Wednesday Watching Post: What Are You Reading and Watching and Thinking This Week?

Happy Wednesday!  Halfway through the work week, and it has been work this week!  We’ve got a new client who is calling for help constantly, forcing me to actually do work while at work.  Very frustrating, when obviously blogging is far more important.

I’ll start!

Watching: Watched The Staircase, fascinating documentary, and made me think about Talwar again and go back to my original theory, that these big media darling “mysteries” all have one thing in common, police incompetence.  Leads to a lot of unanswered questions and way too much media access.

Reading: Articles and comment boards on The Staircase while saying “uh-huh” in a sympathetic voice on work phone calls.  I tried blogging, but then I get so caught up in what I am writing that I forget to say “uh-huh”.  And also our headsets are way too sensitive and people kept asking me what I was typing.

Thinking: Salman!  How close is he with Shahrukh?  And Karan?  Because here’s my concern.  I only have one semi-nice dress (my va va voom funeral dress, purchased for my Grandma’s funeral, black and short with a plunging neckline.  Grandma always wanted us to find a man, so I figured she would approve.).  And Shahrukh and Karan have both seen it at their shows.  If I wear it for Salman too, will they all get together and gossip about me only having one nice dress?  I could just change up the accessories a little.  Or should I try a skirt and t-shirt look instead?  Or go with the Sonam reception option, a big comfy shapeless caftan like thing that I won’t mind wearing until 3am?  It’s a big big question!!!!!

 

 

Speaking of questions, here’s another one for you!

In honor of Race 3, and my seeing him live on Saturday, it is Salman’s turn for the game of shame!!!!!!

What is Salman’s worst movie ever?

Lot’s of options here!  Race 3, for instance, makes a strong case for itself.  Sangdil Sanam (Manisha Koirala with a whip!) is another tempting option.  And of course there is always Veer.

(Veer!)

 

But I gotta go with Chandra Mukhi.  Sridevi, a heavenly princess, comes to earth and meets a little boy.  They become friends but bad men are after them.  And so, in order to fight off the men, Sridevi magically turns the little boy into a grown man, Salman.  And then they fall in love.  And if you think that sounds disturbing, you are right!  It is very disturbing.  A grown woman, heavenly princess though she may be, should not fall in love with a little boy in a man’s body.

(No, Sridevi!  NO!)

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37 thoughts on “Wednesday Watching Post: What Are You Reading and Watching and Thinking This Week?

  1. I hardly watch Salman Khan movies so can’t say which one was the worst, but I suffered durning Kick and tried several times to watch Kyon Ki, and wasn’t able to finish it.
    Others, which I didn’t watch but heard terrible things about:
    Saawan..the Love Season – people say it’s unwatchable
    Tublight
    Yuvvraaj – don’t know if it’s really so terrible but thinking about Katrina Kaif playing a violoncellist makes me roll my eyes.

    Last week I watched October, and now I know why this movie wasn’t hit. It was like being on ICU for 2 hours. Why Varun did this movie? I mean I like the story, I like cinematography but it wasn’t movie for Varun Dhavan. He is not at right level acting wise. But still I admire his courage because I like when artists try new things instead of doing always the same stuff.

    Thinking: About Salman – why he does things he does, how will he be able to do this stage show? And after reading your MNIK review I think about Karan and his tendency to exaggerate in movies.
    also thinking about Poland, because I’m going there next week, and as always I both happy and anxious .

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    • Tubelight is a good choice, except that one wasn’t even good at being bad. It wasn’t the perfect level of badness that lets you say “oh well, this movie was always going to be terrible”.

      I’ve never seen Yuvraaj either for the same reasons! Just the plot is like “whaaaaaat?”

      Now that you’ve seen October, can you help me decide if it is a) Varun and the heroine had an unspoken connection already and sincerely found some form of love during the film, or b) Varun is the kind of guy who is always looking for an escape from life and responsibilities and found that in obsessing over her medical care?

      I am very curious about watching Salman on stage! If he does have some kind of degenerative illness (which is a big big if), lots of times those things are exacerbated by stress, lack of sleep, and so on and so on. So it’s possible he looked just terrible in Race 3 because he was stressed and not getting enough sleep during filming, and he is going to be phenomenal and just like usual on stage because he is rested and better. Or, he could just totter out, say a few lines, wriggle his belt, and then totter back stage. Something else I will be curious about is if the show is structured to allow for a varying energy level from him. When I saw Ashaji, it was clear that they had built the show so that she could take lots of breaks for as long as she needed to.

