many of her characterizations is that no matter how refined her character appears on the outside, there's always a layer of trashiness.  The possible exception to this from the films of hers I've seen is The Maltese Falcon.  In this film, she's known as "The Vice Queen" who runs a shoplifting syndicate and ends up having to serve a short sentence in the prison.  

 

This is such a "fun" film (if that's the right word) in the women in prison genre.  Ladies They Talk About is another favorite women in prison film of mine, but it is more of a country club prison than the one Eleanor Parker ends up in. 

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"That Forsyte Woman" (1949)--Underrated Greer Garson/Errol Flynn film was directed by Compton Bennett, who is best known for having directed "King Solomon's Mines" (1950).

 

Garson is excellent as Irene in this film based on the first book of Galsworthy's "Forsyte Saga".  She is the heart of the film, the only lead character that seemingly has any feelings.

 

Flynn is very good as Soames Forsyte, who repeatedly proposes marriage to Irene just because she keeps turning him down.  At first Flynn seems monotonous, but watch for facial tics and fleeting expressions in his eyes.  He has feelings, but doesn't show them.

 

Janet Leigh is good as the young girl who has always gotten what she wants.

 

Alone among the cast, Robert Young sounds hopelessly American and out of place.

 

Film could have been a boring talkathon, but thanks to cast and director, film is very watchable and interesting.  3/4.

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"That Forsyte Woman" (1949)--Underrated Greer Garson/Errol Flynn film was directed by Compton Bennett, who is best known for having directed "King Solomon's Mines" (1950).

 

Garson is excellent as Irene in this film based on the first book of Galsworthy's "Forsyte Saga".  She is the heart of the film, the only lead character that seemingly has any feelings.

 

Flynn is very good as Soames Forsyte, who repeatedly proposes marriage to Irene just because she keeps turning him down.  At first Flynn seems monotonous, but watch for facial tics and fleeting expressions in his eyes.  He has feelings, but doesn't show them.

 

Janet Leigh is good as the young girl who has always gotten what she wants.

 

Alone among the cast, Robert Young sounds hopelessly American and out of place.

 

Film could have been a boring talkathon, but thanks to cast and director, film is very watchable and interesting.  3/4.

I agree with what you've written here, especially in regard to Robert Young.  He is miscast.  He is simply too old for his part--he's older than Flynn! 

 

I remember when I saw this film for the first time, I didn't know what to think of Flynn's performance, and I don't mean that in a negative way.  I knew that he was cast against type in this film and boy was he ever.  I think originally, he was cast in Walter Pidgeon's role and Pidgeon has his role, roles which were more in tune with their established screen personas.  Flynn, wanting to try something else, wanted the role of the cold Soames Forsyte.  I believe, even in 1949, Flynn was still a big enough star to be able to have his choice of male lead roles.  By the end of the film, I felt that Flynn did a great job as the humorless Soames, a character who on the surface is unsympathetic, but deep down, you feel for him because he really does love Greer Garson's character.  

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Errol Flynn's greatest strength as an actor is the fact that he can take a line of dialogue that is damn near unspeakable it is SO CLUNKY and deliver it and SOMEHOW make it work. Just like wife number three talks about how he could make a walk down a Country Lane the most exciting Adventure you ever had- Flynn can do that with some really Baroque dialogue.

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"Summer Storm" (1944)--Directed by Douglas Sirk, starring George Sanders, Linda Darnell, and Edward Everett Horton.  Film is based on Chekhov's "The Shooting Party".

 

Film is about a woman who brings disaster to all the men she is involved with.

 

Sanders is excellent as the snob who has his life ruined by a single Indiscretion. For once he is the voice of morality in the film; as his life crumbles, his hypocrisy disappears.

 

Darnell is Excellent in her role.  She shows why men would ruin themselves for her pleasure, and she shows the knowing cruelty of her character.

 

Horton is the very welcome comic relief in the film.  Saw the movie on YT.

 

If I say anything more , I'll give the plot away.  Good film.  3/4.

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PERSUASION (1995) was on last night, and it was perfectly timed. I'm glad TCM shows this from time to time, even though it's "modern" and apparently was a TV movie, not strictly a theatrical release.

 

Done on a budget of nothing, & with no score- it would have been so easy for this to not work- but it does. It's one of those films that you have to kind of be the "Anne Elliot" of your family to get - and by that I mean the "spinster aunt" who is always drafted for babysitting, watching the house, and cleaning out the spare room because we all know " what else do you have to do?"

