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What Was The Last Movie You Watched?

Worf

I'll Lock Up
Messages
5,042
Location
Troy, New York, USA
You escaped disruption by the "Gentleminions" trend? I'm keen to see this one (I liked all the DMs, and the first Minions spin-off was pop-culture genius), though I hope I don't end up being unable to hear it with a bunch of those kids in. (Sooner or later somebody will see the profit in having a specific screening where audience participation is encouraged, and then I suppose we'll see whether it really is an organic fan-cult with staying power, or more about kids enjoying causing disrupting an otherwise 'normal' cinema screening.)

Good post. In that we were literally at a 1.:30 matinee and attending several days AFTER the premiere, there was a small group on hand. The "Gentleminions" as you called them hooted and hollered during the previews but NOT during the actual film. If they were causing a ruckus I didn't hear them over the explosive soundtrack. The only disturbance to me personally was the pint sized kung fu artist who kept kicking the back of my chair. However being a father I was able to tune this out effectively. As I said, I had a great time. Despite the litter of mewling, crumb snatchin' exemptions scattered hither and yon.

Worf
 
Messages
16,043
Location
New York City
belle-de-jour-1967-003-catherine-deneuve-grey-coat-street-sunglasses-1000x750-CROP.jpg

Belle de Jour from 1967 with Catherine Deneuve wearing Yves Saint Laurent couture


While the normal distribution curve of sexual fantasy seems reasonably concentrated (pirates, naughty nurses, blindfolds, plaid skirts, handcuffs, etc.), the tails clearly spread way out. Apparently, they spread far enough out to include a beautiful, upper-class woman, with a young handsome and loving husband, who is frigid in her marriage, but who gets her kicks being a prostitute during the day when her husband is at work.

Sure, it's happened in real life, but probably never quite as it does in Belle de Jour whose entire story - with a bunch of French and Freudian repressed sexual angst and reverie wrapped inside - is less interesting than the one thing that really makes this movie tick: watching beautiful Catherine Deneuve wear and take off some incredible 1960s Yves Saint Laurent couture. Everything else is just filler.

There is enough existential, surrealistic Frenchy late 1960s plot going on to keep the story kinda interesting, but Deneuve, playing the wonderfully named Séverine Serizy, and her clothes are why you revisit the movie.

She's married to a young handsome and independently rich rising-star doctor in a marriage that looks perfect from the outside, but that doesn't do it for Deneuve who, it is hinted at, was sexually abused as a young girl.

While her frustrated but understanding husband waits for his wife to hopefully thaw one day, dream- and fantasy-driven Deneuve finds her way to an upscale brothel where she takes the name Belle de Jour. She seems to enjoy having sex with random men in the afternoon, but always stops in time to make it home for cocktails with her husband. "And how was your day, dear?"

Most of her clients are movieland brothel creations - okay looking, reasonably nice and in awe of Deneuve - which makes her double life fun for her until she meets a deranged gangster who really fires up Deneuve' libido - danger and risk are clearly her thing.

The climax smashes everything together - Deneuve's real life, her fantasies and her afternoon sex sprees - in a 1960s French cinema way that leaves it up to you to decide what happened.

It really doesn't matter, though, as the kinky-angsty plot has already said what it wanted to say: repressed twin-bed bourgeois marital sex is so boring it could drive a wife to prostitution, or some such pseudo-intellectual 1960s disaffected philosophical thing like that.

The plot is just a beard anyway so that you can watch elegant and ethereally beautiful Deneuve wear timelessly gorgeous of-the-moment perfect fashion designs by Yves Saint Laurent. Deneuve's clothes are an equal co-star in this one as Belle de Jour is the R-rated cognate to Audrey Hepburn wearing Givenchy in Sabrina.

Hollywood has moved way past the mild sex and fantasy of Belle de Jour - you'll notice a lot of Belle de Jour echoes in later films like the mind-numbingly boring Eyes Wide Shut - but it has yet to equal the detached and classic beauty of Catherine Deneuve leaving an Yves Saint Laurent dress balled up on the floor of her afternoon boudoir as she gets her kink on.

