Archive: November, 2009
The Machete Group, which hosts monthly intellectual discussions outside of the academic context, focuses their sights on Jean-Luc Godard's La Chinoise and Chris Marker's The Last Bolshevik for their next event, entitled "The Air is Bleeding Red: Godard/Marker." While the ensuing discussion of the two films takes place this Saturday, December 5 from 8-10 p.m., Machete will host two screenings in anticipation of the event.
La Chinoise - Tuesday, December 1, 8 p.m.
French students studying the Cultural Revolution discuss how the can affect the same change using terrorist action.
The Last Bolshevik - Wednesday, December 2, 8 p.m.
Marker's tribute to revolutionary filmmaker Alexander Medvedkin.
All events take place at Marginal Utility, 319 N. 11th St., Second Floor, 917-355-4487.
A concert a day keeps the doctor away.
Monday: The Canadian band Do Make Say Think can be heard in dorm rooms of liberal arts colleges across the nation. Their instrumental music, drawing on jazz and rock, is the kind that takes patience to appreciate. With it's slow building and tearing down of layers, this could be the chillest show of the night, man. Who's bringing the bong? With The Happiness Project & Years, 8 p.m., $14-$15, First Unitarian Church, 2125 Chestnut St., 267-295-2710.
Tuesday: It's Imogen Heap's subtlety that makes her songs so gripping. You don't realize how invested you are in a song until it's half way in. Her songs sneak up on you, and before you know it, the album is over. You listened to and liked the entire thing, even though you were skeptical at first. At 8 p.m., $22.50-$25, TLA, 334 South St., 215-922-1011.
Wednesday: Ted Leo + The Pharmacists stick to what they're good at: upbeat songs with catchy hooks, a bit of guitar feedback, and percussion that makes you wanna air-drum all over the steering wheel. It's a formula, yes, but we can't hold it against them. The formula works, people, and we keep asking Mr. Leo to give us more and more. With The So So Glos, 8 p.m., $10, at th First Unitarian Church, 2125 Chestnut St., 267-296-2710.
Thursday: Some bands are dangerously close to obnoxious, and Jaguar Love is one of them. But it's their proximity to obnoxiousness that makes them sound as good as they do. With a whiney howl from singer Johnny Whitney, they take a gamble, risk sounding emo and come out in the end sounding like a trio that is too tough to care about risking it all. The fact that members hail from Blood Brothers and Pretty Girls Make Graves doesn't hurt their rep, either. At 8 p.m., $10, Kung Fu Necktie, 1250 N. Front St., 215-291-4919.
Friday: Ghostland Observatory makes music that you can't help but dance to. But they also weave in a darkness that you seldom find in other electro phenomena. With Slapping Purses & JAYO, 8:30 p.m., $19-$21, at the Troc, 1003 Arch St., 215-922-5483.
Saturday: If you listen closely, you might be able to hear the sound of rain in the background on Erin McKeown's latest, Hundreds of Lions. Each song ' even the ones that pose as upbeat and sunny ' have a sadness that has settled deep within McKeown. No matter how hard she may try to hide it, the sound of disappointment remains, and it adds to her charm as a folk singer. With Jill Sobule, 7:30 p.m., $25-$35, World Cafe Live, 3025 Walnut St., 215-222-1400.
Sunday: Weird, dreamy tunes are perfect for a Sunday night. Get your fix of sound that moves from marching band drums to trace-like loftiness with Van Allen Belt. Their MySpace claims they only have four members, but they're the type of group that sound like there could easily be twice as many. Van Allen Belt uses guy and girl vocals and harsh language over something that sounds like warped, oldies vinyl. From song to song, their sound is tweaked a bit, building some mystery each time. With Foosa & Family Animals, 7 p.m., $8, North Star Bar, 2639 Poplar St., North Star Bar, 215-684-0808.
I was sad to hear Ronnie James Dio ' elfin-metal god and the second most famous Black Sabbath frontman ' was recently diagnosed with stomach cancer. Let's all think good thoughts and listen to one of the most ridiculous serious metal songs of all time. I hope you make it to the place south of Witches Valley one day, Dio. Or not, if it's bad.
|Abram's Image, 192 pp., $15.95, Sept. 1|
She's witty, she's poignant, and she's somehow in touch with both the young, mod set and the more mature generations of years past. In Obsolete: An Encyclopedia of Once-Common Things Passing Us By, Anna Jane Grossman gives us a collection of short, humorous essays on things that no longer exist or are gradually fading away. Grossman, a journalist who's been published in everything from The New York Times to Marie Claire, clearly draws from her skills as feature writer and social commentator to produce these hilarious, sharp, well-researched little pieces on more than 100 alphabetized subjects.
