Monday, May 23, 2016

1963 Fisti Awards

[Images May Be Enlarged by Clicking on Them]

1963.  The year of Tom Jones.  I feel like this little film gets a lot of flack for being an Oscar winning film, but I kind of like it a lot.  I don't adore it or anything, but when you stack it up against some of the other films in that Best Picture lineup, it feels like the ONLY option.  I mean, Lilies of the Field is borderline awful and Cleopatra is so messy (beautiful, sure, but messy as hell).  I'm kind of baffled that those films even made it into the lineup, especially when you had well received films like This Sporting Life, Hud and Fellini's masterpiece, 8 1/2, racking up nominations elsewhere.  8 1/2 feels like such an awful exclusion, especially when you consider that it is probably the most well regarded film of the year and Fellini himself made it onto the Director and Screenplay ballots.

But this is Oscar, and they just never warmed to including foreign films in their BP ballots.

Outside of Oscar, this year had a lot to love.  My personal BP ballot makes me extremely happy and I feel like it well represents all that was great about the year.  From personal foreign dramas to glitzy Hollywood rom-coms to whatever the hell Hud was, I bow at this five films.

BOW!

And with that said, I present to you the Fisti Awards for 1963!



















Award's Tally

[3 Wins]

8 1/2

[2 Wins]

The Birds
Charade
Cleopatra
Hud
Vivre Sa Vie

[1 Win]

The Fire Within
Jason and the Argonauts
The Leopard
Love with the Proper Stranger

60 comments:

  1. This is great dude! :D I reallr should see 8 1/2 and The Leopard (even tho it's like amillion hours long and scares me lol) The Cardinal, Fire Within, and Viva... whatever it's called all look good too xD Also the only reason I know what Contempt is, is cos I saw the Cannes poster haha!

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    1. 8 1/2 is REQUIRED viewing for any cinephile...like, for real.

      The Leopard flows magically, The Fire Within is crushing to watch and Vivre Sa Vie is TOP TIER Godard.

      The Cardinal is AWFUL as a complete film, but parts (like the techs and a few performances) are noteworthy. Still, there is really no need to see it.

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  2. btw where f is everyone? There's tumbleweeds rolling through here.

    *tumbleweed rolls past*

    See?! XD

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    1. People are busy. They will come ;-)

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  3. Also for some reason these awards aren't in my feed... weird.

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    1. Sometimes it takes a few hours to show up.

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  4. Oh yay, another year so soon!! And one that has many films I love, some like The Prize and The Running Man aren’t necessarily award winners but hugely entertaining, but there are a slew that could compete. One of the actual nominees, How the West Was Won is a film you know I love very much but it’s too lumbering and disjointed to really make it as a Best Picture entry. I still have quite a few gaps in my foreign viewing though.

    Picture:
    We are miles apart this year. Wow you love Charade, I’ve always found it a chic charmer with terrific performances by Audrey & Cary and a fantastic look but never much more than that. I haven’t seen Vivre Sa Vie and while I liked Le Feu Follet it didn’t say with me. Perhaps I waited too long to see 8 ½ which I finally watched start to finish just this year and its reputation looms too large but I was underwhelmed, maybe someday I’ll give it another go and discover why it’s so beloved but that won’t be for a long time. Hud was the closest of your choices to making my list but to me it’s a well-constructed performance piece.

    My choices:
    The Birds-Winner
    The Great Escape
    The Haunting
    The Servant
    Tom Jones

    Tom Jones is a big rollicking merry ride which could have used a tighter cut. Haunting and Servant unnerving psychological studies and Escape a wonderful blend of humor, tension and action. All excellent but Hitchcock's last really great film is so effective with its aim to unnerve the audience and throw a good scare into them. On that level it's a great success.

    Director:
    While he isn’t my winner and I didn’t really care much for 8 ½ I did admire Fellini’s skill in keeping the flow of the picture tight over its extended length.

    My choices:
    Federico Fellini-8 ½
    Alfred Hitchcock-The Birds-Winner
    Joseph Losey-The Servant
    Martin Ritt-Hud
    Robert Wise-The Haunting

    I'd place Ritt's observant direction of Hud a close second but Hitch's ability to take a simple concept and make it a nail biter is without peer.

