Heaven: At the Movies

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  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    sabine wrote: »
    Streamed The Florida Project last weekend. Very good film about the lives of people who live in residence motels (among many other things). No musical score which added to the docu-drama feel.

    That same director did Tangerine, which I commented on above. I haven't seen The Florida Project, but if you like that docudrama feel, I suspect you'd like Tangerine.
  • TukaiTukai Shipmate
    Death of Stalin

    a very black comedy, based on real events and real people (i.e. the rest of the Politburo after Stalin's death).

    The tone is set by the scene [shown in the trailer] where Stalin lies alone on the floor of his study, having had a heart attack, and both of the guards at the door (who have heard him fall and groan) are so cowed by his reign of terror that they refuse to enter the room. "shouldn't we do something", says one. "Do you want to get us both shot?", responds the other.

    The film was directed by Iannuci, who is renowned for his darkly humorous view of politics.
  • Leo wrote: »
    Love, Simon - first gay coming of age Hollywood mainstream

    I haven't seen it, but a friend reviewed it as a huge milestone in gay rights-- as in, "when we're able to have a mediocre love story just like everyone else, you know we've arrived!"
  • EutychusEutychus Admin
    edited April 2018
    Anyone else seen Ready Player One? It was quite fun (sorry I see Stetson has already mentioned it).

    And anyone else watching out for a local anniversary screening of 2001 - A Space Odyssey? I went to the cinema twice for what must have been the 10th anniversary screenings, basically just to watch the shuttle docking sequence on a big screen.
  • @Eutychus I was taken to 2001: A Space Odyssey in the original showing by my irresponsible uncle who had been given the task of looking after me for the weekend, no idea why. I was just about at primary school and he wanted to see it. I still remember it vividly.
  • Leo wrote: »
    Love, Simon - first gay coming of age Hollywood mainstream

    I haven't seen it, but a friend reviewed it as a huge milestone in gay rights-- as in, "when we're able to have a mediocre love story just like everyone else, you know we've arrived!"
    :lol:
    And exactly why I don't want a Poe-Finn ship in Star Wars. We should be past stunt casting.

  • TrudyTrudy Heaven Host
    Tukai wrote: »
    Death of Stalin

    a very black comedy, based on real events and real people (i.e. the rest of the Politburo after Stalin's death).

    I really want to see this one, but the closest theatre to me playing it is over 1000 miles away across a long stretch of water, so I guess I'll be waiting till it's on Netflix or something similar. I hate that so many of the movies that aren't deemed to be giant blockbusters never come here.
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    edited April 2018
    Not quite 1000 miles for me, but far enough. When it is on YouTube I will rent it, unless it comes to a streaming service first.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    BROAD SPOILERS

    Hostiles.

    Revisionist Western(is there now any other kind?) that pushes all the usual buttons, but ends up being pretty much just another post-Manifest Destiny redemption story, doing a slightly better job than average of hiding the White Messiah motif.

    7.5 for holding your attention and interest. And I suppose it might seem strikingly original to someone unfamilar with the genre.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    Leo wrote: »
    Love, Simon - first gay coming of age Hollywood mainstream

    I haven't seen it, but a friend reviewed it as a huge milestone in gay rights-- as in, "when we're able to have a mediocre love story just like everyone else, you know we've arrived!"

    Well, if that's the standard, then 1982 saw the ultimate victory for gay acceptance.

    (Only ever saw about twenty minutes of that, but Arthur Hiller also directed Love Story, so I'm just kind of extrapolating.)

  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    Some of these really appear interesting. One of the things my kids used to hate was when they finished a movie, I always asked, so what was the point? Now, 30 years later I get a kick when they ask their kids the same question: What was the point?

    Another question they hated was when I would challenge them to find inconsistencies in the film. An example is in the more recent movie of True Grit, on scene show an actress entering the river on a horse with her bed row strapped to the saddle. When she exits the river the bed row is across her back/
  • HedgehogHedgehog Shipmate
    stetson wrote: »
    BROAD SPOILERS

    Hostiles.