Sometimes Grossman writes literally ' in her listings of bellhops, girdles, high-diving boards, for instance ' but more often she is sardonic, with topics ranging from dying of old age and eating for pleasure to phone sex, body hair, nuns and getting lost. But whether technological leaps or shifting social norms and attitudes have caused these changes (or result from them), handfuls of everyday objects, ideas and practices continue to head out the back door. Some, like pay phones and Rolodexes, are nearly gone for good. Reading Obsolete, readers will finally take in just how rapid the rate of change has become, and how the entire social world really has rewritten itself during the course of our lifetimes. Not just in the past few decades, but in the past few years.
Opening by giving us a glimpse into her own experiences, she shows us just how many things ' both subtle and earth-shaking ' have changed merely throughout the span of her own life so far. In the 11th grade, she shared an email address with all the other kids in her class (email@example.com), listened to hand-made mixtapes, and could dial her friends on the phone with her eyes closed. To that she adds, 'When the phone rang, I said 'Hello?' The question mark was there because I didn't know who was calling.' Like the rest of the book's entries, this one made me stop and think for a second, only to realize that Grossman is right. How often do we answer our cell phones with 'Hello?' anymore? The intimacy of caller ID has almost eliminated the need for that opening. The last few times I flipped open my cell I answered with a 'yo,' a 'dude, you'll never guess,' and a familiar 'hey.'
In her little pieces Grossman offers some opinions, but often leaves it up to the reader to interpret whether the change is good or bad. Is sex-texting (the new replacement for phone sex) less intimate, or more exciting? After all, you could be sexting while you're sitting at your desk at work ' no need to wait for the wee hours of the night. In another example, Grossman writes that printed newspapers may be facing a decline, but their reliability may just be matched by the Internet's breadth and reach. If printing slows, 'Still, one way or another, the information is being shared. And it won't ever turn yellow.'
While she mixes in plenty of quotes and facts, nearly every entry ends with a lovely little witticism. For 'short basketball shorts': 'The last holdout was Utah Jazz point guard John Stockton, who remained loyal to the short shorts look, but when he retired in 2003, so did the era of visible knees.' For 'doing nothing at work': ''after all, many of today's workers would never have come into existence to begin with if their parents hadn't been quite so desperate to pass the time.'
Obsolete seems to span two worlds: It reminisces on the tangibility and personal nature of times and objects past, and it lauds the approach of an exciting, new, globally interconnected world. Whether you're a young one like me who can't remember a day when hotel keys were actually keys and not plastic cards, or a more mature reader who recalls paying bellhops to carry luggage, you'll find this book an intriguing window into both worlds.
A fun time waster as our way of saying Happy Thanksgiving, Crit Massers. Now spend the rest of your day speaking in movie quotes.
The quotes aren't in order, but you can see the full list, via Wikipedia, after the jump.
