Cannes Film Festival Mini-List Discussion + Suggestions

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domino harvey
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Cannes Film Festival Mini-List Discussion + Suggestions

#1 Post by domino harvey » Sun Apr 30, 2017 1:08 pm

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MINI-LIST PROJECT: CANNES FILM FESTIVAL
TOP AWARD WINNERS

May 06 - July 01


The most influential film festival in the world still holds some mythical cachet, and we will do our best to demystify its sometimes inexplicable top choices by picking our favorites from ~70 years of top awards. While the first prize hasn’t always been called the Palme d’Or, all eligible films awarded the top prize or its equivalent are eligible for voting. A full list follows in this post. You may not vote for any film not listed below. There is also an optional appendix vote for the never-awarded 1968 top prize.

SUBMISSION GUIDELINES
The minimum and standard number of submitted films for each participating member is 10, in ranked order (With number one being the best and so on down the line). However, if you feel especially well-versed in the eligible films or just can’t bare to limit yourself to a mere ten titles, you may submit up to twenty ranked titles (ie 20 total max) or any variant number between ten and twenty (so yes, your list may contain thirteen films, but we’re all going to assume you are referencing that Holly Hunter remake of Kids if you do so).

Members who submit only ten films and those who submit a maximum twenty titles will still be on even footing when it comes to the points assigned for the top ten (ie the film in their number one slot will be worth twenty points on everyone’s list).

Lists should be PMed to me, domino harvey, no later than July 1st. No lists will be accepted before May 6th


ELIGIBLE FILMS

1939 Union Pacific (Cecil B DeMille, US) Voted on and presented in 2002 R1 Universal

1946 Eleven films tied for the top prize. You may vote for any and/or all of these. Deep breath:
Brief Encounter (David Lean, UK) R1/A Criterion
De røde enge (Bodil Ipsen & Lau Lauritzen, Jr, Denmark)
Die Letzte Chance (Leopold Lindtberg, Switzerland)
Iris och löjtnantshjärta (Alf Sjöberg, Sweden)
La symphonie pastorale (Jean Delannoy, France)
the Lost Weekend (Billy Wilder, US) R1 Universal / R2/B Masters of Cinema
María Candelaria (Emilio Fernández, Mexico)
Muži bez křídel (František Čáp, Czechoslovakia)
Neecha Nagar (Chetan Anand, India)
Rome, Open City / Roma, città aperta (Roberto Rossellini, Italy) R1/A Criterion / RB BFI
the Turning Point / Velikij perelom (Fridrikh Ermler, Soviet Union)

1947 No overall top prize. You may vote for any and/or all of these films named “Best” in their category:
Antoine et Antoinette (Jacques Becker, France) Best Psychological and Love Film RB Gaumont
Crossfire (Edward Dmytryk, US) Best Social Film R1 Warners
Les Maudits / the Damned (Rene Clement, France) Best Adventure and Crime Film R1/A Cohen Media
Ziegfeld Follies (Various, US) Best Musical Comedy R1 Warners

1948 No festival

1949 the Third Man (Carol Reed, UK) R1/A Criterion (OOP) / Studio Canal

1950 No festival

1951 Miss Julie / Fröken Julie (Alf Sjöberg, Sweden) R1 Criterion
Miracle in Milan / Miracolo a Milano (Vittorio de Sica, Italy) R2/B Arrow

1952 Due soldi di speranza (Renato Castellani, Italy)
Othello (Orson Welles, US) R1/A Criterion

1953 the Wages of Fear / Le salaire de la peur (Henri-Georges Clouzot, France) R1/A Criterion / R2/B BFI

1954 Gate of Hell / Jigokumon (Teinosuke Kinugasa, Japan) R1/A Criterion

1955 Marty (Delbert Mann, US) R1/A Kino

1956 the Silent World / Le monde du silence (Jacques Cousteau & Louis Malle, France)

1957 Friendly Persuasion (William Wyler, US) R1 Warners

1958 the Cranes are Flying / Letyat zhuravli (Mikhail Kalatozov, Soviet Union) R1 Criterion

1959 Black Orpheus / Orfeu Negro (Marcel Camus, France) R1/A Criterion

1960 La dolce vita (Federico Fellini, Italy) R1/A Criterion

1961 Une aussi longue absence (Henri Colpi, France)
Viridiana (Luis Buñuel, Mexico) R1 Criterion

1962 O Pagador de Promessas (Anselmo Duarte, Brazil)

1963 the Leopard / l gattopardo (Luchino Visconti, Italy) R1/A Criterion

1964 the Umbrellas of Cherbourg / Les parapluies de Cherbourg (Jacques Demy, France) R1/A Criterion

1965 the Knack …and How to Get It (Richard Lester, UK) R1/A Kino

1966 A Man and a Woman / Un homme et une femme (Claude LeLouch, France) R1 Warners (OOP)
Signore e signori (Pietro Germi, Italy)

1967 Blowup (Michelangelo Antonioni, Italy) R1/A Criterion

1968 No festival (See appendix at bottom)

1969 If… (Lindsay Anderson, UK) R1/A Criterion

1970 M*A*S*H (Robert Altman, US) R1/A Fox

1971 the Go-Between (Joseph Losey, UK) R2/B Optimum / Studio Canal

1972 the Mattei Affair / l caso Mattei (Francesco Rosi, Italy)
the Working Class Goes to Heaven / La classe operaia va in paradiso (Elio Petri, Italy)

1973 the Hireling (Alan Bridges, UK)
Scarecrow (Jerry Schatzberg, US) R1 Warners

1974 the Conversation (Francis Ford Coppola, US) R1/A Lionsgate

1975 Chronique des années de braise (Mohammed Lakhdar-Hamina, Algeria)

1976 Taxi Driver (Martin Scorsese, US) R1/A Sony

1977 Padre Padrone (Paolo Taviani & Vittorio Taviani, Italy) R1/A Cohen Media / R2/B Arrow

1978 the Tree of Wooden Clogs / L’albero degli zoccoli (Ermanno Olmi, Italy) R1/A Criterion

