Thursday, April 19, 2018

Late Breaking: Don Quixote Will Ride at Cannes / TFF Time Tunnel: The Eighth Telluride Film Festival / Filmworker Trailer / First Man Details

Good Thursday yo you...


LATE BREAKING: DON QUIXOTE WILL RIDE AT CANNES



Overnight the Cannes Film Festival announced the addition of several films to their lineup including that Terry Gilliam's The Man Who Killed Don Quixote will close the fest on May 19.

The Gilliam film had not been previously named due to legal complications but these appear to have been solved or waived so that the film can play next month in France.

Quixote was among a number of films announced as additions overnight included adds to the Palme d'Or competition section and Un Certain Regard.

Notably "Persona Non Grata" Lars Von Trier has been invited back to Cannes out of competition with The House That Jack Built.  That ends  his banishment that had been in effect since 2011.

Screen Daily has details of the newly announced films here.

Here's a thought...a Terry Gilliam tribute in Telluride.


TFF TIME TUNNEL: THE EIGHTH TELLURIDE FILM FESTIVAL



The ongoing history of the Telluride Film Festival project continues here today with a review of the Eighth TFF which transpired from Sept. 4-7, 1981.

Tributes:

The Character Actor: Margaret Hamilton, Elisha Cook, John Carradine, Woody Strode
Carlos Diegues
Dusan Makavejev

Special Medallions : Stan Brakhage and Kevin Brownlow


SHOWS:

Age of the Earth
The Big City
Catherine
Charm of Dynamite
The Circus
Daddy Long Legs
Dark Water
Eight Minutes to Midnight
False Witness
Fear Not Jacob
Fruits of Passion
Ganga Zumba
Hollywood
Love Affair or The Case of the Missing Switchboard Operator
Montenegro
My Dinner With Andre
Mysteries of the Organism
The Paper Chase
Paradise Not Yet Lost
Pearl Row
Pickup on South STreet
Prisoner of Shark Island
Sergeant Rutledge
Sherlock Holmes
Silver Dollar
Soldier Girls
Stages: John Houseman Directs Lear
The Sudden Wealth of the Poor People of Kombach
Three Brothers
Ticket to Heaven
Trapped
The Trouble with Harry
The Triumph of Sherlock Holmes
Vernon Florida
A Very Curious Girl
The Wizard of Oz
Xica Da Silva

Guests:

Susan Anspach
Keith Carradine
Robert Carradine
Shelley Duvall
Sam Fuller
Andre Gregory
John Houseman
Leonard Maltin
Errol Morris
Volker Schlondorff
Wallace Shawn



FILMWORKER TRAILER



One of the documentaries that made something of a splash at last year's fest was Tony Zierra's Filmworker which centered on the story of one time actor Leon Vitali who became Stanley Kubrick's right hand man.

Filmworker now has this trailer (vie YouTube):





Filmworker is set to open early next month in Los Angeles and New York.


FIRST MAN DETAILS


First Man set pics via The Daily Mail


One of the domestic non-Cannes films I'm watching for a possible slot at TFF #45 is Damien Chazelle's First Man.  It's Chazelle's much anticipated followup to La La Land.

First Man will follow the true story of American hero Neil Armstrong, the first man on the moon.  The film is scheduled for commercial release on Oct. 12th.

I have it on my radar because of its high profile and because of Chazelle.  The distribution is with Universal Pictures which has a thin Telluride profile over the past decade or so playing Steve Jobs at T-ride in 2015 and Flash of Genius back in 2008.

It's also worth noting that the film is scripted by Josh Singer who co-wrote and won an Oscar for Spotlight in 2015.  Singer also penned The Post last year which was a Golden Globe nominee for Best Screenplay.

Indiewire's Michael Nordine reported on some emerging details about the film (which has been described in an earlier Indiewire story as "Whiplash in space". (The 25 Actor-Director Pairings to Get Excited About in 2018).


That's your MTFB for this Thursday.  Tune in again Monday for more.