    Actor:
    We’re pretty close sharing three and my other two choices are in your long list. Newman's a terrific winner. His work as the sexy but detestable Hud is tremendous.

    My choices:
    Dirk Bogarde-The Servant-Winner
    Albert Finney-Tom Jones
    Richard Harris-This Sporting Life
    Burt Lancaster-The Leopard
    Paul Newman-Hud

    Finney anchors the sprawling Tom Jones and totally owns the film. Harris and Lancaster are great as two very different men but I favored Dirk Bogarde's cunning work as the malicious Servant.

    Actress:
    And we’re far apart once again. Unfortunately I haven’t seen three of your five, including your winner, since I’ve yet to see The Silence nor Vivre Sa Vie. Of the other two Audrey is marvelous in Charade even if I wouldn’t nominate her but I hated Irma La Douce and while I won’t say the same for Shirley’s performance I wasn’t much of a fan of it either.

    My choices:
    Judy Garland-I Could Go On Singing
    Julie Harris-The Haunting
    Rachel Roberts-This Sporting Life
    Jean Simmons-All the Way Home-Winner
    Natalie Wood-Love with the Proper Stranger

    In the film that closed out her screen career Judy's Jenny Bowman has many shades of the actress herself but she fleshes out the role far more compellingly than the clichéd script would seem to provide opportunities for, the emergency room scene in particular is a stunner and she uses the musical numbers to inform her character as well…her performance of “It Never Was You” is A-MAZ-ING. Julie Harris’s slowly unspooling Eleanor in The Haunting is riveting and Roberts, who I see you placed in supporting-she could go either way, is wonderful in Sporting Life. Natalie's be-leagued but independent girl who unexpectedly finds herself in the family way is one of her strongest performances. But the always underrated Jean Simmons, who I see in your long list, is simply staggering as a woman who finds herself suddenly widowed and has to confront what lies ahead in All the Way Home.

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    1. YAY! Yeah, I know that it's soon but I had some extra time in my week and I had reached a point where all the films I had left to see were unavailable for me, sadly...like I Could Go On Singing (which I really wanted to see).

      Love your BP ballot. Tom Jones is so fun, even if it could have used some editing, and The Servant is devilishly good. Love The Birds as your winner.

      My #5 spot in Director came down to Hitchcock and Ritt, so I love seeing them as your #1 and #2. I just can't not award Fellini. 8 1/2 was such a personal film for him and it shows in every frame.

      LOVE LOVE LOVE your Actor ballot. Bogarde was so close to my lineup...#6 or #7 depending on my day.

      One of my glaring blindspots is the Garland, and I hate that because I love her, but hopefully one day I'll find the film. Roberts is tremendous (and as you saw, I nominate her in Supporting) and Simmons was all sorts of unexpected in All the Way Home. A very deserving winner.

      Sad you hated Irma La Douce. I know so many that do, but I love it and MacLaine in it!

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    2. Jean Simmons though she was a star never received the respect and acknowledgement she deserved. I think it's because she was such a subtle actress rarely going in for the big theatrics that often get the acclaim but always delving deeply into her characters. All the Way Home is one of my favorites of her work, it's so internalized yet she shows everything you need to know about Mary Follet.

      It's a little late now but here's a link to I Could Go on Singing on YouTube. It's not the best print but not terrible either and it is the entire film.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YDKs1zpg_zs

      And while we're in Judy land have you ever seen this clip from her TV show? It's three minutes of magic.

      https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d6nGJ8k25zQ

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    3. UGH! I wish I had that link last week! I'll watch it soon.

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    4. I'll be anxious to hear your thoughts!

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    5. I'll get them to you as soon as I see it.

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  5. Supporting Actor:
    Ha, we both selected actors from Cleopatra just different ones. I really should give the film another look because of the performances but the thought of sitting through it again is daunting. I do recall Harrison doing strong work. I haven’t seen High and Low but de Wilde does beautiful work in Hud and Robert Preston would be in sixth place on my list.