1979 Apocalypse Now (Francis Ford Coppola, US) R1/A Paramount
the Tin Drum / Die Blechtrommel (Volker Schlöndorff, West Germany) R1/A Criterion

1980 All That Jazz (Bob Fosse, US) R1/A Criterion
Kagemusha (Akira Kurosawa, Japan) R1/A Criterion

1981 Man of Iron / Człowiek z żelaza (Andrzej Wajda, Poland) RABC Masterpieces of Polish Cinema Volume One

1982 Missing (Costa-Gavras, Greece) R1 Criterion
Yol (Yılmaz Güney & Şerif Gören, Turkey)

1983 the Ballad of Narayama / Narayama bushikō (Shohei Imamura, Japan) R2/B Masters of Cinema

1984 Paris, Texas (Wim Wenders, West Germany) R1/A Criterion

1985 When Father Was Away on Business / Otac na službenom putu (Emir Kusturica, Yugoslavia) R2 Artificial Eye

1986 the Mission (Roland Joffé, UK) R1/A Warners

1987 Under the Sun of Satan / Sous le soleil de Satan (Maurice Pialat, France) R1/A Cohen Media / R2 Masters of Cinema

1988 Pelle the Conquerer / Pelle erobreren (Bille August, Denmark)

1989 sex, lies, and videotape (Steven Soderbergh, US) R1/A Lionsgate

1990 Wild at Heart (David Lynch, US) R1 Kino / RA Twilight Time (OOP)

1991 Barton Fink (Joel Coen, US) R1 Fox

1992 the Best Intentions / Den goda viljan (Bille August, Denmark) R1/A Film Movement (theatrical cut only)

1993 Farewell My Concubine / Bàwáng bié jī (Chen Kaige, China) R2/B BFI
the Piano (Jane Campion, New Zealand) R1/A Lionsgate

1994 Pulp Fiction (Quentin Tarantino, US) R1/A Lionsgate

1995 Underground / Podzemlje (Emir Kusturica, Serbia) R1/A Kino / R2/B BFI

1996 Secrets & Lies (Mike Leigh, UK) RB

1997 the Eel / Unagi (Shohei Imamura, Japan)
Taste of Cherry / Ta'm-e gīlās (Abbas Kiarostami, Iran) R1 Criterion

1998 Eternity and a Day / Mia aio̱nióti̱ta kai mia méra (Theodoros Angelopoulos, Greece) R2 Artificial Eye

1999 Rosetta (Jean-Pierre Dardenne & Luc Dardenne, Belgium) R1/A Criterion

2000 Dancer in the Dark (Lars von Trier, Denmark) R1 Sony / RABC Koch Media

2001 the Son’s Room / La stanza del figlio (Nanni Moretti, Italy) R1 Miramax (OOP)

2002 the Pianist (Roman Polanski, France) R1/A Lionsgate

2003 Elephant (Gus Van Sant, US) R1 HBO

2004 Fahrenheit 9/11 (Michael Moore, US) R1 Sony

2005 L'enfant (Jean-Pierre Dardenne & Luc Dardenne, Belgium) R1 Sony

2006 the Wind That Shakes the Barley (Ken Loach, Ireland) R1 IFC (OOP)

2007 4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days / 4 luni, 3 săptămâni şi 2 zile (Cristian Mungiu, Romania) R1 IFC / R2/B Artificial Eye

2008 the Class / Entre les murs (Laurent Cantet, France) R1 Sony

2009 the White Ribbon / Das weiße Band, Eine deutsche Kindergeschichte (Michael Haneke, Austria) R1/A Sony

2010 Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (Apichatpong Weerasethakul, Thailand) R1/A Strand Releasing

2011 the Tree of Life (Terrence Malick, US) R1/A Fox

2012 Amour (Michael Haneke, Austria) R1/A Sony

2013 Blue is the Warmest Color / La Vie d'Adèle: Chapitres 1 et 2 (Abdellatif Kechiche, France) R1/A Criterion

2014 Winter Sleep / Kış Uykusu (Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Turkey) R1/A Adopt Film

2015 Dheepan (Jacques Audiard, France) R1/A Criterion

2016 I, Daniel Blake (Ken Loach, UK)


1968 HONORARY GRAND PRIX APPENDIX
Due to the Mai ’68 turmoil in France, the 1968 Cannes Film Festival was scrapped. However, the list of films competing for the Grand Prix du Festival International du Film (the contemporary title of the Palme d’Or) were announced prior to cancelation. Since no award was given, you can’t vote for any of these in your overall ballot. However, you may choose one of these as your vote for 1968’s top prize, and I will announce our board’s Honorary 1968 Grand Prix du Festival International du Film winner with the rest of the findings. The eligible films are listed below— you may use this thread to discuss any of these eligible films, lobby for your choice, &c

ELIGIBLE FILMS FOR 1968 TOP PRIZE
A Report on the Party and the Guests / O slavnosti a hostech (Jan Němec) R1 Criterion (Pearls of Czech New Wave) / R2 Second Run
Anna Karenina (Aleksandr Zarkhi) R1 Kino
Banditi a Milano (Carlo Lizzani)
Black Jesus / Seduto alla sua destra (Valerio Zurlini)
Capricious Summer / Rozmarné léto (Jiří Menzel) R1 Criterion (Pearls of Czech New Wave Eclipse)
the Castle / Das Schloß (Rudolf Noelte)
Charlie Bubbles (Albert Finney)
the Confrontation / Fényes szelek (Miklós Jancsó) R2 Second Run
Doktor Glas (Mai Zetterling)
Feldobott kö (Sándor Sára)
the Firemen's Ball / Hoří, má panenko (Miloš Forman) R1 Criterion / R2/B Arrow
the Girl on a Motorcycle (Jack Cardiff) R1/A Kino
Grazie, zia (Salvatore Samperi)
Here We Go Round the Mulberry Bush (Clive Donner) R2/B BFI
I protagonisti (Marcello Fondato)
Je t'aime, je t'aime (Alain Resnais) R1/A Kino
Joanna (Mike Sarne) R2/B BFI
Kuroneko (Kaneto Shindō) R1/A Criterion
Les Gauloises bleues (Michel Cournot)
the Long Day's Dying (Peter Collinson)
Mali vojnici (Bahrudin Čengić)
Peppermint Frappé (Carlos Saura)
Petulia (Richard Lester) R1 Warners (OOP)
the Red and the White / Csillagosok, katonák (Miklós Jancsó) R2 Second Run
Tuvia Vesheva Benotav (Menahem Golan)
Trilogy (Frank Perry)
Vingt-quatre heures de la vie d'une femme (Dominique Delouche)
Zywot Mateusza (Witold Leszczyński)
You can only vote for one of these and only for the 1968 vote, not in your overall ballot