      Say hi to Poland for me from Chicago!!!!! Oh, and also while you are there, can you confirm that they actually have medieval armor with wings on it? There was a show at the Art Institute here years ago that had it, and I missed it, and ever since I keep thinking “really? Metal wings? That doesn’t seem right!”

      On Wed, Jun 20, 2018 at 8:01 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Yes, Polish Hussars used this kind of armors. They were the elite in military, and had armors decorated with gems, animal furs and stuff, and the wings of course. And only yesterday, when I watched Poland’s match at the World Cup, I saw children wearing this kind of strange hats with Hussar’s wings, so tradition is still alive 😉

        And for October – in my opinion the girl maybe had a crush for Varun, but he was’t in lave with her at all. After the incident he kept visiting her because he was traumatized at first (like when something bad happens and we should close the eyes but keep staring) and then it was an escape from the work and his life. I didn’t see love in him. Or maybe it’s just because Varun wasn’t able to show it.

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        • Oh I really want to see this now! Oh well, someday the Art Institute will bring their collection out of storage again. Also, why in the world would you put gems on your armor? Wouldn’t you be worried about them getting knocked off? Or were you just that confident that no one would even get close enough to hit you?

          I kept flashing to a really dark version of the plot where she didn’t care about him at all, and once she was trapped in her own body and her own head, she was stuck with this guy hanging around all the time who she couldn’t stand and who had lied his way into her family.

          On Wed, Jun 20, 2018 at 10:10 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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          • Sure, not everyone had gems but Hussars were from the best families in the country so they couldn’t wear simple armors. You know rich people – my armor must be better then yours and who cares if I loose some.

            I don’t see October so dark. If she didn’t care about him, why she stopped having progress when he was gone?

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  2. Didn’t Salman himself come up with the idea for Chandra Mukhi? I wish he’d leave the creative endeavors for the people who have the talent for it and stick with what he does best.I tried to read a book on the Maratha empire this week -try being the operative word.It was so boring that I had to give it up after a chapter.

    Managed to watch two Sunil Dutt movies this week.When Sunil Dutt and Sanjeev Kumar plays best friends named Sunil and Sanjeev Kumar you know better than to hope for originality.The movie Gauri should have rightly been named Savitri -for Nutan’s devotion towards hubby Sanjeev is strangely simlar to the Savitri myth.Though I have no idea why she should be so devoted.Sanjeev wastes no time abandoning his bride Nutan at the altar when he discovers that she’s blind.He’s taken for dead and when he comes back he finds best friend Sunil Dutt playing husband to Nutan.Which makes for an excellent love triangle.Lots of angst and anger.Except Sunil is there under duress and he’d rather be out searching for his missing girlfriend Mumtaz .Who turns up at the wrong time and immediately misunderstands the situation.Since Sanjeev and Mumtaz are strangely reasonable people (very rare in romances) they believe Sunil.Of course the next reasonable step would have been to inform Nutan.But oh no that way there’s no melodrama.Sunil comes up with the worse possible plan to spring the surprise on Nutan. Thankfully everything gets resolved at the end – no thanks to Sunil.

    Beti Bete is a wonderful B&W movie about 3 siblings separated after their blind father abandons them.As usual Sunil the middle one manages to end up in the best situation.He’s adopted by a drama troupe and makes a career out of playing Krishna of all ages on stage.He later runs away from the troupe and finds refuge at the house of a very rich man who’s a fan of Sunil’s singing and promptly employs him as a cook.Of course Sunil being Sunil wastes no time romancing the rich man’s daughter and within no time finds himself the manager of his factory.But has he forgotten his past and siblings in his newfound bliss? For when his elder sister who’s a laborer at the same factory calls for his mercy he callously pays her off like a beggar.What the film does get right is his relationship with Mehboob the baby of the family.When the brothers meet at a jewellery shop, Sunil is escorting his beautiful rich girl friend.Mehboob is there in shabby clothes and both of them want the same necklace. “Why don’t you buy better clothes instead of this expensive necklace which is obviously beyond your price range?” sneers Sunil. “At least I earned this money myself” says the proud Mehboob.”I’m not living off my woman’s money, unlike certain others here.” Which puts the cat among the pigeons.

    Here’s Sunil romancing Saroja when he should have been keeping an eye on the rice.Of course the rice boils over at the end of the song.Leaving poor Sunil in tears.

