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Harb



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PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 9:40 am    Post subject: The Great Movie Post Reply with quote

Just migrating the movie talk from the wrestling thread.

HelloDes wrote:
Best ten Best Pictures:
The Godfather Part 2
The Godfather
Casablanca
The Best Years of Our Lives
The Silence of the Lambs
Unforgiven
Annie Hall
The Apartment
Amadeus
Gone with the Wind

Best twenty-five movies nominated for Best Picture that didn't win:
Citizen Kane
Pulp Fiction
Dr. Strangelove
Apocalypse Now
E.T.
Raging Bull
Goodfellas
Network
The Graduate
The Awful Truth
The Wizard of Oz
Raiders of the Lost Ark
Grand Illusion
Tootsie
The Great Dictator
Fargo
L.A. Confidential
Moonstruck
All the President's Men
Chinatown
Jaws
Hannah and Her Sisters
Toy Story 3
Double Indemnity
Butch Cassidy & the Sundance Kid

(Methodology: Choices and order pulled out of my ass.)


Of your top 10 winners I've seen Godfather 1 and 2, Unforgiven (my favorite move of all time), Silence of the Lambs, and Casablanca. I intend every year to try to watch some of these other classics, but I always end up watching Card Sharks reruns instead. I consider this homework once I find out how many, if any, are on Netflix.

I've seen many more of the top 25 not to win. Toy Story 3 is my favorite Disney movie and probably cracks my all-time Top 10, if not Top 5. I've also seen Jaws, LA Confidential, Tootsie, Raiders, Wizard of Oz, Pulp Fiction (in my all-time top 10), ET, Goodfellas, Fargo, and Citizen Kane. I'm pretty deficient in classic movies from before I was born because it actually takes some effort to see them.
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 2:59 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I used the Oscar list because it was handy and I wasn't writing a manifesto. That's a very limited approach, though. For example, the three best movies of 1989 were (unless I'm forgetting stuff), "Crimes and Misdemeanors," "Do the Right Thing" and "Heathers," none of which was even nominated.

For 1985, I'd go "Brazil," "Back to the Future," "The Purple Rose of Cairo" and "My Life As a Dog." 0-for-4.

But 1976, the Academy got right: "Network," "All the President's Men," "Rocky" and "Taxi Driver," all nominated. But they shoulda ditched "Bound for Glory" and replaced it with "The Bad News Bears."
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PostPosted: Tue Jul 18, 2017 7:25 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

HelloDes wrote:
I used the Oscar list because it was handy and I wasn't writing a manifesto. That's a very limited approach, though. For example, the three best movies of 1989 were (unless I'm forgetting stuff), "Crimes and Misdemeanors," "Do the Right Thing" and "Heathers," none of which was even nominated.

For 1985, I'd go "Brazil," "Back to the Future," "The Purple Rose of Cairo" and "My Life As a Dog." 0-for-4.

But 1976, the Academy got right: "Network," "All the President's Men," "Rocky" and "Taxi Driver," all nominated. But they shoulda ditched "Bound for Glory" and replaced it with "The Bad News Bears."


All these years later, I still can't get behind Brazil. It's directed by a director I like, has a great cast, it's been brought up by many friends as "a movie you'd probably like" because of its tone and my love for most dystopian sci-fy-y things like Blade Runner and a million other things I love, and I consistently disappoint everyone by saying "You know what, I didn't really like it that much".
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PostPosted: Wed Jul 19, 2017 2:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Holy Grail" aside, the only two Terry Gilliam movies that really work are "Brazil" and "Twelve Monkeys." His other stuff tends to get drowned by design, clutter and weirdness.

"Brazil" and "Twelve Monkeys" both have resounding levels of design, clutter and weirdness as well, but I think they serve the movie rather than are the movie.

I have the same consistent reaction to Tim Burton's movies.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 20, 2017 5:30 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

HelloDes wrote:

I have the same consistent reaction to Tim Burton's movies.


Call it nostalgia or a generational thing, but I'll always love Tim Burton circa 1985-1994. Basically Pee-Wee's Big Adventure through Ed Wood. He's been more miss than hit for me since that time, although there's been a few that I liked ok (Big Eyes) or loved (Sweeney Todd), but I can't really say I get excited about news of a new Tim Burton project anymore.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 21, 2017 2:06 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I like "Ed Wood" and "Sweeney Todd," not really anything else.

It must be that I only like Tim Burton movies that have a proper name. Except for "Edward Scissorhands" and "Alice N. Wonderland."

Caveat: I've "only" seen 9 or 10 of his movies. I think that's plenty to arrive at a judgement, but I concede there could be a third Burton film I'd like in the unwatched section.