I'm sure I've missed some home video releases -- if there is an English-subbed release of anything I missed above, please PM me

Additional resource help from: knives, mizoguchi5354

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domino harvey
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Re: Cannes Film Festival Mini-List Discussion + Suggestions

#2 Post by domino harvey » Sat May 06, 2017 10:30 am

Discussion now open!

I’m excited about this mini-list, because the Cannes top award winners are all so different and dependent of the whims and politics of their juries. It’s hard to look at this list and see more than a handful of established “classics,” but with so much ephemera, I anticipate the odds of making new discoveries of films long since left out in the rain to be high. However, I’m even more pumped for the 1968 vote, which wasn’t even part of my initial vision for the list, but given how each year Cannes presents a cross-section of new works by established greats, representational bones thrown to smaller countries, and the odd random titles, it’s fun to actually get to tackle an entire year’s roster and play the “What if” game, even if the outcomes of most Cannes juries are fairly unknowable 'til announcement! But there is no more powerful period for world cinema than the sixties and I love having a new slate of films to seek out from this era!

Going into the project (before the viewings below), I’d seen 48/93 qualifying films from the main list, and 7/28 for the 1968 slate. I look forward to upping that number substantially, though I don’t imagine I’ll end up seeing them all — and I couldn’t even if I wanted to, as 1946’s Iris och löjtnantshjärta and 1968’s I protagonisti are completely non-circulating, and several more of the 1968 films are not available with subtitles (or, as in the case of the Long Day’s Dying, not in the right aspect ratio). So completeness isn’t possible unless you’ve seen some of these titles theatrically!

My first round of viewings:

Chronique des années de braise (Mohammed Lakhdar-Hamina 1975) I don’t need to consult the list of other films in contention for the top prize this year, because unless this was running against a Jess Franco retrospective, the worst film eligible surely won. I can appreciate the perversity of using France’s most visible global venue to spit in the country’s eye, but the Algerian film awarded here is so artless, so plainly worthless by any metric of filmic value, that the transparency of the political motivation behind it couldn’t be clearer or more pathetic. This historical journey through over a decade of pre-independence Algerian history is three hours of “epic” filmed like a home movie, with the most mundane camerawork imaginable (hope you like static panning of the camera) and ludicrous “acting” from the cast as no cliche goes unpresented. This film is so confused in its narrative that
SpoilerShow
it actually kills off the protagonist offhandedly and then continues for another 20+ minutes following its Shakespeare-style fool supporting character, who was never the focal point of the film and yet does get an emotional send-off! Gee, it couldn't be because the latter was played by the director, could it?!
I can only assume the reason this film isn’t first (last?) on every list of worst Cannes winners is due to its limited availability and low residual exposure. Truly film lovers everywhere won the war on that front, at least.

the Knack …and How to Get It (Richard Lester 1965) Sex-crazed lad has adventure with housemates and a gal looking for the Y. I don’t think Lester’s style/approach always (or even often) works— his followup to this, How I Won the War, was a total misfire, with the misplaced sloppiness and anarchy embarrassing in its artificial “youthfulness.” And I was less than impressed by this one at the outset, which looked to be making many of the same mistakes. But then in the second half Lester introduces complex comic approaches that truly push this thing beyond the boundaries of anywhere I expected it to venture, and the film arrives at a series of sequences that are markedly brazen. The extended scene of Rita Tushingham saying a certain word over and over is jaw-dropping and I was in tears of laughter by the end of it. The overall characterizations of the four central characters are knotty and strangely relayed, and the unease of how some of the scenarios play out is often unsettling. The whole endeavor ends up calling to mind the comic construction of It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia, with no one to root for— and it hardly matters! Recommended.

Muži bez křídel (František Čáp 1946) Covert saboteurs and a hot-headed displaced person intersect to disastrous results in this compelling wartime thriller. The uncertainty of espionage and resistance, of trusting the wrong people and making incorrect snap judgments that counter the less flashy work done by others in secret, is fully in effect here. The film’s greatest strength is in letting its protagonist continually make wrong choices that are understandable if still inexcusable. A film without sentiment. Recommended.

Yol (Yılmaz Güney & Şerif Gören 1982) Directed by Güney in a similar manner to how Dovzhenko “directed” films years after his death, this one by most accounts shared the top prize due to the context of its creation: the incarcerated director passed along a script and notes for shooting to his assistant, who filmed everything. Then Güney broke out of his Turkish prison and edited the film in Switzerland. The result is… a film that looks like it was made by a well-meaning amateur. Various slices of life are depicted as we follow several prisoners on their weeklong leave. The film flirts with provocative moral quandaries and social critique, but it always seems to settle on the most rote way to resolve these conflicts. Take the film’s most promising storyline: the wife of one of the prisoners, facing starvation in the wake of her husband’s incarceration, turns to prostitution. Upon discovery she is chained inside a barn by her family and denied any method of cleaning herself for eight months ’til her husband can come and kill her to preserve the family honor. Of course, the husband is torn between the love he had and the code he must follow. A brutish scenario and one rife with dramatic potential. Not in this film, as Yol proudly ducks the matter of making a brutish choice with impressive cowardice:
SpoilerShow
The husband decides to let God punish his wife, rather than shooting her quickly as she pleads. So, he gives her false hope that he’s forgiven her and treks with her in the snow, allowing her to freeze to death. Of course, to preserve the film’s lack of ballsiness, the husband regrets his decision and tries to revive his wife, but it’s too late. The family is satisfied and he’s done his duty in the cruelest, most facile way possible.
The film has no thoughts on this. The film has no thoughts on anything, it presents artificially “charged” scenarios and lets them play out as cheaply as possible. Take the resolution to the storyline concerning the getaway driver who left his fellow thief to die after a botched heist, which compounds a lot of tangents into the finale that cloud any impact the out of nowhere violent denouement brings. This whole movie is the cinematic equivalent of “Whatever, dude.”