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    • I feel like Karan, going “what happened to the multi-starrers????” Why can’t we have movies like this with a bunch of medium named stars and overpacked plots?

      On Wed, Jun 20, 2018 at 9:39 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Two words actually.Giant egos.There’s still Kalank to look forward to.But ARK and Sonakshi will be reduced to bit players than parallel leads.The era of multistarrers is over.

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        • Oh, so depressing!

          We did just have Veere Di Wedding, but that was really only 2.5 stars (I’m making Swara a half star).

          On Wed, Jun 20, 2018 at 10:37 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • Interesting. I didn’t know Saroja Devi acted in any Hindi films. She was a leading heroine of South Indian films (Telugu, Tamil, and Kannada).

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      • Saroja Devi is a happy discovery for me.She has such sparkling mischievous (Juhi) eyes and managed to make her standard rich girl friend character something special.She literally flirts with her eyes before she even gets to say a word.Incidentally her character is named Saroj in Beti Bete as well.I’m planning to watch her Sasural with Rajendra Kumar soon.

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  3. I haven’t seen Race 3, but Veer has a good idea at its core (and terrible costumes), while I quite liked Sangdil Sanam. But even without those choices, I would have picked Chandramukhi for Salman’s worst — I abandoned through on the dvd. (Oh, Yuvraaj would have been fine if it had only two brothers instead of three. Again an interesting story at its core, but poor execution. And Katrina looks just fine as a cello player — not a violin player. In fact, she looks downright gorgeous)

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    • I think I also saw Chand Kaa Tudka around the same time I watched Chandramukhi (this would have been in college over a decade ago so I have only the vaguest memory). And I saw Sangdil Sanam around then too. Chand Kaa Tudka and Sangdil Sanam were definitely lessor rom-coms, with some really ridiculous plot jumps. But Chandramukhi stood out as a higher degree of bad even in comparison to them.

      On Wed, Jun 20, 2018 at 11:02 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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    • I am an account manager at a small internet company. So I can usually respond to comments during the work day in between phone calls and other tasks, but I write my blog posts usually early in the morning or late at night after work.

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  4. Watched: October – My take was that the relationship was something Varun created in his head after the accident. Before the accident, there was no real connection between them – he never noticed her (though she did slightly). He was oblivious to her. Varun was also in love with the image he’d created of Shiuli, cos the real Shiuli he never cared to understand. I feel that the scene where he goes back and asks her to look at him signify that. He also sticks his picture onto the part of her bed where she looks – so that she’d end up looking at the pic cos it would be in her line of sight.

    Some people are good at one-way relationships, and Varun is like that. He doesn’t do good with expectations (like with his parents n roommates). Also doesn’t pick up his phone and that sorta thing.

    Oh and also saw a Malayalam movie called “Oru Murai Vanthu Parthaya”. Movie was just about decent but UnniM was really charming! Angie – did you watch it? 🙂

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    • The ending of the film, with him taking the plant, was really interesting. Because it either meant he had become so deep and sensitive that he could be satisfied with just a plant and his memories of her. Or that his love was so shallow, he never saw her as having any more agency or wanting any more support than this plant did.

      It also felt like, possibly, Varun had finally found an excuse to get out of stuff he didn’t want to do that no one could challenge. He was already trying to get out of work for all sorts of reasons, but now he could say it was to go to the hospital, and his boss and friends would cover for him.

      On Wed, Jun 20, 2018 at 12:49 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Ya, that’s where it got confusing – also when he goes off to a different place in between he really seems to miss her. But I don’t think he wants a flesh-and-blood Shiuli. He just wants that concept of her which is what the poster tells us too I think..

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    • Yes I watched Oru Murai Vanthu Parthaya! That was the movie that made me fall in love with Unni. OMG how charming and handsome he is in it. The story is odd when you think about it (and have some plot holes) but still I like it because I fell something, cared about the main pair and wanted them to be together.

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      • Yes so charming!! Story was imporbable but Unni was so cute, he should do more of these dreamy roles than the regular action fare he does.

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        • Yes for more dreamy roles. I was disappointed I couldn’t find other movies with bearded charming Unni. Make those, the women would pay to see it, instead of doing another action movie nobody cares.

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    • And Salman wrote it! So, like, is/was this his fantasy? An older woman who ages him up while he is still a little boy inside?