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Belle-De-Jour-mysterious-box-700x413.jpg
belle_de_jour_6.jpg

bdjcd.jpg
 

Julian Shellhammer

Practically Family
Messages
767
With the grandkids it has been Narnia films, some Star Wars, a Duck Tales. The Missus and I were able to catch a French television documentary on Sea Power, starting with the European focus on naval power in the 19th century, and the advent of modern naval power during the Great War.
 

Edward

Bartender
Messages
23,690
Location
London, UK
The Beeb recently showed Westworld - the original, 1976 film - so watched that on the iPlayer yesterday. Despite some elements of the aesthetics having dated a little, it still really holds up. Still not see the sequel, Futureworld - wish the TV would show that. Currently available on youtube for rent in the UK, though they charge more than the DVD costs when you can find it...
 
Messages
16,043
Location
New York City
EB19981108REVIEWS08401010304AR.jpg

Blow-Up form 1966 with David Hemmings, Vanessa Redgrave and a good part of the Who's-Who of Swinging Sixties London


Yes, if you are so inclined, there is much of-the-moment existential "is something real if it isn't seen" angst in Blow-Up, but if that's not your thing, it's still a wonderful piece of Mod Swinging Sixties London cultural ephemera as Blow-Up is an equally engaging, but darker cognate to director John Schlesinger's movie Darling, another contemporary pean to Mod 1960s London.

Sex, drugs, rock and roll, fashion and photography all changed seemingly in a flash in the second half of the 1960s and Swinging London was, for a moment, its capital city. Director Michelangelo Antonioni probably wanted the existentialism of Blow-Up to be timeless - maybe it is, I don't know - but he did capture a major cultural pivot on film.

The main character of the movie is a young, hip, successful photographer played by David Hemmings who looks like The Man From U.N.C.L.E.'s David McCallum's separated-at-birth twin. In this uber-fashion-focused film, Hemmings sports cool white jeans, a gingham shirt with its button-down collar not buttoned, and a dark green, tight-fitted sport coat that had to drive sales of all three items for retailers.

Hemmings character is bored and arrogant in a young successful way that was taken to an extreme back then by rock stars, who also make an appearance in the movie when the Yardbirds pop up in a cameo (this movie hit every au courant cultural touchpoint).

Out in a small park one day, Hemmings takes pictures, from a distance, of a couple in love only to be chased home by the woman, played by Vanessa Redgrave, who wants the negatives.

After (it appears) having sex with her (everyone has sex with everyone in this movie, even Mod "it girl" Jane Birkin pops up naked in a threesome), he intentionally gives her the wrong roll of film to get rid of her.

Later, in several neat scenes of Hemmings slowly piecing the event together from the developed pictures and subsequent blow ups of specific areas, he realizes he's captured a murder or attempted murder with his pictures.

He then visits the park without his camera at night and finds the body he thought he saw in his grainy blow up - a body that is no longer there when he returns the next day to photograph it.

After not doing what any normal person would do - Mod Sixties or not - and immediately call the police, the movie veers to a climax of more existential "is reality only a subjective personal experience" doubt.

The dead guy would probably beg to differ, but Hemmings was too busy watching a game of tennis played by "ban the bomb" mimes without rackets or balls, but with the sounds of tennis playing in his head, to worry about such "square" things as reporting a murder.

The plot and its philosophy are engaging a bit in a dated way, but Blow-Up, at least today, is all about its time-capsule-perfect portrayal of Swinging Sixties London.

The era's look is enticingly captured by skinny praying mantis-like models with long straight hair wearing colorblock mini dresses who chase Hemmings around, seemingly, more to sleep with him than to have him take their picture. Good for him; he doesn't miss one horizontal opportunity.

Sex seems more casual and plentiful than today, if that can be believed, as politics didn't yet have it by the throat back then. The same goes for the drugs and drinking, which were the true psychedelics behind the bright colors and gossamery fashions of the day.

Antonioni smartly juxtaposes all the new fashion and youthful verve against the extant traditional culture of staid Britain with short-haired men in suits and ties and neatly coiffed women in prim and proper attire.

