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Danny Elfman

Anyone who has ever seen a Tim Burton film, will know why I choose this particular name to write a piece of my mind about. Danny Elfman, the composer, is not just any composer. The ability Danny Elfman has to pull you right into any magic world, is just amazing. Danny Elfman can make the voice of fairies whisper in your ears from the woods, or at the very least make you strongly believe that you do so, he can make you feel like you’re flying through the air on the back of a miraculously lovely being that was just made up by Tim Burton for the sake of their lovely fantasyworld. You feel it’s true, not just because you see it, but because your ears tie your emotions around and make it complete.

Music is so important, such a powerful part of a film. It can make the tension grow bigger, it pumps up the emotions you feel, it can make the hairs on your arms stand up straight. From either thrill or contained emotions. Danny Elfman is ace at making your dreams come true just by listening.

Any soundtrack made by Danny Elfman is well worth listening to, if you’re into the dreamy, fantasy, magic kind of atmosphere. I most certainly am a fan!

For who needs a bit more convincing, try these:

 
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Posted by on June 18, 2018 in music, Opinion

 

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Woody, Mia, Dylan and Soon-Yi

I do have quite an opinion on this one. Not just because it’s quite an exposure what this couple has had in the media, but also because one of my best friends was a victim -though in a more mildly way- of a woman going beserk during their seperation.

Woody Allen is one of the most successfull storytellers of Hollywood. Big stars want to work with him, think his work is amazing, a piece of art and him an artist, most people rave on about it. There is, in short, recognition of the quality of his profession.
I’ve been watching some of his films. Annie Hall being one of them and the most recent to that (thank you, Netflix!). To be fair I wasn’t too impressed by that one. It happens, you don’t need to be a fan like everyone else is, right? Especially the characters Allen plays in his own films I really dislike. He is always such an a*hole. Again, MY opinion.

Also, I have read some of the stories that emerged about him during the years. Not too much -I haven’t been that interested- but I did read how Mia Farrow wrote an eight page epistel of how he did her and her children wrong in Variety magazine (or was it a different one?). Her eight page rant struck a chord with me. ‘Wow’, I thought, ‘her logic really doesn’t make ANY sense to me?!’
I also read how Dylan complained to big stars such as Meryl Streep etc, asking them how they could have turned a blind eye to what Woody did to her? I can imagine a child -who is, agewise, no longer a child- feels like such indeed, when they notice that their story has not been responded to by these highly acclaimed people.

If I’m honest: it’s tricky business.
When two people love each other, they will try everything in their power to be together as much as possible. They get married (for instance), or move in together, have children, or dogs or other types of pets, that sort of things really. They try to have things that bind them together. Things that are beings (children and/or pets) or actual things such as art, clothes, you name it. Collectables.
If things go wrong, however, it can take very nasty turns. Especially with children involved. Mothers are known to be lions when it comes to their children. They will do anything to protect their cubs from evil doërs. And let’s be honest: so they should. This is what mothers are for. Fathers too, by the way. In general, being a parent entails protecting your children. Or at least wanting to, even if it’s not really possible.
This is where parents can hit a tricky point. Having to recognise ones own mistakes and keeping things amicably on behalf of the children during a divorce/seperation, is one of those challenges. Some people succeed in this mission, keeping the children as a shield in front of their own emotions. A very wise thing to do, because lots of things will turn out for the best interests of those said children if they do.
Some people fail greatly at this, with the possibility of breaking the bond that is woven between the children. I know of a woman who told her children that whoever was on the side of their father, could never be a friend of herself again. Which isn’t exactly a rare story to be fair.