      And now that I think about it, I could tooooooooooootally see Ranbir starring in a remake with Madhuri.

      On Wed, Jun 20, 2018 at 12:53 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  5. Reading: I finished The Beautiful Mystery (a Louise Penny mystery), then read Metamorphosis, and then a quick read on Minimalism. Now I giving Cloud Atlas a second try; could nt get through the print version, so I am doing the audiobook this time.

    Watching: So many movies!!! My dear also-retired husband is away at the UU General Assemby, so I have the TV all to myself! I watched Karzzzz (so good in that terrible way), and hosted my movie marathon of reincarnation/revenge movies (Karan Arjun, Om Shanti Om, and Eega/Makkhi) Then I watched Lust Stories, an episode of Chef’s Table, an episode of Queer Eye, and I am halfway through Company. And that’s just since Saturday!

    Thinking: I am about to head off to New England for three and a half weeks, doing research, visiting old friends, and doing a short volunteer stint at Star Island, repairing chairs, So I am trying to pack enough but not get too loaded down.

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    • You are so productive!!!! Both in reading and watching. Making me feel guilty for just reading mindless internet boards. If I’d caught the bus this morning, I would have read more in my current Terry Pratchett, but I just missed it and had to drive, so not even that.

      I heard about Cloud Atlas (the book) when people were talking about Cloud Atlas (the movie) and how unfilmable it would be. It made my head hurt just reading the description of the book structure. I think I would need a physical copy so I could flip back and forth, an audio book would make me totally lost.

      Oh shoot, I forgot to give you another option for the reincarnation/revenge marathon, Hamesha. Saif has foofy hair, Kajol is delightful, and the title song is an ear worm that will stay with you for days.

      I was just talking with someone who was going to UUA. Everyone’s leaving on Thursday, which seems like such a waste. How can you go to Kansas City NOT on a Friday?

      We just missed each other in New England! That’s where I was last weekend. This also means you will be on the road when Sanju comes out. Hmm. I know it won’t be playing anywhere in Maine or New Hampshire, but I believe there is a theater in the far Boston suburbs that always plays everything. Just in case you have an urge.

      Oh, and I think my current minister mentioned she lived on Star Island for a while years ago, and left because she had this realization that everyone was so happy there in their lives that was no longer an urge to grow and change.

      On Wed, Jun 20, 2018 at 3:06 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Well, I am supposed to be writing, so “productive” is relative. And I could see Star being like that. But I will just be there a couple of days caning chairs, then in Kittery writing (!!! so she says !!!) then back to Star for a conference with my husband and two of our friends.

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  6. Saw Raazi finally & it was meh. I mean it’s good for a Hindi movie thriller but nothing compared to Talvar or any of the recent thrillers coming out of Tamil. I will post my issues with the movie under your review.
    Thinking-thrillers-what’s up with Tamil directors that they make such good thrillers. Managaram, Dhruvangal Pathinaru, Theeran Adhigaram Onnu, Thupparivaalan, Thani Oruvan-all are very good. The director of Dhruvangal Pathinaaru is a 22 year old & I was like how! It was not perfect, but very engaging.
    Watching -Just finished Fargo season 1 & it was wonderful. Westworld season 2 is coming to an end next week & so far it has been a lot of what-the-heck-is-happening. I always need a simple Telugu film to cool my brain after a Westworld episode. Except for one or two episodes, season 2 was generally lame with the philosophical rambling’s & timeline confusions going overboard. It worked in season 1 but in season 2 there’s just no point. Or they have one episode left to make a point.

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    • I love Fargo season 1!!!! Season 2 got more critical acclaim, but I like 1 better. I think there’s a little mini-post somewhere where I compare Fargo 1 to the Ramayana and Fargo 2 to the Mahabharata. I’m definitely a Ramayana person, I want my perfect hero to root for, not everyone with a little bit of darkness and no clear moral absolutes.

      Excited for your ideas on Raazi, and really interested by the point you bring up. I haven’t seen many Tamil films, but even I have run across some excellent thrillers in the bunch. Something about more patience and detail oriented and stuff that I see even in romances from the Tamil industry, which leads to really good thrillers. At least, that’s my first thought.