For me, there's just way too much "forlorn weirdo walks uncertainly through a life-sized Colorforms play set."
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Harb



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PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2017 9:09 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I watched "The Shining" last week for the first time. My impression is overall positive, but movies and tv shows that throw in nonsensical sequences just for the sake of being weird kind of put me off. I love Twin Peaks, but always tune out for the dancing dwarf. This movie had a few of those scenes. And I know Nicholson's performance got raves, but it seemed like a master class in overacting to me.

I'm now an hour into "Boyhood". I've retained interest but it may be something that underwhelms when you take the hype into account. "It was filmed over 11 years! Automatic 5 stars!"

Speaking of weird, shitty movies, "Tree of Life" anyone? I hated that piece of garbage more than "The Ladies Man" and "Monster-in-Law" combined.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2017 2:10 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

Harb wrote:
I watched "The Shining" last week for the first time. My impression is overall positive, but movies and tv shows that throw in nonsensical sequences just for the sake of being weird kind of put me off. I love Twin Peaks, but always tune out for the dancing dwarf. This movie had a few of those scenes. And I know Nicholson's performance got raves, but it seemed like a master class in overacting to me.

I'm now an hour into "Boyhood". I've retained interest but it may be something that underwhelms when you take the hype into account. "It was filmed over 11 years! Automatic 5 stars!"

Speaking of weird, shitty movies, "Tree of Life" anyone? I hated that piece of garbage more than "The Ladies Man" and "Monster-in-Law" combined.



I love The Shining. If you want to appreciate it more, maybe watch that Shining miniseries they did in the '90s. Stephen King didn't like what Kubrick did with the movie, so they made a miniseries more true to his vision. It turns out that his vision is worse than Stanley Kubrick's.

Twin Peaks is one of my favorite things of all-time. I'm all in for dwarves, Abraham Lincoln-looking murderers, and whatever else David Lynch throws at me.

I saw Boyhood in the theater when it came out, pre-hype-levels-in-overdrive and Oscar nominations. I really liked it. I don't know if it'll hold up if I see it again on tv at some point.

I didn't like The Tree of Life when I saw it in the theater, but there's a bunch of stuff from that film that has stuck with me. Unfortunately, Malick has gone further down that rabbithole since, and Knight of Cups was a big pile of nothing.
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PostPosted: Thu Jul 27, 2017 4:57 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

It must be hard coming to something like "The Shining" (or "Silence of the Lambs," or "Titanic" or "The Graduate" or "Psycho" or "The Godfather, or...) decades after its images and ideas have been thoroughly strip-mined, referenced, parodied, quoted and re-re-re-regurgitated throughout popular culture. Imagine someone sitting down to watch their first episode of "The Simpsons" today.

I definitely get what you're saying about the doorway voyeurism of Cosplay Paddington giving The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit a blow job of evil, though.

One thing that's great about "The Shining" is that the physical layout of the hotel is structurally impossible. As the movie progresses and we return to the same areas of the hotel, hallways and corners vanish or move, we travel to rooms that are beyond the building's outer perimeter, windows are misplaced, etc. As viewers, we sense this, and it causes imperceptible unease. It's ingenious. I know people have gone over the details in extremely detailed detail online.

David Lynch and Terrence Malick are in the same wing of moviemaking, in that they value imagery and mood above all else, to the point where you can wonder if there even is an else. "Tree of Life" has some beautiful things in it, as it tries to be a poem onscreen. But I definitely had competing reactions of "Ooooh" and "WTF," often at the same time. Most of Malick's movies seem to dissolve into dust specks floating in golden light. And most of Lynch's movies eventually get to the point where an aging cowboy is an uncomfortable fit for the nightclub he's in, while a faint discordant buzz tone is heard. Also, the cowboy appears in no other scenes.

I adored "Boyhood," up to and including the digressions. So much so that I'm almost afraid to rewatch it, since a lot of the events are mundane and the plot is literally about time elapsing. But then, so are the "Up" series of British documentaries that come out every 7 years, which are remarkable and unforgettable. You might not want to see them all, but you can't go wrong with "28 Up" or "35 Up."

It's unfair to react negatively to the "Boyhood" hype, when the manner of its filming is the entire theme of the film, and what gives it its effectiveness. The unique shooting schedule (or the Oscar campaign) shouldn't dink the movie for you. I know someone who disliked "Citizen Kane" entirely because of the whole "Prepare yourself to behold the greatest movie ever movied!!!" cultural preamble. Nobody should ever feel obliged to love the entirety of somebody else's official list. Or to perfectly align their enthusiasm with the volume of publicity, or weight of reputation.
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PostPosted: Fri Jul 28, 2017 1:10 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

HelloDes wrote:
Nobody should ever feel obliged to love the entirety of somebody else's official list. Or to perfectly align their enthusiasm with the volume of publicity, or weight of reputation.


