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PostPosted: Mon Nov 26, 2012 4:43 pm 
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I'm not sure if this is the right thread for this, but...

Curzon on Demand are currently showcasing Paul Cox, with seven of his features available for streaming. £2 each, or £1.70 for Curzon members such as myself. This is available in the UK and Ireland only.

The films are Cactus, The Diaries of Vaslav Nijinsky, Golden Braid, Innocence, Vincent: The Life and Death of Vincent Van Gogh, Man of Flowers and My First Wife.

This is good news for me, as apart from Innocence in 2001, Cox hasn't had a UK cinema release since Golden Braid in 1990, though I saw at least two (Island and The Nun and the Bandit) at London Film Festival screenings. Although some of the above had VHS releases, the only UK Paul Cox DVD to date was a Prism budget release of Molokai: The Story of Father Damien which is now OOP. I haven't seen Vaslav Nijinsky at all and none of the other six above since 1990.

If it's not too much to ask, I'd like a chance to see Cox's three features from the 1970s, which never had a UK cinema release nor as far as I know any TV showings. I presume that someone would have to submit them to the BBFC though?


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PostPosted: Tue Dec 11, 2012 11:11 am 
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BBC2 is running a week-long Charles Laughton season commencing the early hours of Sunday the 23rd...

Arch of Triumph (23rd Dec, 2.00am)
They Knew What They Wanted (24th Dec, 2.25am)
The Tuttles of Tahiti (25th Dec, 1.10am)
The Hunchback of Notre Dame (26th Dec, 1,30am)
This Land is Mine (28th Dec, 1.30am)
Abbott and Costello Meet Captain Kidd (29th Dec, 1.30am)


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 3:46 am 

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antnield wrote:
BBC2 is running a week-long Charles Laughton season commencing the early hours of Sunday the 23rd...

...presumably to commemorate the 50th anniversary of Laughton's death this month. The 1940s titles haven't been broadcast for some years here, though as usual the BBC have only selected films to which they already own perpetual UK broadcasting rights!

The same applies to the Don Siegel thrillers Count the Hours (2 Jan, 1.30am) and The Big Steal (3 Jan, 1.30am).

Other BBC seasons:
Hitchcock - centered around the new drama The Girl (about his obsession with Tippi Hedren, 26 Dec, 9pm, BBC2).
Fifties British War Films with new documentary (BBC4, 1 Jan, 9pm).
Screen Goddesses including BBC4 documentaries - an overview (22 Dec, 9pm) plus profiles of Elizabeth Taylor (23 Dec, 10.55pm) and Clara Bow (!) (30 Dec, 9pm).

It almost feels like a 1970s/80s BBC Christmas. All that's missing is a pan & scan Jack Lemmon season...


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PostPosted: Wed Dec 12, 2012 2:58 pm 
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Jonathan S wrote:
Screen Goddesses including BBC4 documentaries - an overview (22 Dec, 9pm) plus profiles of Elizabeth Taylor (23 Dec, 10.55pm) and Clara Bow (!) (30 Dec, 9pm)..


But unless I missed it, they're not showing any of Clara Bow's films, are they? I know most of them are silent. but Call Her Savage is a pre-Code talkie that as far as I can tell has never been shown on UK television.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 3:26 am 

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No, I'd have fallen off my chair if the BBC had scheduled a Clara Bow film! In fact the only one of hers I recall ever being broadcast on UK TV (in the last 40 years at least) was a BBC2 screening of the Killiam print of It back in 1982. Channel 4 didn't even bother to show the Photoplay restoration of that film, though apparently they funded it, judging from their credit on the video edition. I don't think the Photoplay documentary about her has ever been transmitted here either, though the Biography episode I once caught on a cable channel appeared to use chunks from it.