    Revisionist Western(is there now any other kind?) that pushes all the usual buttons, but ends up being pretty much just another post-Manifest Destiny redemption story, doing a slightly better job than average of hiding the White Messiah motif.
    I was very disappointed with this movie. And I disagree that it made any effort to hide the White Messiah motif.
    Just count who is alive at the end: white man, white woman, and Indian child dependent on them.
    Nothing in this film was new or fresh. I went to it because (allegedly) it was a possible Oscar worthy film. But it wasn't.

    I firmly believe that there is ground for making intriguing Westerns, but this isn't it. It doesn't move the conversation even an inch further than Dances With Wolves. Yeah, we get it. The Indians were treated like crap. Find another topic!
  • Fugitive Pieces (2007). Without saying too much and not more than you would know from reading an intro, a Jewish boy Poland is hidden by his family whom he sees slaughtered at the time of the German invasion in Sept 1939. He runs into the forest after and is taken in by a Greek archeologist who is excavating there, they go to Greece, and after the war to Montreal. It's moving and exquisitely written. It departs from the book, but in a good way. There's much excavation of the soul, of love, of past experiences, poetry and music, and of future.

    I recall this as I type: 'How do the dead call to us? Do they call us to them? or do they push us back into the world?'
  • jedijudyjedijudy Heaven Host
    Daughter-Unit, her dear hubby and I went to see Avengers: Infinity War on Thursday evening. I'm glad we saw it, and I will see it again (and will add the Blu-ray to my collection), however, with all the various Marvel superheroes I had to keep thinking to remember who was where!

    Hint number one: If you are considering taking your 6-9 year old children, you might want to see the movie first. There was some wailing from kiddos at the theater when some of the intense scenes occurred.

    Hint number two: Take a deep breath just before the end of the movie.
    There was such a huge intake of air from the gasp of the movie-goers, that I swear there was no air left in the theater. I was one of the gaspers, I confess.
    D-U and I think Dr. Strange knows the 'fix'.

    There are many scenes of very funny stuff, including one aimed at the competition! In fact, one of the reasons we want to see it again is to catch the dialogue we missed when folks were laughing so loudly and long.

    OK, when I was a young-un many years ago, I was more of a fan of the competition. However, these Marvel heroes have grown on me (especially the latest incarnation of Spidey) and A:IW is a hoot to watch. Now, it's no Gone with the Wind, but I think this will be a favorite in the Marvel movie group.

    As usual...watch for Stan Lee!
    You know how there are usually two postscripts after the Marvel movies? At the point where the first PS usually shows...there's...nothing!!! Everyone in the theater was hushing everyone, and nothing happened! Great laughter! However, there is one at the end. So, don't miss it!
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    MILD SPOILERS

    A Taxi Driver

    Historical drama relating the true story of a Seoul cab driver who drives a German journalist to the city of Gwangju(on the other end of the country) during the 1980 Democratic Uprising and its bloody suppression.

    I lived for several years right in the neighbourhood where many of the main events of the uprising took place(albeit prior to my residency), so watching this film was more emotional for me than these sorts of things usually are. That caveat aside, this is a pretty watchable film about the events surrounding a major turning point in Korean history. Well-made, well-acted, with only the occassional slide into Hollywood action-film cliches. (hey, maybe the taxis all did have a Michael Bay-style automotive rampage while fleeing the military on the way out of town, but I'm kind of doubting that.)
  • Gramps49Gramps49 Shipmate
    Wife and I watched The Darkest Hour. I think it gave a pretty unvarnished version of Winston Churchill from the time he was invited to form the government in response to the catastrophe leading up to Dunkirk. It showed him in manic mode and in depression as well. For all the flaws the man had, his government was able to rescue most of the 300,000 British troops at Dunkirk--Another 38,000 that were rescued included Allied Troops.
  • Went with the children to see The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Lovely film, starry cast: Lily James, Penelope Wilton, Tom Courtenay, Matthew Goode. Ms James did a good job, Mr Goode was wonderful as ever (gosh, he's under-valued compared to Cumberbatch and Hiddlestone) and Penelope Wilton was just marvellous. I'd recommend it if you feel at a loose end.
  • TrudyTrudy Heaven Host
    Went with the children to see The Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society. Lovely film, starry cast: Lily James, Penelope Wilton, Tom Courtenay, Matthew Goode. Ms James did a good job, Mr Goode was wonderful as ever (gosh, he's under-valued compared to Cumberbatch and Hiddlestone) and Penelope Wilton was just marvellous. I'd recommend it if you feel at a loose end.