      On Wed, Jun 20, 2018 at 8:32 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Oh also- I recommend the kaftan dress for your date with Salman, with some chunky accessories. Always comfort first!
        As for Salman’s bad film-Jai Ho!
        There’s another movie of his -Suryavanshi that I caught on TV recently. It was not all that bad. Reincarnation theme with Amrita Singh being the evil princess who is trapped in a cave for years & wanting to punish her hubby Salman who left her. Amrita is so good that I forgave all the garish costumes, Salman in a blonde moustache, hair & a sheepish heroine for his modern avatar. Amrita has to switch between being haughty, proud, arrogant, angry & being totally in love with her hubby & pining for his approval. She so overshadowed Salman. No wonder he doesn’t want strong female characters(good, bad or grey)in his films.

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  7. I’ve been watching yet another soapy Bengali TV series, this one called Bouma Detective (Would be Bahu Detective in Hindi). It seems to be a pure wish fulfillment thing about a plump middle aged wife of a hot actor (Rohit Roy) who has affairs with a bunch of young chippies. Then the young chippies start turning up dead and the wife has to save the hot actor. Will this make the h.a. love and appreciate his wife again? Don’t know yet, but I would bet folding money that that’s where they’re going with this.

    Then, I watched Akira! I expected this to be entertaining but was surprised by how much I just loved it. Loved Sonakshi, loved Anurag, love love loved Konkona and I’m dreaming of a series of movies in which we watch SP Rabiya solve mysteries. I liked the small realistic details, like the whole brother-sister in law argument about the number of saris seems like something that would really happen between a husband and wife. I like the sex worker who acts like a regular person. I like Sonakshi’s outfits. I really wanted her to use her knowledge of sign language to get out of danger in some way, but the way they used it was cool also. I was not super into the Pat Benatar-looking chick, but that’s a quibble.

    About clothing for Salman: at this point I’m firmly in the caftan demographic, and since Sonam did it it’s cool and not dowdy. You want Salman to see you at your happy comfortable best, right?

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    • I am so glad I am not the only one who liked Akira!!!!! I found it an overall satisfying movie, and on top of that it had the female action hero I wanted. I also liked how every day it felt, even the villainy felt every day, she wasn’t dealing with some powerful criminal mastermind, just a corrupt cop who stumbled into something. And I thought Sonakshi did a great job in the action role, convincing in the fight scenes and good in the “troubled hero” kind of attitude.

      And it sounds like caftan is winning the day! I should dig it out and see if it is clean.

      On Wed, Jun 20, 2018 at 11:20 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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      • Yes, the every day feel is exactly what I liked. Like, Sonakshi just has her regular body, she didn’t get all shredded for the film, and she wears regular kurti, etc., and not a leather catsuit. And she acts like a college girl, albeit a braver than usual one. But, like, when she knows she’s in danger she goes to the Principal. Because you’d do that! You wouldn’t just pull on your leather catsuit and start punching people!

        When I saw the poster and stuff I thought it was going to be 1. Sonakshi is a sweet shy girl, 2. She gets raped, 3. She turns into a totally different human being, learns Krav Maga, and kills some people. And I was down for that but I’m happy that it was different.

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        • I really loved that Sonakshi didn’t get raped, but had other really bad stuff happen to her. You know? Like, just because she is a woman that doesn’t mean rape is the only bad thing that could ever happen. And she never turns into a victim, she is always fighting and saving people and escaping and all that.

          On Thu, Jun 21, 2018 at 9:49 PM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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  8. I vote no to kaftan.

    If you wear a kaftan, you are going to be *that* white woman who wore a kaftan to an Indian event – either thinking that’s how Indians dress, or using her generically “ethnic” outfit that she reuses for every “ethnic” event she attends, lol. You will stick out like a sore thumb in the lobby or the concession/food line. Like Nargis in that trailer with R. Rao.

    How about a kurta and jeans instead? Sufficiently south asian without feeling like you are appropriating anything. And very comfortable for walking sitting moving dancing. Pair it with the jewelry you were going to wear with the kaftan = smart street style. And you’ll like great paired with Salman in your selfie.

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    • It’s not an actual kaftan, just kaftan-like. Big loose knit dress. So, kind of too informal maybe, would be the other concern. But then formal-informal is always hard to judge, since everyone else is wearing full wedding level Indian outfits if they are women, and jeans and t-shirts if they are men.

      Kurta is a good option, I’ll dig around in my bottom drawer and see if I have any that aren’t falling apart (I bought a bunch on my first trip to India 10 years ago, and then put them in storage when they started to get really worn out).

      On Thu, Jun 21, 2018 at 1:37 AM, dontcallitbollywood wrote:

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