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Monday, April 16, 2018

Cannes and the Rest of the Lineup? / Milos Forman 1932-2018

Welcome back from the weekend on this Monday...


CANNES AND THE REST OF THE LINEUP



Followers of the Cannes Film Fest know that the Palme d'Or lineup is probably not complete.  It has been common in recent years that films have been added to the competition and other sections of the fest after the main announcement and I expect that to be the case again this year.

That said, it appears that the door has not completely closed on three films of particular interest to this writer that I've been eyeing as potential Cannes/Telluride crossovers for months.

First, the Netflix/Cannes stand off...which includes Alfonso Cuaron's Roma and Orson Welles' now completed The Other Side of the Wind.

Those doors where thought to be closed with last Thursday's announcement as Netflix withdrew any films from consideration for any section of the festival.  The conflict centers on the Netflix distribution model and Cannes' insistence that competition films must have a French theatrical release.

Despite what happened Thursday, there are reports that there still may efforts to open the door for both of those films.  Indiewire reported that Fremaux is still lobbying for Roma to play Cannes and that Welles' daughter is imploring Netflix and the fest to find some way that The Other Side of the Wind could still play.

Honestly, I don't have a good sense of how this will eventually shake out.  My best guess is that the standoff remains in place and both Roma and Wind don't get added and may, instead screen at Venice and/or Telluride but I wouldn't wager any money on that.

The other film to mention is Terry Gilliam's The Man Killed Don Quixote.  Its chance of playing Cannes seemed to be dashed by ongoing legal proceedings involving one of the film's past producers.  However, there were hints this weekend that even that door might not be totally closed.

Again, if I were forced to guess, I wouldn't count on Gilliam's film making it to the Croisette.  Its past history suggests that.  Actually, it's past history suggests that it's chances at T-ride, Venice, New York and/or Toronto are all dicey at best.


MILOS FORMAN 1932-2018



Milos Forman has died at 86.  His body of work as a director was smallish.  IMDb lists 20 features with Forman directing but the list of 20 is formidable and includes two Best Direction Oscar wins for One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and Amadeus (both of which also won Best Picture).  In addition to those two classics Forman also directed Man in the Moon, Ragtime, The People vs. Larry Flynt and Hair.

Forman was in Telluride for the festival in 2001 with the re-release of Amadeus that screened that year.

Several of you probably know that I have occasionally said that Cuckoo's Nest is my favorite film (though that claim shifts from time to time).

Forman was notable for directing all manner never getting stuck in a particular genre or format.  His versatility was remarkable.

Here's Indiewire's report on his passing.



More on Thursday...

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Thursday, April 12, 2018

And Now...From the 71st Cannes Film Festival / San Fran Film Fest Ongoing

Good Thursday friends...  It's Cannes time...


AND NOW...FROM THE 71ST CANNES FILM FESTIVAL




Now we know the Cannes lineup.  Main Competition, Un Certain Regard, Special Screenings...

And of the films that have been announced, historically five to ten are probably headed to Telluride in four and a half months.

Of course it's all guess work of the most speculative at this point.  I'll wait to see and hear what happens when these films screen in a month in France.  I'll be looking at critical reaction and the apportionment of prizes as well as pedigree and distribution.  All of that, and also some good old fashioned intuition to try to formulate a list of films that will make an appearance both on the Croisette and on Colorado Ave.

At first glance, the Cannes lineup offers a smaller list of obvious Telluride candidates than most years.

That said, here are what start out as the best chances for films that we now know are playing Cannes that might also play TFF #44:

In competition:

Dogman
Ash Is the Purest White
Burning
Three Faces
Cold War

From Un Certain Regard:

Long Day's Journey Into Night
Manto

And among Special Screenings: Pope Francis: A Man of His Word

Still a possibility is the opening night film: Asghar Farhadi's Everybody Knows.

Perhaps the most surprising omission, at least to me, is Mike Leigh's Peterloo.

As is often the case, Cannes Fest head Thierry Fremaux said other films could still be added to the lineup.