The Screen Goddesses strand is in fact very half-hearted as far as films are concerned, due to the BBC's reluctance to spend any money on licensing older films they don't already have rights to. But I'm amazed they did apparently commission a new documentary on Bow.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 4:14 am 
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Jonathan S wrote:
No, I'd have fallen off my chair if the BBC had scheduled a Clara Bow film! In fact the only one of hers I recall ever being broadcast on UK TV (in the last 40 years at least) was a BBC2 screening of the Killiam print of It back in 1982. Channel 4 didn't even bother to show the Photoplay restoration of that film, though apparently they funded it, judging from their credit on the video edition. I don't think the Photoplay documentary about her has ever been transmitted here either, though the Biography episode I once caught on a cable channel appeared to use chunks from it.

The Screen Goddesses strand is in fact very half-hearted as far as films are concerned, due to the BBC's reluctance to spend any money on licensing older films they don't already have rights to. But I'm amazed they did apparently commission a new documentary on Bow.


Since 2014 is the eightieth anniversary of the Production Code Administration, I was hoping that someone might run a Pre-Code season but from the sounds of it that's a forlorn hope. I doubt most of the key titles are currently licensed for TV - and will all be 80-85 years old and almost all in black and white. Channel 4 wouldn't do it nowadays - wonder if Film 4 or More 4 would?ow.

As for Clara Bow, the recent restoration of Wings woulld have been good. I saw it at the LFF.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 4:47 am 

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Yes, I'd forgotten Wings was once broadcast by Channel 4, who funded the earlier Photoplay edition. But sadly I really can't see any of the main UK channels being interested in licensing silents or even pre-Code talkies now. Film 4's extension of the Photoplay funding seems to have dried up (I think The Godless Girl was the last?) I believe Sky have shown some of the recently restored Hitchcock silents.


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 2:08 pm 
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Jonathan S wrote:
The Screen Goddesses strand is in fact very half-hearted as far as films are concerned, due to the BBC's reluctance to spend any money on licensing older films they don't already have rights to. But I'm amazed they did apparently commission a new documentary on Bow.

Presumably they feel that salacious details of the actress and juicy behind the scenes stories beat out actually showing the material she is famous for first-hand? Which if I'm being uncharitable is I guess a similar reasoning behind the 'behind the scenes of The Birds' film, with the film itself being shown as an addendum?

I haven't got my Christmas edition of the listings yet but I suppose that means my hopes that the "Screen Goddesses" season would feature a tribute to Delphine Seyrig and a screening of Jeanne Dielman are dashed in favour of the more familiar image of Elizabeth Taylor riding that giant throne again?

I still remember that wonderful Jean Harlow season that Channel 4 did back in the late 90s. Now that was some kind of a woman!


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PostPosted: Thu Dec 13, 2012 3:42 pm 

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colinr0380 wrote:
Presumably they feel that salacious details of the actress and juicy behind the scenes stories beat out actually showing the material she is famous for first-hand? Which if I'm being uncharitable is I guess a similar reasoning behind the 'behind the scenes of The Birds' film, with the film itself being shown as an addendum?

Actually, BBC2 is following the Hitchcock/Hedren drama with Rebecca! The Birds is currently licensed to ITV and showing on one of their channels over Xmas.

And yes, Liz will be riding into town again...


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 6:16 am 
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I saw a few clips from The Girl on Newsnight Review last night - wow, Sienna Miller cannot even seem to play an actress convincingly! :shock: But even if The Girl turns out to be a prurient hack job, at least Rebecca will help to wash the aftertaste away.

You guys missed perhaps the most exciting film of that "Screen Goddesses" season, and one of the more interesting films on over the fortnight - Ava Gardner in One Touch of Venus at 11.35 p.m. Christmas Day on BBC4!

I presume this is where 1980s classic Mannequin stole its premise from!

Plus Lady and the Tramp is receiving its first television screening (57 years after its release!) on BBC1 at 5.05 p.m. Christmas Eve, and Channel 4 are screening all three of the original Noomi Rapace-starring "Girl Who Kicked The Dragon Tattooed Hornet's Nest While It Was On Fire" films over three evenings.


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 9:25 am 

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It will be interesting to see whether the BBC has the courage to show Lady and the Tramp in 2.55:1 on prime time Christmas Eve! They have made encouraging moves to OARs recently but some Scope films are still being transmitted in 16:9 and even 4:3!