Where two people fight, there’s two people at fault, is my opinion. When there’s a divorce or a split up, this is no different.
After reading Mia Farrow’s report on what had happened during her time with Woody Allen, I was quite surprised.
For I read that there was an  “unwritten rule” in their household that Woody should never be alone with Dylan.
Dylan, an adoptive daughter. Not just that, the adoption wasn’t finalized yet when these things occurred. So I do ask myself: why would a mother ask a judge to let a man she doesn’t even trust to be alone with this child, to be the father of this child by law? Why would you do that? If you don’t trust him, why not adopt her on your own and make bloody sure that Woody Allen gets filed for some sort of report?
Because she didn’t do this. This is the weakest point in her entire raving about him being evil. Always has been. Reading about one of their children stating there was never any wrongdoing by Woody Allen, makes my believe in this stronger.
Mia did seem to fill Dylan’s head with allegations against her father, about him being evil. I have no idea if any of it is true.
I honestly don’t know.
I do know there have been therapies that to recall events that never occurred. Scary.

Woody Allen has, since then, gotten a famous relationship with Soon Yi. We all saw what happened there. With her, he also adopted two children.
I can’t believe a judge would allow someone to adopt children if there was a serious suspicion of them abusing children in the past?

The whole case does make it impossible for Woody Allen to comment on the Weinstein issue, I’ve noticed. Even though things weren’t necessarily proved or unproved in his (Allens’) case, he did flirt with disaster and that doesn’t give him a strong ‘innocent’ side, I’ve noticed. I agree with him that it’s hard to get away from even the suspicion of abusement, even if you haven’t done anything. The point he is making is valid, as I just said: I don’t know who to believe: Farrow or Allen.
Dylan is quite a different story. She is a victim, in whatever way you point it. Either because she has been fed false info as a child (this is beyond wrong) or because she has had to endure/experience things she should never have experienced in the first place (this would be extremely sick to do to a child).
Let’s hope that some day one of her parents decides to tell the actual true and tell her ‘Sorry Dylan, I’ve been most unkind to you and your childhood and I will regret doing that for the rest of my life’, and for Dylan to reply by: ‘well, what the hell took you so long?!’

And for those still in doubt, here is one of their own children’s piece of mind about it:

https://mosesfarrow.blogspot.nl/2018/05/a-son-speaks-out-by-moses-farrow.html

 
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Posted by on October 24, 2017 in Opinion

 

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Death Penalty

I have to be honest. I’m in favour of death penalty. IF it happened in an honest and clean way. Not the way you see it happening in soaps or read about it in the newspapers. The clean way wouldn’t be to let a jury decide whether a couple of lawyers would have played their deck of cards in such a way that they just won (or lost!) their pokergame.
I’ve been puzzled by how I see these people say: ‘a jury of X people has found him/her/them guilty…..’ etc. So? Because a bunch of people has been convinced someone did it, due to lawyers having their way with the law and objecting against evidence, or not letting people speak because it’s deemed irrelevant to the case or whatever, it should conclude that someone should die?

No.

In my utopic world this kind of court cases wouldn’t exist. It sounds far too much like a certain industry that collects memorabilia for such occasions. Called Oscars. Some people can really act their ass off in court. Some lawyers don’t get along, judges can be convinced of stupid stuff etc.

When I talk about ‘being pro death penalty’, I’m talking about people who have done something so bad to society, that you wonder in what way ever will they be able to be of use to that society. I know lots of psychiatrists would find some of them very interesting, but in that case I’d say: fine, here, your punishment is to be this psychiatrists’ patient until the day you die.
There truly are people who you never want to return to society.