This just kind of reminded me of a moment from Doug Benson's Doug Loves Movies podcast. Jeff Garlin & Benson were talking about how they didn't enjoy Inception. (This was probably a week or two after it had been released.) Christopher Mintz-Plasse, of "McLovin from Superbad" fame, replied incredulously "What?! But it's like, the best movie ever!"

Garlin laughed and sighed. "Well... you're young."
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PostPosted: Sat Jul 29, 2017 9:19 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I guess our comparison isn't so original. The website PopMatters just ran a movie discussion between two of its contributors that immediately brings up "The Tree of Life" and "Mulholland Dr."

Quote:
Brice Ezell: The best description I’ve read of Terrence Malick’s recent crop of films comes from Jesse Hassenger’s review of Song to Song, Malick’s newest flick, published at The AV Club. Hassenger writes, “With Song To Song, Malick completes a trilogy of experimental B-sides to [The Tree of] Life’s daunting A-side.”

...The Tree of Life represents the culmination of Malick’s aesthetic; Roger Ebert was quite right to in 2012 update his list of the greatest films of all time to include it. To the Wonder, Knight of Cups, and Song to Song all feel like tributaries streaming away from but still sourced in The Tree of Life‘s river. Of those three pictures, Knight of Cups comes closest not only to matching the visual excellence of The Tree of Life but also standing alone as a great film in its own right.

Before I wax any more poetic about Knight of Cups, I have to ask about your viewing experience, Evan. Though I consider myself a big Malick fan, I’m not blind to the aspects of his style that with these last three films of his veer headfirst into self-parody. I also know that Malick eschews narrative to such a point that even the most ambitious film viewer might want to abandon ship. So, do you have any love for the film, as I do, or did you feel as lost as Christian Bale at a party hosted by Antonio Banderas?

Evan Sawdey: Well, you see Brice, sometimes you want raspberry ... then after a while you want some strawberry. Oh, sorry, caught myself quoting one of Knight of Cups too-iconic lines.

I’m kidding, of course. Bear in mind: while I don’t consider 2011’s The Tree of Life one of the greatest films of all time (sorry, Roger), it does touch on something much more personal, much more human. I was one of the rare advocates of the entire “creation of the earth” sequence, ‘cos goddamn that score did so much heavy lifting, imbuing stock animation with tension in a way few films before or after have been able to capture. Even keen lovers of Tree still have to admit that the Sean Penn portions are, well, meandering. For something that is a summation of the power and totality of life, boy do the “future” Penn portions feel disjointed, adrift, and searching, presented in gorgeous style but hoping you, the viewer, will ascribe meaning to it.

It’s a bold choice, and before we dig into the profound critical reasoning as to why Knight of Cups sucks, I’d like to pull another Roger Ebert quote, one that comes up a lot when I think about any film that takes a strong non-linear or experimental stance. “This is a movie to surrender yourself to. If you require logic, see something else,” he said back in his review in 2001. “Mulholland Drive works directly on the emotions, like music. Individual scenes play well by themselves, as they do in dreams, but they don’t connect in a way that makes sense—again, like dreams. The way you know the movie is over is that it ends.”

...With [The Tree of Life], it’s as if he felt he perfected his style, so made three more films in that aesthetic. When you go into a Malick film now, you can expect 70mm-ready handheld camera work, unusual angles, muted performances from all the actors involved, and sawing, ethereal music overplaying the emotional backing of every scene. It’s almost as if he boiled down his essence into that of an art-house cookie cutter, and much like any batch of cookies: some batches are better than others.

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PostPosted: Fri Aug 04, 2017 8:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I haven't watched many "classics" lately (unless you count Spiderman: Homecoming as a classic), but I did finish Boyhood. Even being a "post-hype" watcher I couldn't help but be taken in by the gimmick of it. I liked how they did the subtle transitioning of the passage of time rather than flashing "FIVE YEARS LATER" up on the screen each time. The only place it failed was in Patricia Arquette's and Ethan Hawke's apparent inability to age very much. Patricia at least had different haircuts to tip us off that we had jumped ahead. Overall, I thought it was great, though there probably won't be much re-watchability there, but that can probably be said for MOST movies.

My wife works in the WVU Library and I asked her to bring home Annie Hall, Moonstruck, Raging Bull, and Taxi Driver, none of which I have ever seen. Should have them finished by 2019 at the latest.