Riffing on Lenin, decades of cultural change shoehorned itself into a few brief years in the 1960s, with movies like Blow-Up serving as a wonderful contemporary record of that dynamic but fleeting moment.

c3deaf734ddca5ecf0b80809624be301.gif
 
Messages
11,061
Location
Germany
La vieille qui marchait dans la mer/The Lady, which walked in the ocean (1991)

Jeanne Moreau, Michel Serrault, Luc Thuillier

I have no idea, what this movie wanted to tell me. :confused:
 

Edward

Bartender
Messages
23,690
Location
London, UK
View attachment 438131
Blow-Up form 1966 with David Hemmings, Vanessa Redgrave and a good part of the Who's-Who of Swinging Sixties London


Yes, if you are so inclined, there is much of-the-moment existential "is something real if it isn't seen" angst in Blow-Up, but if that's not your thing, it's still a wonderful piece of Mod Swinging Sixties London cultural ephemera as Blow-Up is an equally engaging, but darker cognate to director John Schlesinger's movie Darling, another contemporary pean to Mod 1960s London.

Sex, drugs, rock and roll, fashion and photography all changed seemingly in a flash in the second half of the 1960s and Swinging London was, for a moment, its capital city. Director Michelangelo Antonioni probably wanted the existentialism of Blow-Up to be timeless - maybe it is, I don't know - but he did capture a major cultural pivot on film.

The main character of the movie is a young, hip, successful photographer played by David Hemmings who looks like The Man From U.N.C.L.E.'s David McCallum's separated-at-birth twin. In this uber-fashion-focused film, Hemmings sports cool white jeans, a gingham shirt with its button-down collar not buttoned, and a dark green, tight-fitted sport coat that had to drive sales of all three items for retailers.

Hemmings character is bored and arrogant in a young successful way that was taken to an extreme back then by rock stars, who also make an appearance in the movie when the Yardbirds pop up in a cameo (this movie hit every au courant cultural touchpoint).

Out in a small park one day, Hemmings takes pictures, from a distance, of a couple in love only to be chased home by the woman, played by Vanessa Redgrave, who wants the negatives.

After (it appears) having sex with her (everyone has sex with everyone in this movie, even Mod "it girl" Jane Birkin pops up naked in a threesome), he intentionally gives her the wrong roll of film to get rid of her.

Later, in several neat scenes of Hemmings slowly piecing the event together from the developed pictures and subsequent blow ups of specific areas, he realizes he's captured a murder or attempted murder with his pictures.

He then visits the park without his camera at night and finds the body he thought he saw in his grainy blow up - a body that is no longer there when he returns the next day to photograph it.

After not doing what any normal person would do - Mod Sixties or not - and immediately call the police, the movie veers to a climax of more existential "is reality only a subjective personal experience" doubt.

The dead guy would probably beg to differ, but Hemmings was too busy watching a game of tennis played by "ban the bomb" mimes without rackets or balls, but with the sounds of tennis playing in his head, to worry about such "square" things as reporting a murder.

The plot and its philosophy are engaging a bit in a dated way, but Blow-Up, at least today, is all about its time-capsule-perfect portrayal of Swinging Sixties London.

The era's look is enticingly captured by skinny praying mantis-like models with long straight hair wearing colorblock mini dresses who chase Hemmings around, seemingly, more to sleep with him than to have him take their picture. Good for him; he doesn't miss one horizontal opportunity.

Sex seems more casual and plentiful than today, if that can be believed, as politics didn't yet have it by the throat back then. The same goes for the drugs and drinking, which were the true psychedelics behind the bright colors and gossamery fashions of the day.

Antonioni smartly juxtaposes all the new fashion and youthful verve against the extant traditional culture of staid Britain with short-haired men in suits and ties and neatly coiffed women in prim and proper attire.

Riffing on Lenin, decades of cultural change shoehorned itself into a few brief years in the 1960s, with movies like Blow-Up serving as a wonderful contemporary record of that dynamic but fleeting moment.

View attachment 438132

It's an interesting piece, very much of its time. Fun fact: Ken Calder of Aero Leather appears as an extra in it, if memory serves he's in the scene in the club with rhe Yardbirds playing and Beck smashing the guitar.
 

AmateisGal

I'll Lock Up
Messages
6,069
Location
Nebraska
Two Dana Andrews movies I've never see -

Assignment: Paris, a Cold War thriller that was quite good, and Sword of the Desert about Jews being smuggled into Palestine under the noses of the Brits. Also very good.
 