    I really liked the book, so will probably want to see this movie if/when it comes here.
  • Saw Avengers: Infinity Wars, early enough to stave off most spoilers (and then came back to this thread to read jedijudy's - you're right about taking a breath at the end).

    I won't be able to tell you if I enjoyed it until the second half comes out (next year?) but it was an incredibly well put together film, like a jigsaw puzzle.

    I've read both good and bad reviews of the film, but am perplexed by the complaint from people who don't follow the Marvel Cinematic Universe that it makes no sense. If I only watched the penultimate episode of a tv programme I wouldn't expect to follow that either, hopefully I wouldn't whinge in print about it.

    I'm currently passing the time trying to remember if any of the cast have been in other films together (Chris Evans, Zoe Saldana and Idris Elba in The Losers; Chris Evans again and Benedict Wong in Sunshine so far). It passes the time.
  • TukaiTukai Shipmate
    With a mixed group from church, I saw The Guernsey Literary and Potato Pie Society.
    I had feared it would be a "chick lit" sort of film, with nothing much happening except a romance, but in fact it moved along quite satisfactorily as the backstory of life in war-time Guernsey slowly emerged.
    And I agree with L'Organist that it has superb ensemble cast, making acting look easy.
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    I'm tossing up between Guernsey and Crooked House for a visit to the cinema tomorrow. May have to see both!
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    I saw Crooked House this afternoon, an Agatha Christie whodunnit.

    I wanted escapism and got it. Beautifully shot, in a stunning stately home; great actors; an engaging plot; and the twist (though I admit I'm the last to get it). And I had the cinema to myself!

    I would've liked more background on the characters, and would've sat through an extra half hour for it, but apart from that I greatly enjoyed it.

    I saw Tully is on which a colleague told me is by the same writer as Juno (which I loved).
  • LeRocLeRoc Shipmate
    edited May 2018
    I just saw Coco on a plane. Yes, the story is predictable in parts, but it did my Latin American heart good. I almost choked on my wine when
    he finally sang for his great-grandmother.
  • Coco was just gorgeous. A really beautiful film, you can feel the love that went into making it.
  • MMMMMM Shipmate
    I have to disagree with Tukai about the Guernsey Literary and Potato Peel Pie Society.

    I was hoping to like it, obviously, but found it interminable, absolutely predictable, peopled with stereotypes rather than characters and punctuated by great slabs of exposition*.

    I'm also trying to put my finger on something else that felt slightly off. It might have had something to do with the way it referred only to Guernsey and the English Channel, without any reference at all to the other islands or indeed the words 'Channel Isles'. It just feels somehow slightly odd to me, I can't really pin it down or make an argument.

    There was the usual minor irritation about 'the London Times', of course. And the protagonist was suspiciously well dressed and could apparently get clothes without saving up coupons!

    MMM

    *I don't think it's too much of a spoiler to say that for someone who had apparently spent the War in London, the protagonist seemed to know very little about it.
  • TwilightTwilight Shipmate
    I'm glad I'm not the only person who didn't like the Potato Peel Pie book, MMM. Everyone else in my book club loved it, they didn't even mind the cardboard loud, boorish, rich American character. I'll confess to the first two traits, upon occasion, but I've never been rich and really never known anyone quite like the Americans in English cozy novels. The American golfer in "Major Pettigrew's Last Stand," who played in orange knickers would have been quite a surprise to any khaki clad golfer I know.

    Still, it was the stereotypically narrow minded Church-lady character who irritated me the most, especially the writer's confidence that we'd all applaud our protagonist for slapping her face.
  • TwilightTwilight Shipmate
    Oops, sorry, I forgot I was in the movie thread and not the book one. The film may be much better, screenwriters can omit silly stuff and good actors can make almost anyone likable.
  • MMMMMM Shipmate
    edited May 2018
    Hmm, don't believe it, Twilight! But I haven't read the book.