But, in much bigger movie news: http://www.tmz.com/2017/08/03/sylvester-stallone-mayweather-three-hundred-million/

I'm sure our good friend IsaacYankemAndroid is already on top of this news. Maybe they won't screw Sly out of an Oscar this time.
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PostPosted: Sun Aug 06, 2017 10:53 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

The top comedies of the 21st century, presumably according to Rotten Tomatoes score (the list is from a different website called Metacritic):

1. Sideways
2. Toni Erdmann
3. Borat: And So On
4. The Grand Budapest Hotel
5. Love and Friendship
6. The Kids Are All Right
7. The Treasure
7. 24 Hour Party People
7. About Schmidt
7. Knocked Up
11. Moonrise Kingdom
11. Mutual Appreciation
13. Everybody Wants Some!
13. Adaptation
13. In the Loop
16. School of Rock
16. The Trip
18. A Mighty Wind
18. Juno
18. Top Five
18. Hot Fuzz
18. Midnight in Paris
18. The World's End
18. Silver Linings Playbook
25. Tristam Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story
25. Little Miss Sunshine
27. High Fidelity
27. Beautiful People

Some unfocused thoughts. Whoever compiled this list has a very liberal... an expansive... an inclusive... open door... elastic... bullshit view of what a comedy is. Apparently anything Steve Coogan touches (that isn't a "Night in the Museum" entry) is a classic. Spoiler: not so. Critics liked "Grand Budapest Hotel" better than "Moonrise Kingdom"; critics were wrong.

I have seen 17 of these 28 movies, and I think 2 of them are great comedies. Either this doesn't speak well of me or it doesn't speak well of Rotten Tomatoes. One of us must be taken down hard.

Another 4 of them I liked, but not all of those 4 are comedies. Three of them I found nearly insufferable. Two of them I saw once, but they washed over me like lukewarm water even though others adore them... and those two are tied! Five of them I'd never heard of. You can try and guess which are which, if you feel like it. That seems about as much fun as some of these movies are comedies.

The first movie that I checked on Rotten Tomatoes showed a different score than the one it has on this list. It's now 1 point better. I understand that further reviews can trickle in, but the particular movie is from 2000. Those are some lazy-ass critics. Give me another couple of weeks and maybe I'll have finally formulated an opinion on "Oceans Eleven."

Some 21st-century comedies that are superior to virtually everything here include "Superbad," "The Incredibles" (and "Ratatouille," and "Toy Story 2 and 3" and "Finding Nemo" and "Monsters Inc." and probably more), "Anchorman," "Bridesmaids," "This is the End," "Shrek," "Tropic Thunder," all three "Jackass" movies, "The Pirates of the Caribbean," "The Emperor's New Groove," "Deadpool," "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" (more of a comedy than many if not most of the above picks), "Four Lions" (again, just comedy-ish with an emphasis on ish), "In Bruges" (again...), both "Kill Bill"s (again...), "Her" (again...), maybe "Team America" if you catch me on the right day, plus some I must have forgotten. But I guess I should see "Toni Erdmann."
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 8:20 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

HelloDes wrote:
The top comedies of the 21st century, presumably according to Rotten Tomatoes score (the list is from a different website called Metacritic):

1. Sideways
2. Toni Erdmann
3. Borat: And So On
4. The Grand Budapest Hotel
5. Love and Friendship
6. The Kids Are All Right
7. The Treasure
7. 24 Hour Party People
7. About Schmidt
7. Knocked Up
11. Moonrise Kingdom
11. Mutual Appreciation
13. Everybody Wants Some!
13. Adaptation
13. In the Loop
16. School of Rock
16. The Trip
18. A Mighty Wind
18. Juno
18. Top Five
18. Hot Fuzz
18. Midnight in Paris
18. The World's End
18. Silver Linings Playbook
25. Tristam Shandy: A Cock and Bull Story
25. Little Miss Sunshine
27. High Fidelity
27. Beautiful People

Some unfocused thoughts. Whoever compiled this list has a very liberal... an expansive... an inclusive... open door... elastic... bullshit view of what a comedy is. Apparently anything Steve Coogan touches (that isn't a "Night in the Museum" entry) is a classic. Spoiler: not so. Critics liked "Grand Budapest Hotel" better than "Moonrise Kingdom"; critics were wrong.

I have seen 17 of these 28 movies, and I think 2 of them are great comedies. Either this doesn't speak well of me or it doesn't speak well of Rotten Tomatoes. One of us must be taken down hard.