    My choices:
    Brandon de Wilde-Hud
    James Fox-The Servant
    Melvyn Douglas-Hud-Winner
    Roddy McDowell-Cleopatra
    Bruce Ritchey-A Child is Waiting

    I was mightily tempted to award this to Bruce Ritchey for his pitch perfect rendering of a boy with disabilities in A Child is Waiting but when a child is so young so much of his performance is molded by the director, and Cassavetes was one of the best at that. It is a gripping heartrending piece of work though. Melvyn Douglas's performance is so meticulously observed and true, a culmination of years of fine work I agree with the academy that he deserved the prize. I’m surprised he was nowhere on your list.

    Supporting Actress:
    Some great picks, though I can’t stand Carol Lynley and would NEVER nominate her for anything. To me she’s always wooden and over studied. Whether she’s in lead or support Rachel Roberts is so strong in Sporting Life and I’m glad to see Sarah Miles turn up, she’s a vicious little trick in The Servant. Contempt is one of Bardot’s films that I’ve missed but I just saw that she’s going to have her own day during TCM’s Summer Under the Stars this August and that film is scheduled so I’ll catch up with it then. And at last we match!! I've always felt Patricia Neal gave the best female performance in any film this year but Alma is without question a supporting role.

    My choices:
    Wendy Hiller-Toys in the Attic
    Patricia Neal-Hud-Winner
    Suzanne Pleshette-The Birds
    Margaret Rutherford-The V.I.P.S.
    Shelley Winters-Wives & Lovers

    I love all five of these performances. Both Rutherford and Winters deliver comic gems that steal their films. Hiller is an oasis of calm and gravitas in the sometimes overwrought Attic and the marvelous Miss Pleshette does wonders in a part that in lesser hands would fade into the larger canvas of The Birds. But choosing Patricia Neal wasn't tough, she captures Alma’s careworn to the bone soul as well as it could possibly be done.

    Glad to see those design/costume noms for Cleopatra, it’s an overproduced often ponderous mess but an eye-poppingly gorgeous one. I can’t agree with your choice for best song though, “Love with the Proper Stranger” is a good tune but I LOVE the actual winner for the year “Call Me Irresponsible”. It’s such a classic.

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    1. For me, Cleopatra was less about her (I love Taylor, but she didn't deliver much for me here) and more about the two men that circled her life, and I've always considered both of them supporting since they pretty much only show up for halves of a whole picture.

      And I love Douglas (he was my #6) but de Wilde was, in my eyes, the better performance.

      I haven't seen A Child is Waiting, but I tried...I just couldn't find it anywhere...same with Toys in the Attic. I wanted to see it, but alas, I couldn't. Sad that you hated Lynley. I know that you hated the movie (as did I, truthfully) but I loved her two fold performance so much.

      Love that you nominate Winters. She's on my long list (and I saw that movie because of your recommendation).

      Now, the song win was somewhat default (and I do love it) but I only nominate/award songs from films I've actually seen, and since I haven't seen Papa's Delicate Condition, I could not nominate/award Call Me Irresponsible.

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    2. Glad to see it looks like you enjoyed Wives & Lovers, Ray Walston was great fun in it as well. Even Van Johnson who I often find irksome was less so than usual. But Shelley was best in show for me, she really seemed to be having fun and her character WAS fun.

      I meant to mention I was also happy to see Julie Christie in your long list for Billy Liar in support. She's not in it much but she just radiates such fresh star quality.

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    3. Christie was just brilliant in Billy Liar. It was a very small perf, but like you said, she radiated and stole the show for me. She was very close to my ballot.

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  6. A big YES to Patricia Neal as Best Supporting Actress; she was immaculate in Hud (as was everyone in that film). In fact, I can't quibble with anything you awarded.

    The costume award to The Leopard is also a great pick. Cleopatra is the obvious choice, but the costumes, as beautiful as they are, rather stole the picture, while the clothes in The Leopard added to its style without demanding attention.

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    1. I debated between The Leopard and Cleopatra for costumes, and like you said, Cleopatra is kind of the obvious choice, but I was so taken with how well crafted, how lush and elegant the costumes in The Leopard were without being over the top and, like you said, stealing the show. They just fit so beautifully in the scope of the picture.