    It was written by two American women, though, so the portrayal of the American character must be true......

    MMM
  • jedijudyjedijudy Heaven Host
    D-U and I saw Solo: A Star Wars Story tonight. It started off pretty slowly, but did give necessary information for the rest of the story.

    Alden Ehrenreich did a decent Han Solo. Some of his mannerisms were exactly like Harrison Ford's! Joonas Suotamo has been a marvelous Chewbacca, and continues that in this newest film. Donald Glover captures some of the scoundrel-ness of Lando Calrissian, and even looks like a young Billy Dee Williams might have looked back in the day.

    One of the stars of the movie is the Millennium Falcon, and I have to admit to sitting on the edge of my seat during some of the flight scenes. Ah, yes! There were a few snippets of the music from The Empire Strikes Back during that particular segment! In fact, you'll hear quite a lot of bits and pieces of John Williams' famous music from long, long ago.

    D-U and I really enjoyed seeing this film! We were speculating on whether or not there would be a sequel, even though this is supposed to be a stand alone part of the SW Universe. Because...
    there's a surprise villain near the end!!!
  • HedgehogHedgehog Shipmate
    I went to see Pope Francis: A Man of His Word last night. It is a documentary by director Wim Wenders. You may recall him as the director of the films Paris, Texas; Wings of Desire and others. In the documentary field, he helmed The Buena Vista Social Club about Cuban musicians.

    Wenders was give extraordinary access to Pope Francis and the Vatican archives and, according to him, other than asking him to make a documentary, the Vatican kept out his way. They never censored anything or made any comment to him at all.

    The documentary features clips of the Pope's various public appearances and international visits, interspliced with new interviews done for the documentary. These latter are remarkable because the camera is close up on the Pope and he looks straight at it. Watching it, it is hard not to feel as if he is speaking directly to you.

    Wenders takes as his starting point the fact that the Pope chose "Francis" as his name, so the film also inserts commentary about the life and attitudes of Francis of Assisi and comparing them to Pope Francis' views.

    An intriguing documentary and it certainly is not a "just for Catholics" film. It left me with almost too much to think about.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    I, Tonya

    MILD SPOILERS

    I'd give it an 8.5, but you can factor in that I'm a sucker for nostalgia, current events, and gritty realism.

    The mock-highbrow title might lead one to suspect that the film is to some degree looking its nose down at the characters, a suspicion possibly confirmed by things such as the inclusion of unflattering(and largely irrelevant) information about a certain character's current whereabouts in the end credits.

    Overall, the film focuses largely on the social milieu of Tonya Harding, with the skating-world shown only as much as is needed to tell the story in question(Nancy Kerrigan is barely a character, and other skaters appear only as background extras). Probably a good decision on the screenwriter's part, since it allows the narrative to concentrate on the mindset and decisions leading up to this particular crime, as well as avoid the highbrow cheap-shots against popular culture which tend to blight this sort of film.

    One thing I found rather annoying was characters breaking the Fourth Wall, which seemed unneccessary because there was already narration provided by the same characters.



  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    edited May 2018
    Sorry for my ignorance, but what is breaking the Fourth Wall?
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    Climacus wrote: »
    Sorry for my ignorance, but what is breaking the Fourth Wall?

    No need to apologzie. It's a relatively obscure term.

    "Breaking the Fourth Wall" is when the characters speak directly to the audience.

  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    Ah, never knew that had a term for it. Thank you very much.
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    Death of Stalin made it out here.

    Very enjoyable, though a grisly ending. Superb performances; I'm sure the actors had a hoot playing their roles. Wonderful cinematography and scenery too.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    Please Stand By. Dakota Fanning plays an autistic woman who runs away from a San Franciso group-home to submit a Star Trek script to a contest in Hollywood.

    Movies where a person with disabilities "overcomes the odds" have a tendency to slide into sentimentalism, and this one is probably no exception. I don't think anyone is going to come away in anything but a hopeful mood about the potential for those on the autism spectrum to attain their dreams.