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Re: Cannes Film Festival Mini-List Discussion + Suggestions

#3 Post by TMDaines » Sat May 06, 2017 6:22 pm

domino harvey wrote:I look forward to upping that number substantially, though I don’t imagine I’ll end up seeing them all — and I couldn’t even if I wanted to, as 1946’s Iris och löjtnantshjärta and 1968’s I protagonisti are completely non-circulating,
I protagonisti seems to be on Youtube and at least one backchannel. It even has had subs done for it. I can get it.

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Re: Cannes Film Festival Mini-List Discussion + Suggestions

#4 Post by domino harvey » Sat May 06, 2017 6:30 pm

Thanks for the tip, but I can't find it on YouTube-- PM? I did spy the 1999 version and, well, this, which surely is ninety seconds too long

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Re: Cannes Film Festival Mini-List Discussion + Suggestions

#5 Post by knives » Sun May 07, 2017 12:57 am

Too bad on Yol and Chronicle with you. They're the two I am most excited for because they most strongly align with my interests. I've still got 32 films to see of the winners and 22 from the '68 list so there's no way I'll get to any serious fraction of the way through by counting time.

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Re: Cannes Film Festival Mini-List Discussion + Suggestions

#6 Post by domino harvey » Sun May 07, 2017 1:29 am

I can easily imagine others enjoying Yol even though I didn't, but I cannot fathom any defense of Chronique that was not already formed going into it. Nevertheless, I look forward to reading your response to the film should you fail to heed all warnings!

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Re: Cannes Film Festival Mini-List Discussion + Suggestions

#7 Post by zedz » Sun May 07, 2017 6:12 pm

I've seen 66 of the 'winning' films (and nine from the '68 selection).

It's kind of a deflating list, because out of those sixty-six there are only ten films I love (i.e. that would have a chance of making my list for their respective decades), and only five of those I'd consider the best or near-best work of their respective directors (Miss Julie, Viridiana, The Leopard, Tree of Wooden Clogs, Winter Sleep). Hopefully there are more gems among the great unwatched, but those aren't great odds going in!

Interestingly, there are two titles from the 1968 roster that I would personally rank higher than anything that actually won the top prize (Report on the Party and the Guests and The Red and the White), and two more that would come very close (The Fireman's Ball and The Confrontation), so I have to assume that none of those would have had a snowball's chance in hell of actually taking the prize that year!

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Re: Cannes Film Festival Mini-List Discussion + Suggestions

#8 Post by knives » Sun May 07, 2017 9:57 pm

Yol
This worked nicely for me even if a few small bugs popped up. Some of the editing choices seem a bit sloppy, but this random hyper editing is infrequent enough to forgive especially as it doesn't appear in any of the important scenes. The next bit I don't know if it is a problem with my source or the film, but the sound mixing is awful with the prison scenes having this weird echo and several outdoor scenes being grossly out of sync. That's probably the most annoying part to the film. Lastly, and at no fault to the film itself, I found the premise very alien and weird. Is it actually a thing to give prisoners unattended leave just so long as they ave a visa? It's not even like they committed small crimes either; these are serious criminals of the murderer sort. Once the premise is accepted though everything else works out exceptionally.

The story sets itself up as a take on The Last Detail/ Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants and for the most part successfully exploits its road for personal pathos from the lead characters who all feel like individuals even if they all look like Tom Selleck. The acting here is just great in a style I don't really associate with the mideast/ Asia. Instead of setting up a binary of emotional against methodical the performances seem to consider themselves as casual against restrained in a way that functions almost like a gender dynamic which suits the film's concerns on Turkish machismo. The level of the performances mixed in with the direct cinema moments that are shown in the near constant montages is a great movie. If Goren had thrown out the scripted parts for the elements more akin to Alonso's Liverpool this would easily be a contender for the best Cannes winner.

Guney (who I understand is something like Turkey's de Sica) has a script though that often gets in the way. The more overtly political stuff is sometimes played a bit too hammed up to work or otherwise seems introduced only for a short PSA effect, like the scene at the family home of the Kurdish fighter, but the small moments of observation and life like the various scenes of music is deeply beautiful and fully earned. That's not to say the stories are bad. There's a lot of potential here and the way Turkey's ethnic and religious divisions (the religious date scene is hilarious) are presented and dealt with are regularly compelling, but that is consistently in terms of setup rather than how the film follows through which strikes me as a little too writerly. The movie almost gets caught between narrative molds with the strength of the observational lack of commentary undermining the social picture status the stories seem to be telling. That makes me very sympathetic to the whatever, dude critique, though I don't think it needs the point that it is striving towards as the other elements work fine so its failure there doesn't bother me too much.
SpoilerShow
I also feel the ending to the main storyline works and disagree that showing the husband as having a lack of balls causes the film to follow. Certainly I'm in agreement on the bad brother-in-law one which is just handled awfully, but Akan's character is such a pathetic failure through the whole film his wishy-washy solution makes sense. It's his way of keeping his stupid honor while not directly having to do anything. If anything, especially with the wife beating in humourous contrast to he other storyline's escape, the film seems to be showing him as not remorseful so much as arrogantly trying to play the role of masculine savior. The film plays his returning to his wife initially as an annoyance that he does to please his son and only reacting more sincerely when things don't go his way.