Fremaux also suggested that both The Other Side of the Wind and The Man Who Killed Don Quixote where serious contenders for selection but that the Netflix/Cannes feud had nixed the Welles film and another legal issue blocked the selection of Gilliam's film.

Both American films named in the Palme d'Or competition will open in the U.S. prior to Labor Day weekend meaning that they are off the table for Telluride: Spike Lee's BlacKkKlansman (opens Aug. 10) and David Robert Mitchell's Under the Silver Lake (opens June 22).

Coverage of this morning's announcement is here from:

Indiewire

Variety

The Hollywood Reporter




SAN FRAN FILM FEST ONGOING



Gary Meyer's Eat, Drink, Film website reports that the San Francisco Film Fest or SFFILM is off to a roaring start.  Meyer's first report is here.

Looking at Gary's story makes me yearn to be both in San Fran and at a film festival...what a great pairing of place and purpose.

Gary says he has a couple of other posts from SFFILM in the pipeline so stay tuned.


That's your MTFB this Thursday.  More on Monday.

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Monday, April 9, 2018

Everybody Knows Opens Cannes / On the Other Cannes / No Roma in Cannes Competition?

Well, I'm back.  Didn't plan to take last week off from the blog but that's what happened.  As i posted on Thursday...my apologies.

EVERYBODY KNOWS OPENS CANNES

While I was away this week it was announced that Asghar Farhadi's Everybody Knows will open the Cannes Film Festival next month.

Farhadi's Spanish language film stars Penelope Cruz (TFF Tributee in 2006) and Javier Bardem.

I've had Everybody Knows on the Cannes/Telluride watch list for months now due to Farhadi's past screenings of A Separation and The Past at TFF.

Two things I would note, however, are that Farhadi's last film (The Salesman) did not play TFF and  it's relatively rare that a Cannes opener makes the crossover to lay Telluride as well.  The last time I can find that happening was in 2004 with Pedro Almodovar's Bad Education so...it's been a long time.


Further details of the selection of the film for Cannes is here from:

Variety

Indiewire




The Pre-Cannes trailer for Everybody Knows from YouTube



ON THE OTHER CANNES



The release this week of a trailer and poster for Terry Gilliam's The Man Who Killed Don Quixote all but assures that the film's title will be announced for some spot in Cannes on Thursday.  The multi-decade-in-the-making film has also been on my Cannes/TFF crossover possibility list for a long while.

Here's the trailer from YouTube:







And coverage of the trailer from:





AND...NO ROMA IN COMPETITION AT CANNES?



The news this week that Alfonso Cuaron is now under the Netflix banner means that, as of now, Cuaron's film will not be playing in competition in France next month.

Cannes director Thierry Fremaux has made it clear that under the current Netflix release strategies, Netflix films will not be in the main competition.

For its part, Netflix, according to Vanity Fair and Indiewire is now threatening to exclude Roma and four other films from the festival including the highly anticipated Orson Welles "last film" The Other Side of the Wind.

And, of course, I have no good idea what this set of circumstances might do regarding TFF #44.


That's the bounceback MTFB for this Monday.


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Thursday, April 5, 2018

Thursday, March 29, 2018

The Ninth Telluride Film Festival / Reminder: Telluride and Best Picture / The Continuation of Cannes Guesses

Hell o to everyone on this Thursday...


THE NINTH TELLURIDE FILM FESTIVAL



Here's another installment in the months long sporadic project to document the history of the Telluride Film Festival.  The focus today is on the 9th fest that occurred from Sept. 3-6, 1982.