    That said, if you like this sort of thing, it's a well-crafted and well-acted film, and the Star Trek connection makes for a couple of charming encounters.
  • I went to the screening of "Ocean's Eight" last night. I hadn't seen any of the others in the series (the guy-centric ones), but this, with a cast headed by Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Helena Bonham Carter and Anne Hathaway, was light, silly fun. The friend I took along spotted Marlo Thomas in a cameo; she has not aged well. Much of it is set at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, so that was a plus. It's what the Pater used to call "Mindless Ex-cape," but in a good way.

  • I saw The Death of Stalin this week. Satire doesn't get bleaker, which means that I enjoyed it thoroughly. The cast was strong all around, but Jeffrey Tambor as Malenkov and Steven Buscemi as Khrushchev were stand-outs.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    edited June 2018
    Hereditary.

    (Spoilers hidden at links)

    I'm gonna give this a 7, though I'm inclined to lower, since I did feel somewhat weirded out afterwards, which is how a horror film is supposed to make you feel.

    That said, I'm not quite buying all the hype about this being the millenials' rendition of cereberal 60s/70s horror like Rosemary's Baby. Mostly because when Rosemary's Baby used this as a major plot motif, it reflected religious and spiritual convulsions taking place in the wider culture. Whereas in the year 2018, that plotline is little more than a tried-and-true horror-movie fallback, which any regular viewer of the genre has seen employed at least a few dozen times.

    There ARE seem pretty creepy scenes, but also an annoying number of obscure leads, not to mention one particularly lame use of gross-out imagery for shock value(it worked on me, but it's basically the horror equivalent of the pie-to-the-face in comedy). And it's one of those movies where every scene in the last hour or so is played as if it were a thundering climax(pardon me if I've used that phrase before on these boards; it's one of my pet peeves), which leaves you feeling kind of worn out by the end.

    And like Aronofsky's mother!, it seems to take place in a world where hospitals and police don't exist(eg. one character is involved in a horrible incident with no living witnesses, but after it's revealed, no one seems to feel the need to notify any authorities.) That might have worked okay in mother!, where the characters were largely intended as metaphorical, but not so much in this movie, which purports to be about real people.

    That said, this is definitely recommended if you like atmospheric and/or religiously themed horror.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    Oh, and in the Department Of Hollywood Once Again Botching Portryals Of Religion, at one point in Hereditary, members of this group are shown as riutalistically intoning "We reject the *****".

    Which I suppose would be true, but kind of beside the point.
  • LydaLyda Shipmate
    I just went to see American Animals As it says at the opening "This is not based on a true story. It is a true story". And it is. It is the cinematic story of an art heist by some naive and adventurous college students, acted by actors, and narrated by the actual participants, the victim librarian, one of their teachers, and members of their families. And it is a real life, black, black comedy. Very well done and worth seeing.
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    That sounds fun! Hope it makes it out here.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    sabine wrote: »
    Streamed The Florida Project last weekend. Very good film about the lives of people who live in residence motels (among many other things). No musical score which added to the docu-drama feel.

    Hm, I don't think I noticed the lack of a musical score. Good call, Sabine!

    Yeah, it was pretty good. I'd say there's definitely a "Sean Baker style" taking shape: this film and Tangerine very much seem to take place in the same world, socially, narratively, and visually, even though they're set on opposite ends of the country.

    As someone who has a general aversion to gaudy colours, bright lighting, and sunny locales, I have to give Baker credit for not completely alientating me from his films. Probably the social realism has something to do with that.

    And, on that point, I do appreciate getting a view of the grittier side of life, but tempered with hope and humour. A lot of stuff that purports to shock us out of our suburban complacency ends up beating us over the head with bleakness, to the point where it just becomes another trope.

    As an example, I liked the somewhat jaded view of Disneyworld in The Florida Project, and was glad that they didn't go overboard with anti-Disney propaganda like some artists do when pandering to self-styled bohemian audiences. It was sufficient to have all the scuzzy stuff taking place in close proximity to the Magic Kingdom and its patrons, to set up the stark contrast.