I thought One Touch of Venus was shown fairly regularly by the BBC but, as with some of the Laughton films, it may be a good few years since the last broadcast.

Classical music fans - and anyone interested in the legal, ethical and technical aspects of recorded media generally - may be interested in Victoria Wood's new drama Loving Miss Hatto (BBC1, Dec 23, 8.30pm) about the elaborate hoax of five years ago, in which previously released recordings by distinguished pianists were passed off - sometimes with digital tweaking - as being new ones made by the elderly and almost unknown Joyce Hatto. When expert piano critics (who in some cases had panned the same recordings when first released!) praised "Hatto's" recordings to the skies, they sold like hot cakes - I worked at one of the key outlets for them at the time and we couldn't get stock quickly enough, until of course the hoax was exposed...


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PostPosted: Sat Dec 15, 2012 7:52 pm 
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My digibox will be active over Christmas week as many of those Laughtons (and One Touch of Venus) I haven't seen before and aren't available on UK DVD (so I can't rent them from Lovefilm). They're on too late for me to stay up, and I'll be at my parents' anyway for a few days.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 3:10 am 
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Now that CBeebies (BBC channel for young children) has been separated from the free-to-air channels, BBC2 is using the early mornings to broadcast old films from its catalogue.

This coming Saturday there is a Katharine Hepburn double bill of Sylvia Scarlett and The Little Minister. In the afternoon, following a programme about Bette Davis is a showing of the 1934 version of Of Human Bondage.

Sunday morning has an Anna Neagle double - They Flew Alone and Yellow Canary.

The double bills continue during the week, including several films with Fred Astaire and/or Ginger Rogers.

I don't know how long this is going to continue, but it's nice to see, especially as some of the above aren't available on DVD in the UK.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 5:06 am 
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The Saturday schedule certainly seems like something that's going to be interesting.

The following Saturday, 12 January, we have three film noirs, in Ida Lupino's 'The Hitch-Hiker', Nicholas Ray's 'On Deadly Ground' and Richard Fleischer's 'Armed Car Robbery', followed shortly after by a programme on Sir John Mills and then 'Scott Of The Antarctic'.

Very nice to see all of these on the schedule. The 'Talking Pictures' documentaries (this Saturday Bette Davis, next Saturday Sir John Mills) say that it's a series of six episodes, so there's going to be a few more at least.


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PostPosted: Fri Jan 04, 2013 8:25 am 
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Yes, this is great news. Finally the BBC is doing their job with regard to classic cinema. And they are all showing at 8.50 in the morning during the weekdays, the perfect time to put a recordable DVD on to run its course before I go off to work!

Isn't The Little Minister a film based on a J.M. Barrie story? (It's on the Warner Archive in the US)

While the Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire films are TV staples, I'm particularly interested about a few films that I haven't yet seen that Rogers did without Astaire: Lucky Partners and Kitty Foyle on Wednesday 9th, but I'm especially excited about Vivacious Lady on Thursday 10th (in a James Stewart double with Magic Town).

There's also an interesting sounding Randolph Scott double bill on Friday 11th of Badman's Territory and Bombardier (with Channel 4 showing the more representative 7th Cavalry on the afternoon of Thursday 10th).

EDIT: By the way if anyone wants to catch Cronenberg's Shivers/They Came From Within, Zone Horror is showing it on Saturday 12th January (with Rabid and The Dead Zone over the following Saturdays)


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PostPosted: Mon Jan 07, 2013 4:23 pm 
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anyone know of a UK channel showing the Golden Globes this year?


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 6:28 am 
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Rarely screened André de Toth western Last of the Comanches is showing on Dave this weekend (Saturday, 2pm).


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PostPosted: Tue Jan 08, 2013 8:18 am 
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jamie_atp wrote:
anyone know of a UK channel showing the Golden Globes this year?

Not live, but a two-hour highlights package is screening on 5USA at 10pm on Monday the 14th.


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PostPosted: Wed Jan 09, 2013 4:00 pm 
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neilist wrote:
The Saturday schedule certainly seems like something that's going to be interesting.