 

A wonderfully directed film' which coincidentally really is based on the best book Jane Austen ever wrote ( her deepest, most intimate, most thoroughly thought-out work.)

 

"Nothing happens" in this movie, and yet so very much is going on at every minute and there is not a Superfluous or unnecessary moment in the whole thing.

 

I've re-introduced NetFix within my sphere and due to various factors of the current situation, there is an extra long turn around time between sending and receiving and so I need to choose carefully. Due to your fine little capsule review, Persuasion will be in the next batch. I love these sorts of things anyway and I don't know this one escaped me. I love movies where nothing happens, it's fun to look at everything else.

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I just finished watching AMY (2015) the documentary about Amy Winehouse. I knew NOTHING of who Amy Winehouse was (except that she's dead) so I thought that was a great way to see this movie-see if the director could SHOW me who this person was. My only fear was I would love her and then be really sad she's gone.

 

The director accomplished that.

 

The movie starts by showing video clips of Amy & her giggly girlfriends with voice overs of people she grew up with, describing her. You see her progress as a singer, song writer & performer through personal videos and fan footage. Then, once she "makes" it, the story is illustrated by news & media clips, all narrated by those closest to her. It's a familiar arc, only ending with somber shots of the body bag being loaded into an ambulance.

 

Really, the director is just compiling & editing existing film footage and interviews, making a coherent story. There is no judgement there, it's for the audience to develop their own opinion. 

 

I thought this was a very well done film and am glad it was made, lest she be forgotten-her stardom was so brief.

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014): I never was a huge fan of Ninja Turtles, but I see now that the franchise has some appeal for me. I did not get to finish this one, as the child I was babysitting was tired of watching it and decided to watch the original Ninja Turtles tv show instead.

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Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (2014): I never was a huge fan of Ninja Turtles, but I see now that the franchise has some appeal for me. I did not get to finish this one, as the child I was babysitting was tired of watching it and decided to watch the original Ninja Turtles tv show instead.

 

As someone who grew up watching the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles cartoons when they were new and part of Saturday morning cartoons, I'd have to say that I prefer the cartoons over the Michael Bay franchise.  Even the original "live action" 'Ninja Turtles' movies from the early 90s are more interesting as they retained some of the elements from the original cartoon series and the comics from which both the cartoon and movies are based.  I don't recommend the third movie, it is not that great.  

 

I'm tired of Michael Bay taking my beloved childhood cartoons ('Turtles' and Transformers) and turning them into these overblown, CGI'd within an inch of their lives spectacles.  Of course, this is coming from someone with nostalgia for the original product.  I guess for someone much older or younger, then they don't really care.  

 

Hopefully you'll get to see the rest of the film someday, I'm with your babysitting charge though, the cartoon is better :-)

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Errol Flynn's greatest strength as an actor is the fact that he can take a line of dialogue that is damn near unspeakable it is SO CLUNKY and deliver it and SOMEHOW make it work. Just like wife number three talks about how he could make a walk down a Country Lane the most exciting Adventure you ever had- Flynn can do that with some really Baroque dialogue.

 

"As I always say, if it's not 'baroque,' don't fix it!" 

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Errol Flynn's greatest strength as an actor is the fact that he can take a line of dialogue that is damn near unspeakable it is SO CLUNKY and deliver it and SOMEHOW make it work. Just like wife number three talks about how he could make a walk down a Country Lane the most exciting Adventure you ever had- Flynn can do that with some really Baroque dialogue.

Lorna, wasn't there a clip maybe in the TCM archives of Richard Dreyfuss saying something similar to your comment, about how no one in films, had the panache and style of Flynn onscreen in words and gestures. His charm was a talent all his own and he made swashbuckling seem possible and not over the top. The only person I can think of who did have some ability like that is Kevin Kline but even he is no Errol Flynn. By the way, Errol is very good as Forsyte and I hope you get to watch it someday.

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Lorna, wasn't there a clip maybe in the TCM archives of Richard Dreyfuss saying something similar to your comment, about how no one in films, had the panache and style of Flynn onscreen in words and gestures.

I'm not saying I would never steal, but I would NEVER steal from Richard Dreyfuss.

 

Ick. Ick.

 

Im off to shower.

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I'm not saying I would never steal, but I would NEVER steal from Richard Dreyfuss.