Messages
16,043
Location
New York City
blessed-thumb.jpg

Blessed Event from 1932 with Lee Tracy, Mary Brian, Ruth Donnelly and Alan Jenkins


Hollywood in the 1930s loved movies about newspapers and mobsters often, as in Blessed Event, mashing the two together.

In this early, fast-paced talkie, Lee Tracy is a Walter Winchell type of reporter who makes his name by announcing "blessed events" (pregnancies) for couples or individuals who would prefer that news be kept quiet as, often, those involved aren't married, or the baby is coming well short of nine months after the marriage.

It's really just a gimmick, but it works as we see reporter Tracy rise from obscurity to become one of the biggest columnists in the country all by printing sleazy stories and innuendos. He'd have been quite successful on social media.

As he becomes more powerful, it all goes to his head. Even when the mob tries to shut him up, he turns the tables on it by threatening to print dirt on the mob he put in the hands of a lawyer if anything happens to him.

It's also a morality tale as Tracy, under intense pressure from his editor to have a big scoop every day, tricks a young woman, who comes to him for help, into spilling her embarrassing "blessed event" story with his promise not to use it.

But of course he does, which both wrecks her life and entangles the mob as the father of her "blessed event" is a gangster who wants his name kept out of the paper because he leads a double life as a respectable family man in the suburbs.

Tracy, who finally feels some guilt when the young woman confronts him, tries to "make it right" with money, but money can't buy her a new reputation or restore her mother's respect.

Also playing on Tracy's conscience is his young, sweet girlfriend, played by Mary Brian, who makes his quitting the column a condition for them to, umm, furthering the physicality of their relationship. He keeps pushing, but she doesn't budge.

Amidst all these pressures - from the mob, his girlfriend, his editor and the woman he wronged in his column - and with everyone else nipping at his heels, Blessed Event comes to a climax as the mob boss (the "family man" and innocent woman's lover) tries to rub Tracy out at a gala nightclub opening Tracy is covering.

Blessed Event has a classic pre-code ending where the justice is rough and uneven - some "sins" are paid for and some aren't. Before enforcement of the Motion Picture Production Code, Warner Bros. wrapped up many movies with a similar real-life greyish morality. Sadly, in only a few years, that messy but honest view would be replaced by a simple black-and-white morality that turned many stories into trite adult fairy tales.


N.B. Blessed Event is a very 1930s newspaper movie as we see a fast-paced effort to get the news out with reporters scrambling every which way to get a scoop, editors driving reporters to "jazz up" their stories and the multiple papers fighting for circulation, all in a non-stop day-and-night battle. Adding to the frenzy, Tracy puts in a Cagney-like tour-de-force performance using machine-gun dialogue and an attention-grabbing presence to own every scene he's in.
 
Messages
16,043
Location
New York City
daily-bread.jpg

Our Daily Bread from 1934 with Karen Morley, Tom Keene, John Qualen and Barbara Pepper


Hollywood did love itself some communism in the 1930s or, at least, some squishy commune-socialist thinking.

In Our Daily Bread, Tom Keene and Karen Morley play a Depression Era married couple about to be tossed out of their apartment as Tom can't find a job. When an uncle offers them some farmland that neither he, nor the bank who now holds the farm's deed, wants, Keene and Morley move there intending to make it a working farm again.

These two city people don't know anything about farming, but then "Swede," played by John Qualen, and his family stumble along - they lost their farm in the Depression - and offer to help Keene and Morley get their farm up and running. That gives Keene his "big idea."

Keene figures he'll ask other unemployed people who know a trade and want to work to join in, share their labor and barter their skills. His sales pitch is the farm will be "a sorta cooperative community where money isn't so important. You help me; I help you."

As their numbers grow and the work begins, the men informally vote Keene as "boss" after they dismiss the idea of having a democracy (paraphrasing) because it's the thing that got them into this mess. Socialism, too, is rejected. The politics is obviously confused, but it seems the men instinctively want some kind of farming commune. For now, they settle on an ad hoc (hopefully) benign communal dictatorship.

From here, the movie has a Capraesque quality of down-and-out men regaining their self respect as they work for the commonweal. The few bad seeds who don't want to work or try to take more for themselves are easily tossed out or made to see the light: no pigs walk on their hind legs on this farm.

The women work hard too, but mainly at "women's work," as everyone pitches in selflessly to make the farm a go.