|1||"Frankly, my dear, I don't give a damn"||Rhett Butler||Clark Gable||Gone With The Wind||1939|
|2||"I'm gonna make him an offer he can't refuse."||Vito Corleone||Marlon Brando||The Godfather||1972|
|3||"You don't understand! I coulda had class. I coulda been a contender. I could've been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am."||Terry Malloy||Marlon Brando||On the Waterfront||1954|
|4||"Toto, I've got a feeling we're not in Kansas anymore."||Dorothy Gale||Judy Garland||The Wizard of Oz||1939|
|5||"Here's looking at you, kid."||Rick Blaine||Humphrey Bogart||Casablanca||1942|
|6||"Go ahead, make my day."||Harry Callahan||Clint Eastwood||Sudden Impact||1983|
|7||"All right, Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close-up."||Norma Desmond||Gloria Swanson||Sunset Boulevard||1950|
|8||"May the Force be with you."||Obi-Wan Kenobi||Alec Guinness||Star Wars Episode IV: A New Hope||1977|
|9||"Fasten your seatbelts. It's going to be a bumpy night."||Margo Channing||Bette Davis||All About Eve||1950|
|10||"You talkin' to me?"||Travis Bickle||Robert De Niro||Taxi Driver||1976|
|11||"What we've got here is failure to communicate."||Captain||Strother Martin||Cool Hand Luke||1967|
|12||"I love the smell of napalm in the morning!"||Lt. Col. Bill Kilgore||Robert Duvall||Apocalypse Now||1979|
|13||"Love means never having to say you're sorry."||Jennifer Cavilleri Barrett||Ali MacGraw||Love Story||1970|
|14||"The stuff that dreams are made of."||Sam Spade||Humphrey Bogart||The Maltese Falcon||1941|
|15||"E.T. phone home."||E.T.||Pat Welsh||E.T. the Extra-Terrestrial||1982|
|16||"They call me Mister Tibbs!"||Virgil Tibbs||Sidney Poitier||In the Heat of the Night||1967|
|17||"Rosebud."||Charles Foster Kane||Orson Welles||Citizen Kane||1941|
|18||"Made it, Ma! Top of the world!"||Arthur "Cody" Jarrett||James Cagney||White Heat||1949|
|19||"I'm as mad as hell, and I'm not going to take this anymore!"||Howard Beale||Peter Finch||Network||1976|
|20||"Louis, I think this is the beginning of a beautiful friendship."||Rick Blaine||Humphrey Bogart||Casablanca||1942|
|21||"A census taker once tried to test me. I ate his liver with some fava beans and a nice Chianti."||Hannibal Lecter||Anthony Hopkins||The Silence of the Lambs||1991|
|22||"Bond. James Bond."||James Bond||Sean Connery||Dr. No||1962|
|23||"There's no place like home."||Dorothy Gale||Judy Garland||The Wizard of Oz||1939|
|24||"I am big! It's the pictures that got small."||Norma Desmond||Gloria Swanson||Sunset Boulevard||1950|
|25||"Show me the money!"||Rod Tidwell||Cuba Gooding, Jr.||Jerry Maguire||1996|
|26||"Why don't you come up sometime and see me?"||Lady Lou||Mae West||She Done Him Wrong||1933|
|27||"I'm walking here! I'm walking here!"||"Ratso" Rizzo||Dustin Hoffman||Midnight Cowboy||1969|
|28||"Play it, Sam. Play 'As Time Goes By.'"||Ilsa Lund||Ingrid Bergman||Casablanca||1942|
|29||"You can't handle the truth!"||Col. Nathan Jessup||Jack Nicholson||A Few Good Men||1992|
|30||"I want to be alone."||Grusinskaya||Greta Garbo||Grand Hotel||1932|
|31||"After all, tomorrow is another day!"||Scarlett O'Hara||Vivien Leigh||Gone with the Wind||1939|
|32||"Round up the usual suspects."||Capt. Louis Renault||Claude Rains||Casablanca||1942|
|33||"I'll have what she's having."||Customer||Estelle Reiner||When Harry Met Sally...||1989|
|34||"You know how to whistle, don't you, Steve? You just put your lips together and blow."||Marie "Slim" Browning||Lauren Bacall||To Have and Have Not||1944|
|35||"You're gonna need a bigger boat."||Martin Brody||Roy Scheider||Jaws||1975|
|36||"Badges? We ain't got no badges! We don't need no badges! I don't have to show you any stinking badges!"||"Gold Hat"||Alfonso Bedoya||The Treasure of the Sierra Madre||1948|
|37||"I'll be back."||The Terminator||Arnold Schwarzenegger||The Terminator||1984|