The following Saturday, 12 January, we have three film noirs, in Ida Lupino's 'The Hitch-Hiker', Nicholas Ray's 'On Deadly Ground' and Richard Fleischer's 'Armed Car Robbery',

Interestingly, The Hitch-Hiker has a BBFC 12 certificate, though it's showing before the watershed (and after the 5am watershed). I doubt it will be cut, but I wonder if anyone will notice? At least I don't have to get up early for that one, as I have an Australian DVD copy (with a M rating).

Last weekend's four were all from the RKO catalogue the BBC bought TV rights to in the 50s (if I'm not mistaken) - even the two British-made Anna Neagle films began with the RKO logo. None of them were truly rare as all had been previously shown on TV at least once from 2000 onwards, but it's was nice have a chance to see something not available on disc in the UK. (For various reasons, widespread DVD/BD purchase, especially from outside the UK, is off the agenda for me for the next few months.)

Incidentally, I know that the BBC hasn't broadcast a film from a celluloid print since the 1980s, since when presumably they were transferred to tape and broadcast that way. The two Neagles looked in good shape and could have been DVD transfers, but the two Hepburns looked much softer. Presumably they were the same copies the BBC has always had, but does anyone know if the original prints would have been 35mm or 16mm? I did wonder if they had been the latter.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 8:04 am 
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Something I had not noticed before is that the opening title music for The Hitch-Hiker gets re-used (with some extra sci-fi sounding electronic noodling at the end) for The Atomic Submarine!


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 8:35 am 
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I watched the DVD (so that's one off the kevyip) but recorded the broadcast for comparison. Both were identical in content as far as I could tell, but I did wonder if the BBC's copy originated in a 16mm print (as I speculated following the Hepburn double last week) - it did seem a little soft. The DVD is "digitally remastered from original elements" and was sharper if over-contrasty. However, it did contain a few splices, one causing a tiny skip in a line of dialogue, another a small thump on the soundtrack, which aren't present on the BBC copy. The 12 certificate (X in 1953) seems a bit harsh, though the BBFC considered the "moderate violence" (mostly fisticuffs near the end, but also someone being hit on the back of the head with a gun and a dog being shot offscreen) just over the line for a PG.

A tight little thriller. I haven't seen Ida Lupino's other directing credits from the time but would like to see them as and when I get the chance.

The third film this morning, Armored Car Robbery (no "the" and BBC copy must be derived from a UK print as the opening titles spell the first word as "Armoured") was even shorter and tighter. Incodentally, I did wonder (don't know and haven't checked) if Quentin Tarantino had seen this film before he made Reservoir Dogs as it features a heist during which one of the robbers gets shot in the stomach.

Next Saturday morning is a Rosalind Russell double, Flight for Freedom and Sister Kenny.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 10:12 am 

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The softness on the BBC copy of The Hitchhiker - as well as its slight jerkiness and general smeary video-look - is at least partly caused by a poor NTSC-PAL conversion (no PAL speed-up is proof) which sadly now mars many of their RKO titles, including at least a couple of Ford westerns. (I gather some of the Universal UK DVDs of RKO titles also suffer from this.) Ironically, the real prints they transmitted back in the 1980s were often sharper and seem more film-like even on my VHS recordings from that period.

The Hitchhiker also suffered from a primitive method of digital image stabilisation (which wrecked some of Eureka's pre-MoC releases too). It causes parts of the picture to remain steady while other parts move around - I call it a "jigsaw effect" but maybe there's a technical term? As the car shook on the bumpy roads, I noticed one of Frank Lovejoy's eyes moving up and down with it, while the other eye remained stable! I have the Kino DVD (a rather scratchy dupe, probably 16mm) and the Roan which, though severely windowboxed, is the best of the three versions I've seen. On the other hand, I do prefer the BBC's On Dangerous Ground to the Warner DVD.