Where I come from (the Netherlands) we’re often accussed of ‘hugging’ our convicted people too much. In some cases I agree.
We have had a child molester, for instance, who raped -and filmed his actions- over seventy (yes, that is 70 children?!). In a few years time. He had done so in Germany previously, and thanks to our nonexisting Judicial Care For Babies and Children. And yes honestly, we don’t (seem to) have that, we only pretend, by some sort of paper that says you’re not convicted for anything. This guy had been able to get that paper, even though he served time in Germany for the same offenses. He got to do it again in the Netherlands, as he wasn’t known in our systems….if only the EU would communicate these bloody things, eh? No, they rather trip over money…
Anyway. He got the paper that said he was a well behaving man, without being one, and got himself a job in Child Care. Got married, tried to adopt a baby. Thankfully, the adoption agencies got cold feet.
He chose his victims well. The ones that couldn’t speak yet. Meaning babies in the ages of about 6 months to 2 years. And yes that was on purpose, he said so. He also babysat at the homes of lots of people, raped their children on the family couch. Said afterwards he had a hard time (yes, seriously!!) to keep his erection clear from sight.
This man only got 20 years jailtime. I would LOVE to see this man shot down, getting a lethal injection or the electric chair. And not even because of his deeds. Because it is so very clear to me that this man will never learn. Will never care. He cooperated in the process, but didn’t apologise once. To any parent, legal advisor or whomever. He simply stated he was a paedophile who needs help and resisted any kind of jailtime, saying he wanted to start his treatment as soon as possible. He bullied the parents of the children by coming up with something new to deny his punishment. He fired his lawyers, so that the process had to be done again, he resisted being observed in a center for behavioral sciences and so on.
Aside that: if you rape over seventy children, how much of a chance is there that any child will EVER be safe around this sorry excuse of a human being? You know the answer: he will never cure from this. He says he wants help, but I have trouble believing this. Also: if you get help in this country, you do get weekends off. As I have stated before: you don’t want this man to ever breath in liberty again. You want him jailed. At all times. You can’t let him go.

So yes, death penalty sounds like a fair option for someone like this.

 
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Posted by on December 19, 2016 in Opinion

 

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Orange Is The New Black

This series on Netflix is quite a powerful one. It starts with Piper Chapman going to prison willingly for having transporting drugs with her friend, Alex Vause. This has been quite a while ago and in the meantime, Piper has broken up with Alex and started a new life with a man whom she is now engaged to.

Piper Chapman is based on a real person, most of the characters are too. Piper was an actual inmate and what happens inside is the real deal, though I’m sure lots of it is -at least a bit- romanticised aswell.

The series stars are Taylor Schilling as Chapman, who is very good at putting up a desperate, innocent face. Excellent for a newbie in prisonhood, I gotta say. Further more Laura Prepon, Uzo Aduba (who is effing great! Really, WOW!), Michael Harney (the big, sad looking Droopy dog, who you can’t help wanting to throw a bone at, every now and then, just to comfort him), Lea DeLaria (bloody funny), Kate Mulgrew (again: WOW! Ace play in every way, angry or loving, awardingly stunning), Natasha Lyonne (reminds me a bit of Rizzo from Grease, somehow; big mouth, tiny heart), Yael Stone, Jessica Pimentel, Laverne Cox (Fashion Police inside prison. At least, at first sight), Danielle Brooks, Samira Wiley (sweet bookworm), Nick Sandow and Annie Golden. That last one, who plays Norma, is especially worth mentioning, as she is an important part of the group, but secretly doesn’t speak until…well, when she does. Meanwhile, everybody knows her. You too. You keep seeing her. You don’t notice she doesn’t speak until the moment she does.

The first season shows Piper who is trying to survive prisonhood. As an inmate of a -sort of- light crime, she doesn’t want any trouble, as most new inmates probably would like, but prisonlife simply doesn’t lend itself for that attitude.
Orange Is The New Black shows the viewer that in prison, the law is no longer with you. You’re part of a zoo with the other inmates there to make the rules for you. Make that laws. Telling on others will get you into trouble and there is no protection. I think that’s the most important message this series send out. Why prison is shit.
The first season also shows quite a lot of girl-on-girl-sex. In such a way, it bores quite quickly actually. Like all of them are lesbians, or you become as such, just being bored and think ‘oh, what the heck’. Though I’m sure it was great for the viewers rate somehow, it did get old quite quickly. Or maybe I’m just not lesbian enough, I don’t know 😉

The second season starts with showing what exactly happens when the course of the lawsuit against you, proceeds. And how ill informed you can feel as an inmate when this happens. Given that I insist on not throwing spoilers in here -there’s enough of that on social media anyway- I’ll just state that given how season 1 ends, you as a viewer are also put on the wrong leg in season 2. Excellent, of course, because this is what you want to know. How does it work when you’re in prison? If you’re in the outside world, people, especially government people, are obliged to inform you what they are about to do. It is normal to get answers too. When you’re in trouble already, this changes.
This season has its dull/slow moments, but overall it’s exciting and keeps you on your toes regularly.