|38||"Today, I consider myself the luckiest man on the face of the earth."||Lou Gehrig||Gary Cooper||The Pride of the Yankees||1942|
|39||"If you build it, he will come."||Shoeless Joe Jackson||Ray Liotta (voice)||Field of Dreams||1989|
|40||"Mama always said life was like a box of chocolates. You never know what you're gonna get."||Forrest Gump||Tom Hanks||Forrest Gump||1994|
|41||"We rob banks."||Clyde Barrow||Warren Beatty||Bonnie and Clyde||1967|
|42||"Plastics."||Mr. Maguire||Walter Brooke||The Graduate||1967|
|43||"We'll always have Paris."||Rick Blaine||Humphrey Bogart||Casablanca||1942|
|44||"I see dead people."||Cole Sear||Haley Joel Osment||The Sixth Sense||1999|
|45||"Stella! Hey, Stella!"||Stanley Kowalski||Marlon Brando||A Streetcar Named Desire||1951|
|46||"Oh, Jerry, don't let's ask for the moon. We have the stars."||Charlotte Vale||Bette Davis||Now, Voyager||1942|
|47||"Shane. Shane. Come back!"||Joey Starrett||Brandon De Wilde||Shane||1953|
|48||"Well, nobody's perfect."||Osgood Fielding III||Joe E. Brown||Some Like It Hot||1959|
|49||"It's alive! It's alive!"||Henry Frankenstein||Colin Clive||Frankenstein||1931|
|50||"Houston, we have a problem."||Jim Lovell||Tom Hanks||Apollo 13||1995|
|51||"You've got to ask yourself one question: 'Do I feel lucky?' Well, do ya, punk?"||Harry Callahan||Clint Eastwood||Dirty Harry||1971|
|52||"You had me at 'hello'."||Dorothy Boyd||Ren'e Zellweger||Jerry Maguire||1996|
|53||"One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas. How he got in my pajamas, I don't know."||Capt. Geoffrey T. Spaulding||Groucho Marx||Animal Crackers||1930|
|54||"There's no crying in baseball!"||Jimmy Dugan||Tom Hanks||A League of Their Own||1992|
|55||"La-dee-da, la-dee-da."||Annie Hall||Diane Keaton||Annie Hall||1977|
|56||"A boy's best friend is his mother."||Norman Bates||Anthony Perkins||Psycho||1960|
|57||"Greed, for lack of a better word, is good."||Gordon Gekko||Michael Douglas||Wall Street||1987|
|58||"Keep your friends close, but your enemies closer."||Michael Corleone||Al Pacino||The Godfather Part II||1974|
|59||"As God is my witness, I'll never be hungry again."||Scarlett O'Hara||Vivien Leigh||Gone with the Wind||1939|
|60||"Well, here's another nice mess you've gotten me into!"||Oliver||Oliver Hardy||Sons of the Desert||1933|
|61||"Say hello to my little friend!"||Tony Montana||Al Pacino||Scarface||1983|
|62||"What a dump."||Rosa Moline||Bette Davis||Beyond the Forest||1949|
|63||"Mrs. Robinson, you're trying to seduce me... Aren't you?"||Benjamin Braddock||Dustin Hoffman||The Graduate||1967|
|64||"Gentlemen, you can't fight in here! This is the War Room!"||President Merkin Muffley||Peter Sellers||Dr. Strangelove||1964|
|65||"Elementary, my dear Watson."||Sherlock Holmes||Basil Rathbone||The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes||1939|
|66||"Take your stinking paws off me, you damned dirty ape!"||George Taylor||Charlton Heston||Planet of the Apes||1968|
|67||"Of all the gin joints in all the towns in all the world, she walks into mine."||Rick Blaine||Humphrey Bogart||Casablanca||1942|
|68||"Here's Johnny!"||Jack Torrance||Jack Nicholson||The Shining||1980|
|69||"They're here!"||Carol Anne Freeling||Heather O'Rourke||Poltergeist||1982|
|70||"Is it safe?"||Dr. Christian Szell||Laurence Olivier||Marathon Man||1976|
|71||"Wait a minute, wait a minute. You ain't heard nothin' yet! Wait a minute, I tell ya! You ain't heard nothin'!"||Jakie Rabinowitz/Jack Robin||Al Jolson||The Jazz Singer||1927|
|72||"No wire hangers, ever!"||Joan Crawford||Faye Dunaway||Mommie Dearest||1981|
|73||"Mother of mercy, is this the end of Rico?"||Cesare Enrico "Rico" Bandello||Edward G. Robinson||Little Caesar||1930|
|74||"Forget it, Jake, it's Chinatown."||Duffy||Joe Mantell||Chinatown||1974|
|75||"I have always depended on the kindness of strangers."||Blanche DuBois||Vivien Leigh||A Streetcar Named Desire||1951|