There's also a distracting side story about a floozy, played with verve by Barbara Pepper, nearly convincing Keene, who's a goofy "aw-shucks" style leader, to run away with her when things get tough on the farm. That seems like a Hollywood executive saying we need some sexual conflict in this one, as in reality, it doesn't fit Keene's character or the narrative flow of the movie at all.

The real conflict comes when it is getting near harvest and a drought hits. The crops start to die, causing the men and women to get angry and depressed, while Keene begins to lose faith. Yet his wife, Karen Morley, bucks him up. Morley has more brains and character in her pinky than her husband does in his entire body, but the movie was too busy fighting the supposed evils of private ownership to take on sexism too.

When all hope is lost, Keene comes up with the idea - an idea planted in his head by his wife that he rejected when she first said it days ago - to build an irrigation ditch from a stream a few miles away (the seed for Chinatown is planted). The inspirational climatic scene is men heroically digging a long ditch in happy unison to bring water to the crop to try to save the farm. But will the ditch get done in time and will it work?

Writer and director King Vidor let his inner communist rip in this one. As with most blatant political movies, then and now, the quality of the work suffers for the message. Keene is a weak leading man who couldn't inspire others to want to go on breathing, let alone do the backbreaking work of farming, especially all for the "common good."

Karen Morley and John Qualen do admirable jobs creating real characters, but the movie's obvious plot and constant messaging will wear most viewers down. With the country suffering through a brutal farm crisis and massive unemployment, many radical ideas were swirling around back then, resulting in clunky movies like Our Daily Bread, which for us today, are just interesting historical curios.
 

EngProf

Practically Family
Messages
553
View attachment 439041
Our Daily Bread from 1934 with Karen Morley, Tom Keene, John Qualen and Barbara Pepper


Hollywood did love itself some communism in the 1930s or, at least, some squishy commune-socialist thinking.

In Our Daily Bread, Tom Keene and Karen Morley play a Depression Era married couple about to be tossed out of their apartment as Tom can't find a job. When an uncle offers them some farmland that neither he, nor the bank who now holds the farm's deed, wants, Keene and Morley move there intending to make it a working farm again.

These two city people don't know anything about farming, but then "Swede," played by John Qualen, and his family stumble along - they lost their farm in the Depression - and offer to help Keene and Morley get their farm up and running. That gives Keene his "big idea."

Keene figures he'll ask other unemployed people who know a trade and want to work to join in, share their labor and barter their skills. His sales pitch is the farm will be "a sorta cooperative community where money isn't so important. You help me; I help you."

As their numbers grow and the work begins, the men informally vote Keene as "boss" after they dismiss the idea of having a democracy (paraphrasing) because it's the thing that got them into this mess. Socialism, too, is rejected. The politics is obviously confused, but it seems the men instinctively want some kind of farming commune. For now, they settle on an ad hoc (hopefully) benign communal dictatorship.

From here, the movie has a Capraesque quality of down-and-out men regaining their self respect as they work for the commonweal. The few bad seeds who don't want to work or try to take more for themselves are easily tossed out or made to see the light: no pigs walk on their hind legs on this farm.

The women work hard too, but mainly at "women's work," as everyone pitches in selflessly to make the farm a go.

There's also a distracting side story about a floozy, played with verve by Barbara Pepper, nearly convincing Keene, who's a goofy "aw-shucks" style leader, to run away with her when things get tough on the farm. That seems like a Hollywood executive saying we need some sexual conflict in this one, as in reality, it doesn't fit Keene's character or the narrative flow of the movie at all.

The real conflict comes when it is getting near harvest and a drought hits. The crops start to die, causing the men and women to get angry and depressed, while Keene begins to lose faith. Yet his wife, Karen Morley, bucks him up. Morley has more brains and character in her pinky than her husband does in his entire body, but the movie was too busy fighting the supposed evils of private ownership to take on sexism too.

When all hope is lost, Keene comes up with the idea - an idea planted in his head by his wife that he rejected when she first said it days ago - to build an irrigation ditch from a stream a few miles away (the seed for Chinatown is planted). The inspirational climatic scene is men heroically digging a long ditch in happy unison to bring water to the crop to try to save the farm. But will the ditch get done in time and will it work?