Another 4 of them I liked, but not all of those 4 are comedies. Three of them I found nearly insufferable. Two of them I saw once, but they washed over me like lukewarm water even though others adore them... and those two are tied! Five of them I'd never heard of. You can try and guess which are which, if you feel like it. That seems about as much fun as some of these movies are comedies.

The first movie that I checked on Rotten Tomatoes showed a different score than the one it has on this list. It's now 1 point better. I understand that further reviews can trickle in, but the particular movie is from 2000. Those are some lazy-ass critics. Give me another couple of weeks and maybe I'll have finally formulated an opinion on "Oceans Eleven."

Some 21st-century comedies that are superior to virtually everything here include "Superbad," "The Incredibles" (and "Ratatouille," and "Toy Story 2 and 3" and "Finding Nemo" and "Monsters Inc." and probably more), "Anchorman," "Bridesmaids," "This is the End," "Shrek," "Tropic Thunder," all three "Jackass" movies, "The Pirates of the Caribbean," "The Emperor's New Groove," "Deadpool," "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind" (more of a comedy than many if not most of the above picks), "Four Lions" (again, just comedy-ish with an emphasis on ish), "In Bruges" (again...), both "Kill Bill"s (again...), "Her" (again...), maybe "Team America" if you catch me on the right day, plus some I must have forgotten. But I guess I should see "Toni Erdmann."


Of that list of 27 I've seen Borat, Knocked Up, Moonrise Kingdom, School of Rock, Juno, Silver Linings Playbook, Little Miss Sunshine. I may have seen "A Mighty Wind", but it has been a long time and I'm not entirely sure.

I've heard tons of people say they enjoyed Moonrise Kingdom, so I'm sure it's just me, but I would put that in the same category as Tree of Life. I just didn't get it, I suppose.

On the list of films you said were superior to all on the first, I've seen (and greatly enjoyed) ALL of them, except Four Lions, which I don't even think I've heard of.

I watched "Annie Hall" over the weekend. My experience with Woody Allen's library is extremely limited. I think before this, only "Scoop" was on the list because I found it somewhere for $3 and Scarlett Johannson looked pretty on the cover. My movie tastes are quite intellectual as you can see.

I wasn't sure for that reason how I was going to feel about it, but it came off way more modern than I expected, which scares me as it came out before I was born and only about a month after I was conceived. I enjoyed it. I have nothing too deep to say beyond that, but I think the fact that it felt to me like it could have been released today was a pretty good compliment. It did lose some points for misspelling Christopher Walken (Wlaken) on the credits.
Also, this is my second straight "classic" to feature Shelley Duvall. I guess I'll go with "Popeye" next.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 3:38 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

"Four Lions" is a vaguely comedic film about a group of homegrown British jihadists plotting a terror attack. It's from Chris Morris, who has virtually no standing or reputation in America, but is one of the great comedians of the last 25 years. He did three brilliant series purporting to be news: "On the Hour," a BBC Radio program, "The Day Today," which was a similar project but on television, and "Brass Eye," which pretended to be issues-oriented journalism. You can access most of it online.

The style of those shows is absolutely transferable to American audiences. It features a wild mix of vicious satire and black comedy, absurdist non sequiturs, deadpan prank comedy, and exaggerated visual takedowns of idiotic newscast flash and gimmickry.

The Alan Partridge character first appeared on the first two series before going off to his own reign of greatness. And one of the central writers of the first two series is the guy who created "Veep."

Anyway, "Four Lions" is a very unusual movie, more sad than funny, futile and claustrophobic, with one of Morris' typically audacious and provocative premises. I can't think of another black comedy that quite matches its tone.

Woody Allen is the greatest comedy writer of the last fifty years, and has numerous must-see films. ("Scoop" is not one of them.) Besides "Annie Hall," I guess I would most vigorously agitate for:

Manhattan
Crimes and Misdemeanors
Hannah and Her Sisters
The Purple Rose of Cairo
Love and Death
Sleeper
Zelig

But he has many others that have merit. Also, his 1960s standup comedy was A++.

Wes Anderson (Mr. "Moonrise Kingdom") is twee and mannered, very much an acquired taste. All of his movies feature characters frozen in Family Feud poses and staring at the camera in entirely yellow sitting rooms (or they feel like it).

"Rushmore" is unique and fabulous, and the only one of his films that's wholly satisfying. "Moonrise Kingdom" would be the next-best. The other four I've seen (of six) haven't really done it for me. Too much set design and affected emotional reserve.
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PostPosted: Mon Aug 07, 2017 5:15 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I just want to chime in to co-sign that Four Lions is a brilliant movie. It really is a special work that has a tone where I can't even think of a comparable film.
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