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Re: Cannes Film Festival Mini-List Discussion + Suggestions

#9 Post by domino harvey » Sun May 07, 2017 11:42 pm

knives wrote:Yol
This worked nicely for me even if a few small bugs popped up. Some of the editing choices seem a bit sloppy, but this random hyper editing is infrequent enough to forgive especially as it doesn't appear in any of the important scenes.
Ha, it's funny you mention it, because I kept thinking, "The argument that Güney is still the auteur because he edited the film isn't helped by it being horribly cut together!"

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Re: Cannes Film Festival Mini-List Discussion + Suggestions

#10 Post by knives » Mon May 08, 2017 12:15 am

It does make me curious what his films with more control are like especially compared to Goren's. Still, even if calling him director seems like pushing things giving him auteur credit seems as reasonable as doing so on a Sorkin film.

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Re: Cannes Film Festival Mini-List Discussion + Suggestions

#11 Post by dda1996a » Wed May 10, 2017 5:56 am

Rewatched Gus Van Sant's Elephant today. I've always liked this film, but after finally watching Alan Clarke's Elephant recently I feel less enthusiastic about Van Sant's film. It is still a solid, interesting take on a national disaster and a film that could easily have gone the exploitative route. Unlike a lot of the "everything is connected" tragedies (like Inaritu's films) I found the way it applied here less pompous and straining. Having recently watched the awful 11 Minutes I was worried if I'll still enjoy this, and I am now assured that there is a big difference that is crucial. Most people know what the outcome of the film is, and the way Van Sant builds the first hour or so, focusing on an almost realistic ecosystem of the various students and the school itself. Sure the neophyte cast shows its inexperience, but there is still a potency of the innocence they have, as not actors but rather real people. It is tragic to see how all these young high schoolers go around their normal day when you know how most of them will finish.
My only complaint is how Van Sant presents the two killers. The reason I find Clarke's version superior is not only is it more brutal, concise and unsparing, but also how it doesn't try to justify any one person. His film indicted everyone, and never tried to give any reason for the killing.
And this is the erroneous change Van Sant did. Showing the killers inner life took away from the potency the film had. I didn't need to see them watching National propaganda (even acknowledging who Hitler is), playing sadistic video games and even sharing a shower together and kissing. Other than that slight bother I found the film an interesting film and one of Van Sant's more interesting films. Of the few films I saw of the 2003 selection I still prefer Dogville (and Tulsa Luper is not a successful film but a wonderful experiment), but it's an interesting choice for the Palme.

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Re: Cannes Film Festival Mini-List Discussion + Suggestions

#12 Post by knives » Thu May 11, 2017 11:57 pm

Eternity and a Day
It's interesting how despite the great uniformity and austerity of Angelopoulos' style across his career (or at least the films I've seen) how radically different each story is (despite the unifying road trip element) causing each film to feel as unique as if he were more stylistically versatile. This, alternative to his other films, comes across like one of those French or Italian seaside examinations of the bourgeoisie. The deep interest in the Albanian boy separates it from that existential genre into something more political and in a lot of ways more fascinating. It is almost as if Angelopoulos was asking himself if one of those self pitying writers that occasional collaborator Mastroianni played for Fellini had to confront the reality outside his sphere. It's an interesting question which while perhaps played a tad too cutely, such as in the rescue scene, is made to work. Ganz, obviously, handles this balancing act like the pro he is making the character self absorbed yet also rough hewed enough to be believes as sincere on this quixotic journey.

It's amusing how he seems to be forcing the kid along this path which the kid doesn't care about being quite comfortable as he is (or at least utterly disinterested in Ganz's plans). It also serves as a fairly unique take on refugees in Greece which of course is a topic with significant international weight now (I wonder if things were at a similar pitch when this film was made given the wars in the Balkans that are mentioned). He doesn't spend too much time making explicit the problems of Albania and doesn't really concern himself with people who may be pushing back like nationalists (the recent film Xenia makes good on that if you want an explicit film tackling the subject), but instead examining more liberal motivations. One scene in particular where Ganz speaks about a Greek ex-pat discovering that the Greek people have thrown the yoke of the Ottomans is not only told with tremendous wit, but explains a philosophy of compassion which I find very compelling for how it doesn't emphasize empathy, but rather desire which I don't think I've encountered as an approach to the topic before. There's a serious attempt to survey all forms of exile which is what the film emphasizes as a title over the refugee I have been using. Not only is the child exiled from his home, but also family and a sense of belonging. Likewise Ganz sees himself as exiled from his surroundings thanks to his disease and other more personal things. It's a film filled with melancholy yet also as hilarious as Ulysses' Gaze was horrifying which helps to make it one of his best I've seen. A real deserved winner (I say having only seen three others from its year).

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Re: Cannes Film Festival Mini-List Discussion + Suggestions

#13 Post by thirtyframesasecond » Fri May 12, 2017 8:48 am

Big fan of Yol here. Another Guney film that might be worth tracking down, if you can find it, is Baba. I wonder if Ceylan had this in mind for Three Monkeys as it's a rather similar set up where a guy takes the rap for another crime as long as his family is provided for.

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knives
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Re: Cannes Film Festival Mini-List Discussion + Suggestions

#14 Post by knives » Tue May 16, 2017 1:11 am

Sex, Lies, and Videotape
This film is such a two handed word in terms of its quality that it's not shocking that Soderbergh himself has treated it and its win that way. The movie is absolutely brilliant with a great script, great performances (MacDowell deserves her accolades, but Gallagher's slimeball steals the show), and a great style yet it aches as a first feature typically almost making the film seem like wasted potential for a later film once everyone got a sneeze more experienced. It's loose and willing to show off in a way that Soderbergh has increasingly expunged from himself as time has gone by. Unlike other first features this really feels due to how complete it feels with the rest of his work. From the ethnic subtext to the overwhelming sense of duplicity being a separate concept from lying to the quiet humour at the norms caused by a time and place this feels in a lot of ways indistinguishable from The Girlfriend Experience or the Oceans movies or The Informant!. It's just ever so slightly not as good. Another thing that's interesting and yet a double sword is that way it deals with time. In many respects this is very forward looking with the way it folds together its title concepts. Soderbergh seems to know where we would be by 2017 when I'm watching this film. That's interesting and still rather thought provoking, but also makes the film's sense of scruples and maybe even fear of these people (I think Gallagher has to be a villain opposed to Spader because Soderbergh relates so strongly to his POV) feel antiquated in many respects. I love this film, but can't endorse it as a success without a lot more contemplation.