|76||"Hasta la vista, baby."||The Terminator||Arnold Schwarzenegger||Terminator 2: Judgment Day||1991|
|77||"Soylent Green is people!"||Det. Robert Thorn||Charlton Heston||Soylent Green||1973|
|78||"Open the pod bay doors, HAL."||Dave Bowman||Keir Dullea||2001: A Space Odyssey||1968|
|79||Striker: "Surely you can't be serious!" Rumack: "I am serious... and don't call me Shirley."||Ted Striker and Dr. Rumack||Robert Hays and Leslie Nielsen||Airplane!||1980|
|80||"Yo, Adrian!"||Rocky Balboa||Sylvester Stallone||Rocky||1976|
|81||"Hello gorgeous."||Fanny Brice||Barbra Streisand||Funny Girl||1968|
|82||"Toga! Toga!"||John "Bluto" Blutarsky||John Belushi||National Lampoon's Animal House||1978|
|83||"Listen to them. Children of the night. What music they make."||Count Dracula||Bela Lugosi||Dracula||1931|
|84||"Oh, no, it wasn't the airplanes. It was Beauty killed the Beast."||Carl Denham||Robert Armstrong||King Kong||1933|
|85||"My precious."||Gollum||Andy Serkis||The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers||2002|
|86||"Attica! Attica!"||Sonny Wortzik||Al Pacino||Dog Day Afternoon||1975|
|87||"Sawyer, you're going out a youngster, but you've got to come back a star!"||Julian Marsh||Warner Baxter||42nd Street||1933|
|88||"Listen to me, mister. You're my knight in shining armor. Don't you forget it. You're going to get back on that horse, and I'm going to be right behind you, holding on tight, and away we're gonna go, go, go!"||Ethel Thayer||Katharine Hepburn||On Golden Pond||1981|
|89||"Tell 'em to go out there with all they got and win just one for the Gipper."||Knute Rockne||Pat O'Brien||Knute Rockne, All American||1940|
|90||"Shaken, not stirred."||James Bond||Sean Connery||Goldfinger||1964|
|91||"Who's on First?"||Dexter||Bud Abbott||The Naughty Nineties||1945|
|92||"Cinderella story. Outta nowhere. A former greenskeeper, now, about to become the Masters champion. It looks like a mirac'It's in the hole! It's in the hole! It's in the hole!"||Carl Spackler||Bill Murray||Caddyshack||1980|
|93||"Life is a banquet, and most poor suckers are starving to death!"||Mame Dennis||Rosalind Russell||Auntie Mame||1958|
|94||"I feel the need'the need for speed!"||Lt. Pete "Maverick" Mitchell and Lt. Nick "Goose" Bradshaw||Tom Cruise and Anthony Edwards||Top Gun||1986|
|95||"Carpe diem. Seize the day, boys. Make your lives extraordinary."||John Keating||Robin Williams||Dead Poets Society||1989|
|96||"Snap out of it!"||Loretta Castorini||Cher||Moonstruck||1987|
|97||"My mother thanks you. My father thanks you. My sister thanks you. And I thank you."||George M. Cohan||James Cagney||Yankee Doodle Dandy||1942|
|98||"Nobody puts 'Baby' in a corner."||Johnny Castle||Patrick Swayze||Dirty Dancing||1987|
|99||"I'll get you, my pretty, and your little dog too!"||Wicked Witch of the West||Margaret Hamilton||The Wizard of Oz||1939|
|100||"I'm the king of the world!"||Jack Dawson||Leonardo DiCaprio||Titanic||1997|
Admit it, you want more from this week's Movies section.
The Road ' B-
Sam Adams reviewed John Hillcoat's adapation of Cormac McCarthy's The Road. But did you know that the visual effects were done right here in Philly:
To complete his vision of the apocalypse, The Road director John Hillcoat turned to DIVE, the Philadelphia-based visual effects and film finishing company that recently color-corrected the Barnes Foundation doc The Art of the Steal.
According the DIVE's executive producer, Andy Williams, Hillcoat initially selected DIVE so the relatively low-budget movie could take advantage of the Pennsylvania tax incentive ' most of the The Road was shot outside of Pittsburgh. But he also needed the apocalypse to look credible. Visual effects supervisor Mark Forker spent the majority of The Road shoot on set in western Pennsylvania and beyond, working directly with Hillcoat, advising on how to frame shots and light scenes to minimize post-production work.