The third season, however, is though well acted (never a problem there, to be honest) not all that ‘hot’.
And I don’t mean the sex. There’s loads of slow moments in it. Red and Healy having a moment is sweet and does make it possible to slow down a bit without getting bored, but especially things between Piper and Alex, throughout the series, is very ‘Ross & Rachel’ at times. Utterly boring. They’re stuck with each other and they hate it, but being in prison kind of makes it impossible NOT to run into each other and get either mad with rage or frustrated with wanting to talk it over. You already saw Friends, you don’t need that kind of reliving.

The fourth season is picking up the pieces that were loose balls, thankfully.
Not a dull moment in that one.
It does, however, lack the angry, personal emotions that were still there in season 1 and 2. Season 3 ended in a way that made Piper look tough for a change, but for the fourth season they apparently had a change of heart. It’s also a bit weird to see the cast in a different shape. Like they’ve ages enormously in just 5 minutes. Boo suddenly dropped quite some weight and girls that seemed harsh and inhumane, suddenly soften up. It helps that an inmate who was away for some time, returns and makes jokes about it, as it really is undeniable.
I’ll give them that.
Then again, the season has a storyline that will give you the shivers at times. It shows the inmates as groups, perhaps that’s why on personal level, they’re suddenly less agressive towards newbies.
It also shows what happens when budget cuts happen in prison. That it means less care and less human acting against prisoners. And that it’s never the ‘right one’ to suffer from these consequences. That warders play by their own rules if they see fit and that their opinion about prisoners is quite different from what these prisoners are used to with Caputo, the director.
Who has grown up by now. Well, in ways of caring. Before, he actually had time to jerk off, now he is happy if he can spend about 5 minutes behind his desk to clear up the mess that’s been left by his new warders.
In season 1 there’s already a warder that wasn’t quite clean, in season 4 it really gets very ugly.

All seasons have an excellent cliffhanger to them, but I personally most liked the one presented in season 3. Because it makes you feel happy along with them.

 
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Posted by on June 21, 2016 in Opinion, series, Uncategorized

 

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Michael Caine and the Oscars

When a person is trending on twitter, it’s usually because they’re either dead or made a remark so controversial that half the twitter globe is tripping over it.
So when Michael Caine was trending -one of my favorite actors- I got scared. Especially as David Bowie, Alan Rickman and others have proved that 2016 is a shit year to begin with.

But no.

Michael Caine is very much alive, has just starred in a new movie and, as a result of that, gave an interview where he was asked his opinion on several subjects.
One of them being the Oscars and the boycot that popped up this year.
To be fair: I am very bad at picking sides when it comes to such sensitive subjects.
Then again, I’ve seen Whoopi Goldberg once, winning an Oscar (or Golden Globe, either way it was a prestigious price) and to me it was weirdly obvious she was gonna win that. Not just because I watched the particular video on Youtube and the video was simply titled ‘Whoopi Goldberg winning an Oscar’. I mean, that could have been the most important clue, I’ll give you that, but aside that: she was the only black woman being nominated at that moment, and Denzel Washington was supposed to hand it out.
Somehow that struck me.
No, there is nothing wrong with Denzel Washington. I loved him in ‘Remember the Titans’, and ‘The Pelican Brief’, and I was in awe with his performances in ‘The Bone Collector’ and ‘Fallen’.

But.

I do wonder if him and Whoopi didn’t mind -or did they applaude?- that they were, in a way, kept aside from the rest? It did look like that to me, but I could be wrong, ofcourse. It could be it was thought of as the right thing to do, in fact.
I think it shouldn’t matter who hands out the Oscar and to whom, so why should I even point it out, right? Well, because I did happen to notice and it makes me wonder if it was a coincidence or not?