It's also amusing to see another Adam Sandler director acting in a classic film.

Anna Karenina
The Kino disc for this is super annoying and probably did my experience no favors. The film seemingly has no subtitle options and only offers a dub that slips into subtitled scenes occasionally presumably because they were cut from the American presentation originally. It also treats the film so much as two parts it seems like the film is split over two discs when this isn't the case. I was tempted to rely on my knowledge of the story on this one, but ultimately opted for the dub which to be fair is very good.

That said even under more ideal conditions I doubt the film would move me beyond my general amused level of enjoyment of the picture. The film is primarily concerned with the story rather than really any of the themes which strikes me as the biggest mistake. Now the story is too didactic to be able to drop off the themes, but that all the more means any adapter needs to have a full handle of those themes so the story doesn't come cross as clunky. That's why I feel Wright's adaptation is the best yet (though Duvivier's more extreme dipping into a visualization of theme and event without story is to be admired). Instead Zarkh offers a David Lean knock-off so reminiscent of Doctor Zhivago I wouldn't have been surprised if Omar Sharif did pop up. Fortunately the direction isn't as staid as that mess, but he attempts of synthesizing ideas into visuals are either overdone like the lighting in a dream sequence early on or overused to the point of annoyance like all of those dutch angles (perhaps that's also why I got a small Brannagh vibe from the film).

The one truly effective element that pushes the film into some sort of greatness is Tatyana Samojlova's title performance which isn't just the best Karenina I've seen, but one of the best even outdoing her Kalatozovs for me. She fully occupies the era without any winking at how unusual she seems or excessively expressing the idea of her sexuality (sorry Vivian Leigh). Even in a ridiculous shot with music played too loud like her getting off the train her facial expression and body language evoke a complex series of emotions that distract from the fact that the rest of the film is not up to snuff. There is at least one utterly sublime scene though that captures the heart of Tolstoy well. The initial farming scene about an hour in as Levin watches them coming home singing chants. Admittedly for an old Soviet director who seems to have been one of the few to (relatively speaking) thrive under Stalin I would not be surprised if Zarkhi felt more at home there.

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domino harvey
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Re: Cannes Film Festival Mini-List Discussion + Suggestions

#15 Post by domino harvey » Fri May 19, 2017 1:58 pm

Les maudits (Rene Clement 1947) Topical tale of the downfall of a sub full of Nazi sympathizers and enemy agents and the innocent French doctor trapped aboard. The film is a mess, with an inconsistent structure and narration by the doctor that frequently wanes as most of the interesting action in the film happens without his knowledge. However, once things become more dire for the motley crew and complications set in, there are at least some pulpy (literal) backstabbings and in-fighting that make for passable entertainment. I will say that in cinema’s never-ending quest to show deplorable acts of merciless violence at the hands of Nazis, this film may have all others beat when in its finale
SpoilerShow
A pissed-off Nazi official, refusing to accept the Fatherland’s defeat, colludes with a few true believers to torpedo a German cargo ship carrying his fellow agents and countrymen and then opens fire with machine guns on the survivors. Now, granted, that the ship’s captain changes his heart and follows the Nazi against the other Germans makes no sense based on his actions even a minute before in the film, but this movie is too sloppy to worry about minor details like causality or consistency.

Zywot Mateusza (Witold Leszczyński 1968) Lighthearted Polish film about a lazy man who’s either carefree or mildly retarded. The whimsical aspects of the film work to a point, but there’s never a moment when this threatens to be anything more than disposable, and it rarely even rises to that level. That the film falls victim to the same tired and immediately annoying ending crutch that so, so, sooooooooo many foreign movies used during this period doesn’t help matters. Painless, but forgettable.

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Re: Cannes Film Festival Mini-List Discussion + Suggestions

#16 Post by Rayon Vert » Sat May 20, 2017 12:34 am

domino harvey wrote:Les maudits (Rene Clement 1947) Topical tale of the downfall of a sub full of Nazi sympathizers and enemy agents and the innocent French doctor trapped aboard. The film is a mess, with an inconsistent structure and narration by the doctor that frequently wanes as most of the interesting action in the film happens without his knowledge. However, once things become more dire for the motley crew and complications set in, there are at least some pulpy (literal) backstabbings and in-fighting that make for passable entertainment. I will say that in cinema’s never-ending quest to show deplorable acts of merciless violence at the hands of Nazis, this film may have all others beat when in its finale (...)
I liked this film a whole lot. Thought it was a terrific little atmospheric thriller with a great set of characters, situations and photography.

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Re: Cannes Film Festival Mini-List Discussion + Suggestions