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  7. I would've picked 8 1/2 as well as best film of that year while I would've also given the best actor award to Marcello Mastroianni with Burt Lancaster as runner-up for The Leopard. I will totally agree with you on Rex Harrison for Cleopatra. He was actually the best thing in that bloated and messy film.

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    1. I was so torn between Marcello and Paul, but Newman's performance in Hud was SO haunting and layered and I just couldn't not award him.

      Poor Cleopatra...what a beautiful mess.

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  8. I haven't seen NEARLY enough from this year to comment, but I ADORE Charade and kinda dislike The Birds (which is technically great but so dated and Hedren never grabbed me). I also like Hud and of the films I've seen, Neal and Newman would definitely win Supporting Actress and Lead Actor hands down.

    But then there's this: The other week, Film Forum did a Jean-Luc Godard & Anna Karina retrospective, and I got to see Vivre Sa Vie for the first time. On the big screen. And Karina absolutely DESTROYED me. Thing is, now that makes it a VERY tough call between that film and 8 1/2 for Best Picture.

    I feel like Tom Jones is the Best Picture winner that everyone always forgets (that wasn't from the first few years), partially because it's so atypical and partly because it's very much of its time. No one talks about it, but outside of the Oscar love, is there a really good reason to?

    It was so nice to have this so close to the 2015 Fistis! Miss you, buddy.

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    1. OMG, Vivre Sa Vie destroyed me too!!! It's my runner-up, and I was so happy to be able to hand it two wins.

      Tom Jones is fun. It's not perfect by any means, but it's a fun film that has a great ensemble and a lot of riches within it.

      Miss you, too. I was happy to have the time to put these together in such quick succession.

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  9. Love some of your unique picks especially Charade which I love. I would have to put Mad, Made World in here for best pic and I would have to nominate Ethel Merman for her performance in the same film. Cleopatererererrr....heheheee...is just too much of a mess for me even though it is stunning visually. I love The Haunting and felt it should have been in for Art Direction and cinematography. So happy that you put Jason and the Argonauts here as I love that film and hurray for Harryhausen. I still have to read your immense work on Mommy which still sticks with me and made such an impression. Glad to see you sneak in here:)

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    1. The Haunting is a film I really wish I had seen before I posted these but I forgot all about it!

      And I can't wait for you to read and comment on my Mommy posts. They are my favorite posts I've ever done.

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  10. So I just realized that 1963 is gigantic black hole for me. The only films I've seen in this entire post are the three noms for Special/Visual Effects plus The Pink Panther. Looking over a list of what came out that year I've only seen a handful (or two) of other films. I wouldn't say any of them were great with the possible exception of From Russia with Love. I'll just end my own misery by saying that I love the Jason and the Argonauts win because that movie is my shit.

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    1. I completely forgot that From Russia With Love was this year too! Can't say it would have made a dent anywhere, but a couple Top 12 mentions for the techs would have probably happened.

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  11. Yo Andrew! I gots a surprise for ya! :3 http://imakill3r.blogspot.com/2016/05/2014-silver-reel-awards.html

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  12. LOVE! Fellini's masterpiece, indeed.

    LOL, of course I haven't seen The Fire Within (!) yet.

    Drooling over your Best Actress lineup, and I'm pleasantly surprised to see the Cleopatra guys and Irma la Douce get a nice showing.

    Glad to see The Birds and The Great Escape pop up here and there, too. And Charade!!!

    Love with the Proper Stranger. Awesome song winner!

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    1. Yasss!!!

      See The Fire Within...it's so good...SO GOOD!

      That Lead Actress lineup is such love.

      I'm one of the few who actually really enjoyed Irma La Douce.

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  13. Hey look what I found haha https://youtu.be/yAnIITdZJcM

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    1. Depends on how you look at it.

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    2. How do YOU look at it tho? XD

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    3. If I could understand it...maybe I'd have a better reaction...but my heart is so tied up in Mommy that my initial reaction is to turn my nose up at it.

      LOL.