The comments ‘perhaps they just weren’t good enough’ struck me as wrong too, because there are so many films being made, I do think the Academy Awards commission should force themselves to spread more variety in their little price circus. Of course, actors/actresses have to perform extraordinary, but I think lots of performances are overlooked aswell, where others are praised so easily. Almost too easily. I get that certain actors and actresses simply really take an effort to prepare for a role or are simply good at the job they’re doing and should be properly rewarded for that, but still. There’s so many others. Lots of them are fantastic at what they do. All of them.

I know films like The Maid and 12 Years A Slave or Precious weren’t made this year. Still, I think there’s more than moves with heavy drama that should be considered.

I also understand people think: ‘well hellloooo, I had to wait like 30-40 years to finally have a bloody Oscar, it shouldn’t be made so easy now?!’
Of course, this should not be the goal. A price that precious should be earned through hard work, just like always. I do think, however, that somehow the variety could be made more obvious. I mean I can understand the boycot that some choose. With so many films being made, it’s hard to believe none of the films that have been produced this year, no broader variety in nominations appeared. Especially after the controversy in the new Star Wars film. Not that those films have been known for their flawless acting (I saw the original series the other day, WTF, Luke & Leia, you call THAT convincing acting??;), but still.

 
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Posted by on January 24, 2016 in Films, Opinion

 

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Snowcake (review)

Alex Hughes (greatly portrayed by the now late Alan Rickman) has the ‘fortune’ of running into a girl named Vivian at a highway restaurant. At first it seems like a coincedence she joins his table, but soon it appears this isn’t so. She is a hitchhiker who needs a ride back to her mother, and Alex Hughes seems like the best option, in her opinion.
Alex isn’t too charmed about this. He tells her immediately he just got out of prison for killing someone. Just to make clear to her that even though he seemed the best option for hitchhiking at first, not everybody is.
Vivian feels sort of uncomfortable immediately, but her spontaneous nature lets her to believe he is OK-people, so to say.

Then the accident happens. The afterlife of the accident covers all, or at least most of this film.

This film has a funny storyline which you wouldn’t find that quickly amongst ‘normal’ functioning people. Highly spontaneous people who don’t believe in bad people perhaps, but that’s about it.
ALan Rickman has the right face to look confused for the many weird interactions he has with Linda (marvellously played by Sigourney Weaver). The two of them are a perfect duet of sanity & insanity, but within the context of the psychological borders that come with those.

While Alex tries to get a grip on the life he was about to pursue when he was released from prison, Linda has to cope with the loss all of her loved ones show for the loss of her daughter. Because of her autism, she is dealing with this in a far different way than anybody else.
Sigourney Weaver has made a proper study of this condition and therefor portrays this really well. In our family, we have someone with this condition and it was very recognisable.
The film is, dramatic as it is, a joy to watch because of the ridicule Linda puts in, with sidekicks Alan Rickman and Carrie-Ann Moss for the usual human interactions people deal with at such a time.
Basically, it’s a small town losing its favourite daughter.
Lovely. Go see!

 
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Posted by on January 14, 2016 in Films, Opinion, Uncategorized

 

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Ally McBeal

De serie was in de jaren negentig zwaar populair. Calista Flockhart die de titelrol vertolkte, kreeg weliswaar wisselende kritieken op haar figuur (wanneer krijgt een vrouw dat niet, overigens? Het is nooit goed: of ze is te dik en te lelijk, of ze is te dun en moest zich schamen. Het is toch nooit goed) maar op zichzelf was de serie een prettige verademing, verhalend over een advocatenkantoor vol idioten.
Want ja, daar kwam het op neer.
Het begon ermee hoe Ally daar op dat kantoor terechtkwam, allicht. Ook al door een rechtszaak en de toevallige ontmoeting op straat met Fisher, die ze nog van college kende. Die bood haar een plekje aan op zijn eigen kantoor. Een aanbod dat ze eerst afsloeg (‘het gaat jouw alleen maar om GELD!”) maar na een juridische aanvaring met een collega die z’n handen niet thuis kon houden, nam ze het dan toch aan. Probleempje: haar ex werkt er ook. Haar inmiddels getrouwde ex. Zijn vrouw ook. En is ze over hem heen? JA HOOR! (niet dus)

De serie moest het aanvankelijk van Ally’s neuroses hebben, gaandeweg werd de clientele steeds debieler en idioter. Rechters met een fetish voor schone tanden, een rechter die een affaire bleek te hebben met een van de kantoorgenoten en zo nog een paar.