TRIBUTES:

Joel McCrea
Pierre Braunberger
Athol Fugard


SHOWS:

Arruza
Boseman and Lena
Bona
Broken Blossoms
Burden of Dreams
City of Lovers
Coaster
Country Lovers
Endangered Species
Fire on the Water
Fitzcarraldo
Foreign Correspondent
The Great Moment
The Grey Fox
The Guest
Koyaanisqatsi
La Chienne
Longshot
Marigolds in August
Mules of Smiles, Years of Struggles
Money and the Woman
Mr. Dynamite
My Life to Live
Night of the Shooting Stars
Padre Padrone
Painted Boats
The Palm Beach Story
Paris
Parsifal
Ride Lonesome
The Rise and Fall of Legs Diamond
Rope
Say Amen, Somebody
Smithereens
The Thirteenth Chair
Veronika Voss
Victor Sjostrom: A Film Portrait
We of the Never Never
The Wind
Yol

GUESTS:

Joe Dante
Richard Farnsworth
Lillian Gish
Philip Glass
Werner Herzog
Chuck Jones
JoBeth Williams
Robert Wise

YOUR REMINDER ABOUT TELLURIDE AND THE OSCAR FOR BEST PICTURE



I couldn't help but notice a tweet from Peter Howell, film critic for The Toronto Star and President of the Toronto Film Critics Association, this week.


Peter and I have exchanged messages over the past few years regarding both Telluride and Toronto's film fests.  He's been very kind to me as I have worked on this blog.  Anyway...

He tweeted a chart from Vanity Fair that graphically underscores fall film fest premiere relationships and Best Picture Oscar winners.

Here's a screen grab of that tweet:


Sorry about the size here, but it gives you a better look at the graph which really does highlight what has happened in terms of Telluride and the Best Picture Oscar.

Of course, I would add that although The Artist (2011), Birdman (2014) and Spotlight (2015) didn't "premiere" as T-ride...they did screen there.  In the case of both Birdman and Spotlight, they screened within hours of dropping at Venice.  This year The Shape of Water joined their company.


THE CONTINUATION OF CANNES GUESSES



Ioncinema opened up its Cannes speculation this week with a post that focused on films from North and South America that could make the grade when Thierry Fremaux announces the lineup on April 12th.  Ioncinema says they'll continue next week with looks at other films from around the planet that they think might get in.

Among the North and South American possibilities are these that have the pedigree to suggest a Telluride crossover:

Terrence Malick's Radegund
Barry Jenkins' If Beale Street Could Talk
Tony Zierra's SK13
Orson Welles' The Other Side of the Wind
Alfonso Cuaron's Roma
Sebastian Lelio's English language version of Gloria




That's the MTFB for Thursday.  I'll have more on Monday.  Have a great weekend.

EMAIL:  mpgort@gmail.com OR michael_speech@hotmail.com

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Monday, March 26, 2018

Deadline's Take on Cannes Possibilities / Beautiful Boy First Look / And For Fun

Good Monday to all...


DEADLINE'S TAKE ON CANNES POSSIBILITIES




The attempt to sift through informed Cannes speculation continues as a way of trying to suss out possible titles for The SHOW.  Today I am looking at Deadline's post from Mar. 22nd.

The first interesting note is an early paragraph that suggests that a number of films are off the table that have been mentioned in other previous Cannes speculation pieces.  Most notably (from a T-ride perspective):

First Man
The Sisters Brothers
Loro
and perhaps The Death and Life of John F. Donovan.

Other films that the article implies are ready and in the mix for Cannes (and then potentially Telluride):

Roma
Everybody Knows
Kursk
Non Fiction
The Man Who Killed Don Quixote
Peterloo


Shot from Mike Leigh's Peterloo


Sunset
Cold War
Ash Is the Purest White
Burning
Long Day's Journey Into Night
Photograph


And then there's The Other Side of the Wind.  The newly minted "last" film from Orson Welles is a Netflix production which means, at least according to the latest edict from Cannes head Thierry Fremaux, no competition slot.  However, the Deadline post suggests that the film could play in some other section of the French fest.  So, for the time being, let's keep it on our TFF #45 watch list.

The complete Deadline article is here.

The Hollywood Report has the Netflix ban story here.


BEAUTIFUL BOY FIRST LOOK


A number of media outlets posted a still from Felix Van Groeningen's upcoming Beautiful Boy starring the red hot Timothee Chalamet and Steve Carell.  Here's the still:


Indiewire;s accompanying story suggests that the film will probably skip Cannes and premiere at either Telluride or Toronto.  The film is being handled by Amazon Studios and produced, in part, by Brad Pitt's Plan B.  Both of those facts certainly don't hurt its Telluride chances.