I didn't watch The Armored Car Robbery today but it sounds like the same copy they used to show which is slightly censored for violence. I only realised this after the Warner DVD came out. I doubt it's BBC censorship, but various RKO titles they show are or were in old BBFC-censored prints. Until about 10 or 15 years ago, they used to show a hilariously mangled version of The Body Snatcher, in which - as well as some of the more shocking moments - all dialogue references to Burke & Hare (and/or Knox) were cut, in accordance with BBFC policy at the time of the film's initial UK release.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 10:55 am 
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Jonathan S wrote:
The softness on the BBC copy of The Hitchhiker - as well as its slight jerkiness and general smeary video-look - is at least partly caused by a poor NTSC-PAL conversion (no PAL speed-up is proof) which sadly now mars many of their RKO titles, including at least a couple of Ford westerns. (I gather some of the Universal UK DVDs of RKO titles also suffer from this.) Ironically, the real prints they transmitted back in the 1980s were often sharper and seem more film-like even on my VHS recordings from that period.

The Hitchhiker also suffered from a primitive method of digital image stabilisation (which wrecked some of Eureka's pre-MoC releases too). It causes parts of the picture to remain steady while other parts move around - I call it a "jigsaw effect" but maybe there's a technical term? As the car shook on the bumpy roads, I noticed one of Frank Lovejoy's eyes moving up and down with it, while the other eye remained stable! I have the Kino DVD (a rather scratchy dupe, probably 16mm) and the Roan which, though severely windowboxed, is the best of the three versions I've seen. On the other hand, I do prefer the BBC's On Dangerous Ground to the Warner DVD.

I didn't watch The Armored Car Robbery today but it sounds like the same copy they used to show which is slightly censored for violence. I only realised this after the Warner DVD came out. I doubt it's BBC censorship, but various RKO titles they show are or were in old BBFC-censored prints. Until about 10 or 15 years ago, they used to show a hilariously mangled version of The Body Snatcher, in which - as well as some of the more shocking moments - all dialogue references to Burke & Hare (and/or Knox) were cut, in accordance with BBFC policy at the time of the film's initial UK release.


Interesting, my Hitch-Hiker DVD (Region 0 PAL from Avenue One DVD) runs the same give or take as the BBC copy - 70:46. The usual quoted running time is 72 mins, so you would expect PAL speed-up to shed just under three minutes. I only briefly dipped into the BBC recording to check a few bits and to note start and finish times, so I didn't spot the other issues you mention. My DVD copy is windowboxed, so maybe it's the same transfer as your copy? Thanks for the info re the source - I did wonder!

I did wonder about cuts to Armored Car Robbery, in particular a scene (no spoilers) where one character is killed by being hit by a plane taking off. On the other hand, the BBFC database says that they didn't cut it when they passed it for an A certificate in 1951, the only time the film has been submitted to them.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 11:35 am 

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Perhaps then Armored Car Robbery was from a print censored for initial TV showings when the RKO package was made available in the late 1950s? When the BBC used to show the RKO comedy shorts, some of the racier pre-Code entries were obviously censored (physically spliced) and I suspect this was done to make them acceptable to 1950s TV audiences (it could have been for theatrical reissues, but I think that less likely for obscure shorts). I wonder if those shorts - and features never aired here since - were victims of the BBC Film Library's "leaky roof" I once read about:
New Scientist (2003) wrote:
Terry Smith, the BBC's head of programme delivery, recalls how two decades ago the "big debate" was on what to do about a leaky roof in the BBC's film library in London. Twenty years later, he has just found the BBC's stock of 35-millimetre feature films "surrounded by collapsed roofing tiles, plastic sheeting and rainwater".

There's a fascinating discussion about the packaging of RKO films for TV here though it really relates to US TV.


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PostPosted: Sat Jan 12, 2013 4:02 pm 
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Thanks, Jonathan. Presumably that's the same RKO package the BBC bought in the 1950s? I'd wonder how much perpetual TV rights to a studio back-catalogue would cost now?

Tomorrow morning BBC2 are showing just one film, though it's a longer one (two and a bit hours) - I Remember Mama. I won't be watching as I've seen it before and reviewing duties beckon.


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