Writer and director King Vidor let his inner communist rip in this one. As with most blatant political movies, then and now, the quality of the work suffers for the message. Keene is a weak leading man who couldn't inspire others to want to go on breathing, let alone do the backbreaking work of farming, especially all for the "common good."

Karen Morley and John Qualen do admirable jobs creating real characters, but the movie's obvious plot and constant messaging will wear most viewers down. With the country suffering through a brutal farm crisis and massive unemployment, many radical ideas were swirling around back then, resulting in clunky movies like Our Daily Bread, which for us today, are just interesting historical curios.
Barbara Pepper wound up "down on the farm" after all, as Mrs. Fred (Doris) Ziffel (with Arnold - a real pig - as her son.)
Before she settled down with Fred, she was one of the floozies who were a part of John Garfield's entourage in "They Made Me a Criminal".
 

Doctor Strange

I'll Lock Up
Messages
5,125
Location
Hudson Valley, NY
I saw Our Daily Bread in a film class a LONG time ago - 1973. I agree it's mainly a historical curiosity these days, a reminder that the Soviet Experiment sounded vaguely appealing to many in the depths of the Depression.

I didn't realize until looking it up just now that it's a sort-of sequel to director King Vidor's earlier social drama The Crowd. Vidor was basically a dependable studio director who made all kinds of films; unlike his mainly entertainment/escapist fare, these two are unusually concerned with "reality".
 
Messages
16,043
Location
New York City
pgmffdl.jpg

Pygmalion from 1938 with Wendy Hiller, Leslie Howard and Scott Sunderland


I stayed away from Pygmalion because I was turned off a bit by My Fair Lady, Pygmalion's 1964 musical remake with Rex Harrison and Audrey Hepburn. That's a shame as 1938's Pygmalion is smart, witty and charming in all the ways that the remake, often, isn't.

In early 1900s London, a professor of linguistics, played by Leslie Howard, bets a friend he can take a "low-class" cockneyed "flower girl" (she crudely hawks flowers on the street), played by Wendy Hiller, and, with three months of training, pass her off as a well-bred society lady.

Howard blithely and snobbishly treats Hiller like a lab rat as he takes her into his townhouse and puts her through an intense training in diction and etiquette. The early fun in this one is watching these two worlds smashing into each: Howard's intellectual aloofness trying to reason with Hiller's brassy defensiveness.

Also fun is a pitch-perfect scene when Hiller's crude but street-smart father tries to bargain some money out of the refined and condescending Howard over who gets to "keep" Hiller. They both know they're playing and being played and they're both enjoying it. Hiller's father has none of Howard's education, but he knows how to negotiate a deal as well as Howard does.

The story really hits its stride later when a partially trained Hiller is taken for a dry run at Howard's mother's very proper society tea. Here, a nervous Hiller, in over-studied diction, utters memorized expressions at just slightly the wrong point in the conversation. It leaves everyone confused, but too polite to say anything.

In moments like that, Pygmalion is Hiller's movie, as her transformation is joyous but very believable because a bit of "the street" stays with her. She's an actress who completely understands, and is having fun playing her character.

Then Howard takes control of a scene as her mentor with his bemused detachment from real life and you quickly realize no one owns this movie as each performer gives that extra something talented actors bring to those special roles. Howard and Hiller, perfectly matched antagonists, are having a hoot playing opposite each other.

After the piquant tea and, now, back at Howard's townhouse, Hiller and he prepare for the night of the big test - a diplomatic reception. After a few close calls, Hiller sails through the night leaving Howard high on success when they get home. Hiller, though now secretly in love with Howard, is depressed knowing he no longer has any use for her.

From here, the movie slips into basic rom-com mode where it takes Hiller leaving and dating another man for Howard to realize his true feelings for her. The climax pivots on whether Howard can now act in time to get Hiller back.

Despite the slapped-on Hollywood ending, Pygmalion is a fun twist on the opposites-attracts story as these two "opposites," effectively teach the other to be less opposite and more human.

Pygmalion is also a subversive commentary on the British class system as it says anyone can be a lady or gentleman with training. America's meritocracy is even referenced as a counterpoint to England's early-1900s rigid social-and-class structure. To truly appreciate Pygmalion, though, it's better to let that high-brow philosophy stuff float by and just enjoy the fun story and charming characters.
 

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