 

Ick. Ick.

 

Im off to shower.

Lorna, I did not mean for a moment that you stole from Dreyfuss.

 

If anything, he probably stole your idea and then chatted about it.

 

Enjoy your shower!

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The Big Cube (1969). Lana Turner plays Adriana, a stage actress who retires to marry wealthy widower financier Charles (Dan O'Herlihy). Charles has an adult daughter Lisa (Karin Mossberg) who resents this and takes up with the hippie types. One of those, med student Johnny (George Chakiris), finds out that Lisa is rich, and takes Lisa for his girlfriend.

 

Then Daddy dies, leaving Adriana as executrix of the will. There's a clause about her having control over disbursement of the estate and her approval of any husband for Lisa (at least before she turns 25), and when Adriana doesn't approve of Lisa and Johnny getting married, Johnny comes up with a devious plan to drive Adriana crazy by spiking her sleeping pills with LSD!

 

The basic plot, that of a parent not approving of a child's marriage, and the two young lovers deciding to do something about it, isn't a bad one. With the right script, as in Pretty Poison, it can be quite good.

 

Unfortunately, The Big Cube doesn't have the right script. And it certainly doesn't have the right acting. Mossberg is wooden; O'Herlihy is wasted in a bit part; Adriana's playwright Lansdale (Richard Egan) plays the guy who just knows he knows more than all the doctors; and then there's Lana, who has to play bad acid trip scenes. Oh my.

 

There are also the other hippies, and the Travilla-designed gowns Lana has to wear.

 

Parts of the movie wind up in "so bad it's good" territory, but too much of it winds up in the realm of tediousness. Many of the smaller roles, and the director, are handled by people with Spanish-language surnames, which is because this was filmed in Mexico.

 

5/10

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"Cry of the City" (1948)--Excellent Robert Siodmak directed film noir, starring Victor Mature, Richard Conte, and Shelley Winters.

 

Noir is about the clash of good and evil.  Mature plays a cop after someone(s) who stole over $100,000 in jewels.  Conte plays a cop killer who may or may not have had something to do with the robbery Mature's trying to solve.  Winters plays one of Conte's numerous mistresses; she makes the mistake of trying to keep him alive. This is one of the few noirs where Winters' character survives the film.  Look for a 15 year old Debra Paget; she made her film debut in this movie.  Hope Emerson and Tony Cook are memorable.

 

Lloyd Ahern's  atmospheric, imaginative cinematography is a strength of the film.  

 

Mature is convincingly angry as the cop who thinks Conte will lead Mature's teenage brother into a life of crime.  Conte is very good as the gangster who thinks only of himself.

 

Winters wrote in her first autobiography that "if you wear a leopard coat in a black and white picture, that's all an audience will look at."  She was right.  Her coat and she steal every scene they're in; her amusing portrayal of a well meaning ditz helps immeasureably.

 

"Cry of the City" is a minor classic among noirs.  I wish TCM would show it.

 

Watched CotC on another website.  3.5/4

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"Cry of the City" (1948)--Excellent Robert Siodmak directed film noir, starring Victor Mature, Richard Conte, and Shelley Winters.

 

Noir is about the clash of good and evil.  Mature plays a cop after someone(s) who stole over $100,000 in jewels.  Conte plays a cop killer who may or may not have had something to do with the robbery Mature's trying to solve.  Winters plays one of Conte's numerous mistresses; she makes the mistake of trying to keep him alive. This is one of the few noirs where Winters' character survives the film.  Look for a 15 year old Debra Paget; she made her film debut in this movie.  Hope Emerson and Tony Cook are memorable.

 

Lloyd Ahern's  atmospheric, imaginative cinematography is a strength of the film.  

 

Mature is convincingly angry as the cop who thinks Conte will lead Mature's teenage brother into a life of crime.  Conte is very good as the gangster who thinks only of himself.

 

Winters wrote in her first autobiography that "if you wear a leopard coat in a black and white picture, that's all an audience will look at."  She was right.  Her coat and she steal every scene they're in; her amusing portrayal of a well meaning ditz helps immeasureably.

 

"Cry of the City" is a minor classic among noirs.  I wish TCM would show it.

 

Watched CotC on another website.  3.5/4

 

Movies-TV shows Cry of the City about once a month Saturday night (their noir night).    The title of the film relates to the many shots of NYC and especially the Italian slum area.   

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