#17 Post by knives » Wed May 24, 2017 10:53 pm

domino harvey wrote: Chronique des années de braise (Mohammed Lakhdar-Hamina 1975) I don’t need to consult the list of other films in contention for the top prize this year, because unless this was running against a Jess Franco retrospective, the worst film eligible surely won. I can appreciate the perversity of using France’s most visible global venue to spit in the country’s eye, but the Algerian film awarded here is so artless, so plainly worthless by any metric of filmic value, that the transparency of the political motivation behind it couldn’t be clearer or more pathetic. This historical journey through over a decade of pre-independence Algerian history is three hours of “epic” filmed like a home movie, with the most mundane camerawork imaginable (hope you like static panning of the camera) and ludicrous “acting” from the cast as no cliche goes unpresented. This film is so confused in its narrative that
SpoilerShow
it actually kills off the protagonist offhandedly and then continues for another 20+ minutes following its Shakespeare-style fool supporting character, who was never the focal point of the film and yet does get an emotional send-off! Gee, it couldn't be because the latter was played by the director, could it?!
I can only assume the reason this film isn’t first (last?) on every list of worst Cannes winners is due to its limited availability and low residual exposure. Truly film lovers everywhere won the war on that front, at least.
Was his my computer's fault or did this have an extensive period of a black screen about 90 minutes in filling up the last thirty minutes of the first part? It's such an abrupt cut I don't know what to make of it. I actually mostly liked the film, but that is purely because of my interest in the subject and not because t is good or anything like that. Even in the areas I liked the film in (basically the political and sociological elements) it falters due to a surplus of better examples. Particularly Black God, White Devil and Dry Summer and the book Ambiguous Adventure make this feel very redundant and even more disorganized in its didactic attempts. The film's main problem is how poorly it is written. Plot elements and even entire speeches repeat themselves so often I remain genuinely confused if there is a time switching element since the main character encounters variants of the same problem and provides variants of the same solution t least four times across the entire film. You could seriously cut this three hour film down to forty minutes and lose no information whatsoever. There are some really interesting parts here like the old men's reactions to Hitler and the first fight over the water, but the film dilutes their effect through repetition, a cursory approach to theme, and horrible editing (makes me wish I was softer on Yol which is at least artistic in its failings). I sympathize with it politically and am interested in it socially, but there has to be a better film telling this history from an Algerian perspective, right? There's no way this is the top of the heap considering just how artless the thing is.

I did look up what it was up against and it beat out these classics: The Enigma of Kasper Hauer which actually won three awards to highlight that that was clearly better liked, Alice Doesn't Live Here Anymore, a Costa-Gavras film, Lenny, Antonioni's The Passenger, Scent of a Woman, and most annoying of all freaking A Touch of Zen. It isn't like these are obscure choices for pete's sake.

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Re: Cannes Film Festival Mini-List Discussion + Suggestions

#18 Post by domino harvey » Wed May 24, 2017 11:02 pm

Whoever ripped it let the VHS run after each tape's content ended

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Re: Cannes Film Festival Mini-List Discussion + Suggestions

#19 Post by knives » Wed May 24, 2017 11:12 pm

Ah, that's annoying.

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Re: Cannes Film Festival Mini-List Discussion + Suggestions

#20 Post by knives » Sun May 28, 2017 12:25 am

The Working Class Goes to Heaven
A bit like his horror work Petri's stab at comedy isn't funny at all, but the genre mechanics give a surreal life to this decidedly post-'68 feature in a way that is horrible. This is probably the most mature of the marxist revival films of the time I've seen at once empathetic to Volonte's character and situation as an individual and tired of the children's politics of the students that doesn't accomplish real change. It all plays out as a healthy cure to Godard and Bellocchio's more ideological take on the left from the time. There's even some forward looking elements going on with automation being the great villain of the piece rather than the owners. The owners are barely present and come across as machines themselves while the actual mechanics move the plot in various directions. There's also the wife's interesting talk about 70 minutes in which the film treats with empathy emphasized by how creepy the students look and the fanaticism with which Volonte is acting with. While it is very much of its time/ Marx in so far as it doesn't consider the upcoming agrarian divide which is playing out now the personal horror that leads Volonte (in a truly phenomenal performance) to become politically active (an optimistic take on the problem if there ever was one) is more real today than ever before. There's a feeling not quite, but near to Dick or Cronenberg where the person is a tool (like in the alternate American title) who has become obsolete. The film isn't so fatalistic as to say that striking will die off as a method because machines will work themselves, but the character of the situation allows for such a nasty possibility to enter the mind considering the extremes the strike goes to.

The movie is not great merely for the complex nature of its politics, but also for the engaging form through which Petri expresses it. The story here is great and involving both intellectually and emotionally. It builds up this reluctant and accepting shlub who has a lot of negative points and makes his transformation completely selfish and yet partially through the exact horror the film gives us particularly the first time at the asylum and partially through Volonte's tired masculinity the film builds a complete hero worth rooting for and identifying with. It's not often a film comes by that is so strange and yet so successful in all of the classic qualities making it so that you could just as easily see it existing as, to keep with the worker theme, Norma Rae or Tout va bien. It somehow lives on both extremes.

Men Without Wings
This isn't Rome, Open City; a film which Cap's has a number of similarities to including being a Palme winner from the odd early years. Once you get past that this isn't a new film in the way of Rossellini's it turns out to have a great deal of merit and a number of interesting things. First is that it is just a well told genre piece. It's pretty old fashioned and the stiff way the sets are handled makes me suspect this was a pretty low budget affair, but those are small caveats given just how engaging and fulfilling the story is. It's dealt with the unsentimental hand and frustration that a film made just after the war should. There's a nastiness present in these very ordinary trappings that does help it feel unique. More compelling to me though is the nuts and bolts of the Czech wartime experience that gets shown here since the official history hadn't been cleaned up and worked out yet. It's something that seems obvious in hindsight, but the ethnic and locale divisions among the Czech people isn't dealt with in any of the later films I've seen. Not only are we presented with this Vichy like collaboration which I wasn't expecting, but a big deal is made of the villain being a Germanic-Czech and how they're seen as traitors for their collaboration. It's not something I had even thought of before, but now this film makes me want to see others that deal with this internal division.

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Re: Cannes Film Festival Mini-List Discussion + Suggestions

#21 Post by knives » Mon May 29, 2017 11:36 pm

O Pagador de Promessas
Generally with Cannes it seems that what is famous or done by popular directors is all that is good. There really doesn't seem to be many hidden treasures with the palm, but this Brazilian film adapted from a Dias Gomes play bucks that tread. It surely is one of the best winners despite being as obscure as they come. The premise is absolutely Bunuelian where a farmer gives up his land and carries a cross that weighs as much as Jesus' as a sacrifice to Saint Barbara, but the local priest won't let him enter into the church. Like Saint Lucifer the film plays on the precarious relationship christianity has to paganism with this film emphasizing the racial aspect to Brazil's Catholicism versus that film's rural concerns (though those are here as well). The film's direct nature helps make it feel daring even in this day and age. It does not beat around the bush showing the church as small minded and tempered while the preached to are ignorant and confused in a way that renders the religion farcical. The lure of the secular city though proves to be just as awful though in a mode of tragedy rather than comedy (even as there is a fair amount of that as well).