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  14. I'm surprised it was satires at all. Normally indie films don't get that treatment, must've had a big impact I'm French Canada then XD Also I was on Dolan's installation. He got a buzz cut. He looks... Interesting.

    Also I think I'm falling in love with him.

    ...

    WHAT HAVE YOU DONE TO ME!? XD

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  15. Another fantastic post! I do love Charade.

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    1. YAY! A Charade lover. Such a charming movie.

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  16. Andrew can you do me a big favor? I'm in a bit of rut right now when it comes to move watching, and I was wondering if you could recommend me some movies that you think may be good choices?

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    1. You've got any of my top contenders here for starters...and I'm wrapping up work on 1983 so you'll have those in a week or so (although, that year SUCKS)...

      Give me a year you have in mind and I'll give you suggestions...or genre...whatever.

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  17. But '83 has Fanny and Alexander in it, whaaaaatttt!?!?!?! :o

    Also anything with good acting, pacing, an cinematography. I don't care when or where it's from! Like, give me the first five that you think of llike that and I'll start from there :)

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    1. Barry Lyndon, Laurence Anyways, They Shoot Horses Don't They, Mysteries of Lisbon, All That Heaven Allows...

      First five that came to my head that are, I feel, beautifully acted, paced and framed.

      Yes...some are VERY long...but length has nothing to do with pace.

      And Fanny and Alexander is a masterpiece. Sadly...not much else from the year is very good.

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    2. I'll try to check them out, btw how'd you watch The Cardinal? I can't find it anywhere XD also I'm curious, what's the worst film you've seen that you've nominated for somethimg?

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    3. I saw The Cardinal on TCM...but like I said, it's awful (as a film) and so no real loss, despite the noms I give it.

      As far as the worst film I've nominated...

      Only God Forgives is absolute trash...like...I think I gave it a D solely because of the reason I nominated it, the Score. Outside of that (and some nice visuals) it's a piece of crap.

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    4. I really liked Kristen Scott Thomas in that. She did more there then she did in The English Patient lol

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    5. Gurl...NO

      Kristen's performance in The English Patient is one of the greatest Supporting turns of all time, easily.

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    6. Lol. I'm not saying she's not talented, and she did do pretty good with what she had, but that character is just so bland and boring. Maybe it's a problem with the writing, I dunno. Hibestly I thought a lot of the characters in that movie were kinda lifeless in terms of writing. Acting was good, writing, blargh! Haha.

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    7. I'm in the camp that feels the film is overall overrated, but KST is just beyond brilliant in the film. She acts with every ounce of her body.

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  18. Oh also I finally read the book. Her character is only in a few paragraphs if memory serves me. So it actually IS the book's fault in this case. Go figure! Lol

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    1. I have the book on my shelf, but there is a long line of books in front of it as far as personal reading goes.

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    2. Btw I made my 2011 awards ;)

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  19. I hate to say it, but I've not seen any of your top nominees, except for The Birds. But I'm shocked at what you said about Lilies of the Field. Awful!? That's one of my favorite films, and I'm surprised The Great Escape didn't get more nominations (like for Score). Oh, well, I really ought to see more films from the '60s.

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    1. I was just SO underwhelmed by Lilies of the Field. I found nothing of real note...it all felt so flat and underdeveloped, especially when compared with some of the more weighty and dynamic films of the year (which was overall very good).

      The Great Escape was fun, but that score was at times kind of hokey and pretty standard, right? I don't know...compared to some of the more elegant and creative scores, it couldn't stand up.

      The 60's is probably my favorite decade for film, period, so I highly recommend indulging!

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  20. Since I have seen only one film from this entire line-up which is 8 1/2 and since I love it very much,I'm totally with you with Best Picture.

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  21. I've seen very little of 1963, but I did just watch 8 1/2...finally...all the way through. It totally clicked visually. I saw it. I felt it. It's gorgeous. But it didn't click on a thematic or character level at all. I just don't relate to it in any way for some reason. I should've seen it way earlier...before all the Woody Allen that riffs on it. Would love for you to check out my Blind Spot post.

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    1. YASSS!!! I will, Kevin, I promise. I meant to look at it earlier. I'll be over soon!

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