What couldn't be done on camera was sent back to Philly. It's apt that we're responsible for making the end of the world look believable.
RELATED: Trailer!: The Road
RELATED: Trailer!: Fantastic Mr. Fox
Ninja Assassin ' B
Oh My God ' C-
Red Cliff ' B+
|MPI Home Video|
Reelblack is offering up two copies of Medicine for Melancholy, starring Crit Mass crush Wyatt Cenac (The Daily Show) and Tracey Heggins. It played at the 2008 Philadelphia Film Fest, but never got the theatrical release treatment around these parts. I missed it then but I heard some great things; it's holding strong with an 88% rating on Rotten Tomatoes and it took home Best First Feature at the 2008 Independent Spirit Awards.
Medicine is about two African-American twenty-somethings, living in San Francisco, the day after their one night stand. Here's the trailer:
Reelblack will announce the winners of the contest around Christmas time but you can also try your luck at their upcoming Next Up Short Film Showcase ' a program comprised of the work of filmmakers of color, including a screening of the locally shot Brothers, Incorporated ' on Tuesday, December 8 where they'll give away another copy.
Hey, pick me! Pick me!
We're big fans of local artists here at Critical Mass. We love the art stars like Zoe Strauss; we love the up-and-comers; and we love the little guys who haven't made it into a gallery yet. So, in hopes of promoting all of these artist types while also sprucing up our Web page, we're inviting everyone and anyone to submit a piece of work that could become our new Critical Mass banner. There are only two requirements: It needs to say 'Critical Mass' somewhere, and it needs to fit into our dimensions (612 x 242 pixels, 72 dpi). Other than that, you're free as a bird. It can be a photograph, a painting, a collage, a pen-and-ink piece, a graphic illustration ' whatever, so long as it's visual. And it doesn't have to depict the arts in any way at all ' for example, it can be as tangential as our Halloween banner. We'll put the winners up for one month long each, with the first one going up Dec. 1. You can submit as many works as you'd like, whenever you'd like, to firstname.lastname@example.org. We will not use the pieces for any other purpose than as our Critical Mass banner, and along with each new banner, we'll do a post on the artist who created it.Have any questions, concerns or just want to say hi to your fabulous Critical Mass team? Don't be shy, shoot us an e-mail at email@example.com. We promise we won't bite. Okay, Pat might.
What's up with L&I marching on Philly venues recently? First it was the 941 Theater (in fact, they just announced their fundraisers), now it's The Fire. According to a tweet from PhillyRockBlog, the Fishtown rock venue has been forced to cancel all upcoming events.
I caught up with The Fire's manager Dan McShane, who confirms the NoLibs music venue is shut down until they have the money to resolve L&I's issues. "We're working on it," he said calmly. He also said he and everybody at the Fire has been touched by the "extreme outpouring" of support from the community, and he's hoping to do something of a "publc nature" to turn all the positive energy into action and get the doors back open.
Leslie Caron, the star of An American in Paris and awesome crossword-puzzle-answer-movies Gigi and Lili will be the subject of an upcoming Alliance Fran'aise tribute. I've got a soft spot for Caron; she imbued each of her roles with an effortless charm and grace, even though she was filled with this child-like naivete. Yeah, sure, it was little creepy when she was supposed to be both the love interest and the "Thank Heaven for" little girl in movies like Gigi, but' her particular innocent pull is indicative of the types of movies being made at the time. Those qualities ended up killing her career with the decline of the musical and the realism favored in the late '60s and '70s. But very few actresses could hold together a musical epic like Caron could.
On Wednesday, December 2 at noon, Caron will sit down with Inquirer film critic Carrie Rickey to talk about her career and sign copies of her memoir Thank Heaven, with an attaboy dinner later that night. The tribute continues on Thursday, December 3 when the Bryn Mawr Film Institute screens Lili, about an orphan who joins the circus, for which Caron was nominated for an Academy Award.
Q&A with Carrie Rickey, Wed., Dec. 2, noon, free, Free Library of Philadelphia, 1901 Vine St.
Lili screening, Thu., Dec., 3, 7:30 p.m., $5-$9.50, Bryn Mawr Film Institute, 824 W. Lancaster Ave., Bryn Mawr
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