The filmmaking also enjoys that same directness though director Anselmo Duarte is much more of his time than the story he is working with. The score is a bit goofy like something out of a Santo film, but the images are evocative playing out with a melodramatic realism which reminds me of '30s France. Even though the film can be quite funny its look never lets up consistently imbuing scenes with a noir like fatalism that the movie seems deflated is inevitable for this story.

The Long Absence
I wonder what the gossip is on this win since it is a shared one with Colpi's effort being the less self evidently great one when looked at from any perspective. If this was an acknowledgment to the New Wave wouldn't script be the more appropriate category? Duras' script is good if very slow to get started. It's not as good as Hiroshima mon amour and more in line with something like The Lover. The main gimmick, a woman trying to revive her possible husband's lost memory, provides a number of compelling visual metaphors and ample room for Alida Valli to show off, but it stays feeling like a gimmick rather than folding into the movie in an organic way. I'm going to blame the inconsistent feel of the film on Colpi though as he shoots most of the film like it is some generic late Gabin vehicle while occasionally flirting in new wave techniques which clash with the more generic style.

Still I won't throw this one to the dogs as however sloppy Duras with Valli builds the central character in a way that is heartbreaking and pathetic without ever succumbing to explicit psychoanalysis. She fits like a glove with the other ugly, deprecating women of Duras' creation filling in what it means to long for a completion of the past that a weathered body can't achieve. The themes of the film, while done better elsewhere with and without Duras contributing, are excellent and compelling thanks to the woman they are composed through. Also while I may be bagging, deservedly, on Colpi he does manage to produce a few great images particularly out of following Valli around. The opera tracking shot halfway through is amazing in how it parlays ff of Valli's need to appear nonchalant with a strict formalism denying the character's ability to act for the audience. It's a powerful shot that the whole film is worth watching for. Of course Colpi almost immediately falls back into being unable to figure out how to present in a studio fashion a story that just produces an awful film so the compliment can only go so far.

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Re: Cannes Film Festival Mini-List Discussion + Suggestions

#22 Post by TMDaines » Tue May 30, 2017 5:15 am

Dheepan is a rather interesting drama until the climax of the film loses much sense of restraint. I didn't see that coming despite the hints.

The Wind That Shakes the Barley is very Loachian and wears its politics on its sleeve throughout the final act. It's a good historical drama, which contains some excellent individual scenes, but it never quite reaches the level of an epic, which you would expect a historical conflict that centres of the journey of two brothers, to do so.

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Re: Cannes Film Festival Mini-List Discussion + Suggestions

#23 Post by Shrew » Thu Jun 01, 2017 11:04 pm

The thing I remember most from Barley is the big town-hall/group debates (well, that and the onslaughts of the opening and ending), which are really fantastic. Loach has a talent for making these arguments dynamic, establishing a variety of competing viewpoints and how they react to each other, particularly in how they adjust to the mood (or don’t) in order to gain support. There are similar scenes in Land and Freedom, which I saw later, so I would have to revisit Barley to see if they hold up. But I’m still trying to get through my unwatched list first (at least the accessible ones).

Speaking of which:
A Man and a Woman
1966. Audiences stagger out of theaters. 1967. Godard declares the end of cinema. 1968. France is rocked by protests seeking to overthrow bourgeois systems and values. 1969. Altamont. Mere coincidence?

This is not a film. It is a husk emptied of feeling and humanity, leaving only signifiers. It is something Trintignant’s character in The Conformist may have made: adept, artful, and imitating human experience without delving beneath the surface. Even beyond the empty stylistic flourishes, there’s no psychological depth to the characters or their soap opera histories. Does Aimee fret about loving a man whose job involves as much danger as the one that killed her husband? No, she just can’t stop thinking what a swell guy he was during sex. Does the rejected Trintignant ponder how his career might scare someone, especially how he literally drove a woman to death from stress (also—wtf?)? No, he just blames the guy for dying before he could get old and lame. And it all leads to the frozen frame of Aimee crying out in pain as Trintignant snaps her neck.

I am being hyperbolic, but it’s been a long time since a film made me so angry. There are beautiful, effective shots here: the opening pan across the misty harbor to a red coat, the long-take close-up walk out of the hotel, the final long shot of Trintignant’s back—until the final triple spin (which is like ending a long Faulkneresque sentence with three exclamation marks). Everything else made me want to storm the Bastille.

The Mission
Whereas this is just fine and nothing more or less. There’s the shock of the opening and one fantastic dolly-zoom after Deniro kills his brother. The final battle doesn’t quite make sense, but it does sell the futility of both responses to the situation. Still, I can’t help but feel Silence diminishes this film quite a bit.

Scarecrow
This one I did like although there are many better working-class buddy comedies/shaggy dog road movies from the 70s. Particularly, there’s a lot of Midnight Cowboy here in two losers trying to figure their way through the world, down to Pacino playing Dustin Hoffman. And that is not bad—it’s good to see him a role that’s fun (well, The Devil’s Advocate is fun, but a different fun). That said, the best scene is easily the climactic telephone conversation; it’s a tonal shift that hits like a brick but feels consistent with the film.

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Re: Cannes Film Festival Mini-List Discussion + Suggestions

#24 Post by knives » Thu Jun 01, 2017 11:33 pm

Pacino will always be the best version of Hoffman.

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Re: Cannes Film Festival Mini-List Discussion + Suggestions

#25 Post by TMDaines » Fri Jun 02, 2017 6:41 am

What's the reason that only four of the five films to win "Best" prizes in 1947 are listed? Where's Dumbo? Not sure that any of them should be eligible though really. I've not seen these referred to as winners of the top prize before here and completely overlooked them until today.

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