Hoewel het een vergaapcircus aan rariteiten was, verloor de serie daarmee op een goed moment ook z’n daadkracht. Het rare werd gewoon. Dus steeds weer nieuwe mensen aantrekken met rare trekjes. De serie begon daarnaast aanvankelijk met een soort gefotoshopte ‘The Mask’karikaturen . Een paar vrouwen die een man verlekkerd nakijken, kregen tongen van een meter die uit openstaande bekken rolden. Op een gegeven moment was daar niets meer van terug te vinden. Heel jammer, want ik denk dat een deel van die zwaar overdreven uitingen nu net hetgene was waar men voor bleef hangen. Het stond ver van de realiteit, dus grappig.

In plaats daarvan maakte de serie de fout door Billy, Ally’s ex dus, niet alleen te laten scheiden, maar daarnaast ook nog een heel seizoen lang te laten doodgaan aan een vervelende kanker.
Toen dat seizoen voorbij was, begon de serie bovendien stiekem opnieuw. Deze keer was het Ally die op straat tegen iemand aan botste. Een jonge, vrouwelijke advocate, die met een gebroken hart om werk verlegen zat. Ondertussen bleek de ex van deze jongedame ook bij Ally op kantoor rond te lopen en werd Ally zelf ineens de psychisch begeleidende kracht voor dit stel.

Waardeloos.

De eerste drie seizoenen zijn, hoewel inhoudelijk niet meer de sterkste -Boston Legal kwam daarna en vele malen idioter, beter en diepgaander- nog best te doen.

 

This series was incredibly popular in the nineties. Calista Flockhart, playing the titlerole was given mixed reviews (when doesn’t a woman get those? Either she’s too thin so it’s unhealthy, or she’s too fat, or not pleasing to the eye in a different way; no way to escape, really!) but in itself the series was exciting, new, about a lawyers’ office filled with idiots.
Because yes, that was pretty much what it was all about.
It all started with the way Ally became part of that office, of course. Walking down the streets, she runs into FIsher, an old college mate, who offers her a job at his new office. Ally rejects the offer, as she knows that all he cares about is money. She wants to help people. Then, she got into legal trouble at the office she actually worked at. A bastard who can’t keep his hands to himself. She doesn’t have a case in the end, so she quits and goes to the office of Fisher. To discover that the ex she left years ago is working there. With his wife. Is she over him? YES, SURE! (SOOOO not!)

This series was, in the beginning, thriving on Ally’s neuroses. After that, her colleagues and their clients just became weirder and weirder, including judges with weird fetishes, such as clean teeth and one that actually slept with one of the office members.

Although it was a weird and wild circus in this show, it did loose its edge after a while because of that. Weird became normal. That’s why you tuned in, no? It no longer surprised, in a way. So they kept carrying in new people with weird quirky things to pep it up. Whilst the series began with The Mask-like photoshopped items (women turning their head, jaws on the floor, a tongue of 3 miles falling out), after a while, this was no longer being used. I do think this is what the show lacked in continuity. That was, in the beginning, what made people tune in, I think. So when that was taken out, it lost its appeal.

Next to that, the show made the mistake to allow Billy to die for a whole season of a dreadful cancer. I didn’t even want to see that season as it was so far gone already. The season after that, the show basically committed suicide by secretly starting over: Ally bumped into a young attorney in the streets. A young woman who was going through a tough break with her boyfriend. Ally hired her for the office, just at the same time one of her associates had hired….the ex of this woman. BOOM! Same situation, different -less known- actors. From there, the series really had nothing to go to. Jon Bon Jovi was probably hired to make up for some of it, but in the end, the show was actually only good for the first three seasons. After that, they should have stopped.

You better watch Boston Legal for fun, idiotic humour and even some deep thoughts on how the law works. Actual matters. 

 
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Posted by on January 6, 2016 in Opinion

 

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