    And not much else to say about Willem Dafoe but that his performance was great. Though having such a high-profile actor in the film might have detracted somewhat from the independent feel that a project like this is usually aiming for.

  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    Finally saw Solo. And I think the negative, and lacklustre, reviews were in part from what people would have done themselves, rather than flaws in what was done. That said, there were some things that could have been better, but that might have been an artefact of switching directors on a significantly progressed film.
    OK, the humour was a bit flat in spots and the bada, boom crash reveals of established elements didn't help either. I have to think much of that was from the original Lord and Miller direction, as that is their style. The film was a mix of heavy "Here is the origin of X, look, right here" and more low key reveals. I cannot help but think that L&M were a phenomenally stupid choice and that whoever made it should have the difference in box office expectation and real receipts deducted from their pay. We may never know the film that could have been and whether is would have satisfied fans more.
    I love that Han is still hopeful in the end. If I have a main criticism of the film it is that to many elements felt like they were the rough edits, before the final polishing. But it is a significant task to take an alomst completed film and rework without re-shooting everything. Given that lack of polish isn't one of the criticisms of Ron Howards directing, It does seem a result of the kludgey process.
    Solo has the bones of a good film, how much the flesh fits will depend, in part, on what you think it should be.
  • ClimacusClimacus Shipmate
    Would you, and others, recommend it for a non-Star Wars fanatic? I've watched the main films, and enjoy them, but am not good at remembering many scenes or do not get overly excited by it (sorry).
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    And now heading back to the early days of Mr. Dafoe's career...

    To Live And Die In LA.

    MILD SPOILERS(ABOUT STUFF YOU CAN PROBABLY FIGURE OUT IN THE FIRST TEN MINUTES ANYWAY)

    Dafoe plays an aesthetically gifted counterfeiter pursued by two Secret Service agents of uneven moral calibre. One-stop shopping for all your favorite cop/action movie cliches, with a fast pace and cracking dialogue., but probably not much more groundbreaking than that. Unlike The French Connection, the other Friedkin film that this resembles the most closely, it obviously didn't go on to iconize an era or anything.
  • NicoleMRNicoleMR Shipmate
    Just saw Solo. I thought it was pretty good, though lacking in something, and I can't quite say what. But I did like it.
  • RuthRuth Admin Emeritus
    Just got home from seeing "First Reformed" -- I cannot recommend this film highly enough. It is dark, austere, beautiful, shocking. Ethan Hawke gives the best performance of his life, the cinematography is stunning, and the crisis of faith and existence at the center of this movie is worthy of Dostoevsky.
  • lilbuddhalilbuddha Shipmate
    Climacus wrote: »
    Would you, and others, recommend it for a non-Star Wars fanatic? I've watched the main films, and enjoy them, but am not good at remembering many scenes or do not get overly excited by it (sorry).
    I don't know. I'd say that if you enjoy the universe, you would likely enjoy this film. ISTM, it is more the fanatic that have issues, than the ordinary viewer.
  • stetsonstetson Shipmate
    Rossweisse wrote: »
    I went to the screening of "Ocean's Eight" last night. I hadn't seen any of the others in the series (the guy-centric ones), but this, with a cast headed by Sandra Bullock, Cate Blanchett, Helena Bonham Carter and Anne Hathaway, was light, silly fun. The friend I took along spotted Marlo Thomas in a cameo; she has not aged well. Much of it is set at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, so that was a plus. It's what the Pater used to call "Mindless Ex-cape," but in a good way.

    Saw it a few days ago.

    Usually, I dislike caper flicks, since while I know that criminal occupations like jewel-thief are real, they seem to belong in the same romanticized quasi-reality as pirates and cowboys, whereas I like my crime movies well-grounded in social realism.

    But I've always cut a bit of slack for the Ocean films, probably because, given the rat-pack pedigree, they seem like a deliberate nod to an earlier, more innocent era. So the romanticized quasi-reality takes on a self-consciousness that elevates it somewhat above the usual heist film.

    Apart from all that, I agree this was good escapist fun. If you liked it, you'd probably enjoy the previous three androcentric installments. Can't say anything about the 1960 urtext, never having had the pleasure.
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