AND FOR FUN

Telluride and MFTB friend Andy Brodie spotted this and posted it via Twitter and was kind enough to @ me so that I'd see it.

Forget all that stuff about the last eight best picture winners and nine of the last ten playing at Telluride.  Here's how you know you've really topped the mountain...you're the answer to a Jeopardy question (a $2000 Double Jeopardy question no less):


Thanks Andy.  Made me smile.


More on Thursday.

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Thursday, March 22, 2018

Another Cannes Speculation / Oscar Predictions from Awards Watch / The Other Side Gets Music

Welcome to Thursday...Mar. 22nd.  Spring happened since my last post!


ANOTHER CANNES SPECULATION



Indiewire posted its "wish list" for Cannes this week.  The list of 37 films is sort of a combination of films that their team think have a reasonable chance of making the cut for films which will be announced on April 12th (just three weeks away) and films that the authors would like to see make the list...some wishful thinking in some quarters, I suspect.


Among the 37 titles, the films that seem to me to make the most sense of playing both in Cannes and then in Telluride three and a half months later are:

Ash Is the Purest White
Beautiful Boy
Burning
Cold War
The Death and Life of John F. Donovan
Everybody Knows
If Beale Street Could Talk (will this really be ready for Cannes?)
The Little Stranger
Loro
The Man Who Killed Don Quixote
Non Fiction
The Other Side of the Wind
Peterloo
Radegund (yea, I know, it's been on some earlier Cannes lists...and Malick hasn't shown any inclination to come to Telluride -that I know of- since a 1998 inclusion as a producer of Endurance...but...)
Sunset
 

The Indiewire complete list and post is here.


OSCAR PREDICTIONS FROM AWARDS WATCH



Erik Anderson of Awards Watch posted his first list of potential Oscar films for the coming year earlier this week.  As you might expect, a veritable plethora of films are included that have legitimate shots at TFF #45 consideration.  Among the top ten films he lists as Best Picture possibilities are these that might be worth thinking about as TFF titles:

Black Klansman
First Man
Widows
Backseat
If Beale Street Could Talk
Can You Ever Forgive Me
Mary Queen of Scots

Among the films Anderson lists as "Other Contenders" that also seem to have some T-ride potential:

Beautiful Boy
Boy Erased
Everybody Knows
The Front Runner
Gloria (could Sebastian Lelio return to Telluride with the English language remake of the film that he had at TFF in 2013?)
Kursk
Loro
The Man Who Killed Don Quixote
Mid 90s
Old Man and the Gun
On the Basis of Sex
Peterloo
Roma
The Sisters Brothers
The Women of Marwen

The complete article from Anderson is here.


THE OTHER SIDE GETS MUSIC



Composer Michel Legrand via Wellesnet.com


Orson Welles last film gets closer and closer to being finished.  In addition to speculation that it will play Cannes, this week also had reports that music legend Michel Legrand has composed the music for the film. 

Wellesnet.com and Variety both reported that story earlier this week.

Other news culled from Twitter indicates that the recording of that orchestration has been occurring this week as well.

All of that contributes to the notion that the film will play in France in may and that we may well see it in the San Juans come Labor Day weekend.

Another note: Legrand was a 2007 TFF tribute recipient.



That's your MTFB for this Thursday.  I'll have more on Monday.

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Monday, March 19, 2018

More Thoughts on Cannes / Can You Forgive Me Trailer / Payne's Next Project

Welcome back from the weekend...

MORE THOUGHTS ON CANNES



Last week I posted a synopsis of Screen Daily's first big speculation piece about films that could find their way to Cannes in May and then Telluride on Labor Day weekend.  Just a day after Variety, led by Peter DeBruge and Elsa Keslassy produced a spec piece of their own.  As you might expect, a number of the titles doubled what Scree Daily had considered.

Among those that Variety repeated that seem to have serious Telluride potential:

The Death and Life of John F. Donovan
Peterloo
The Man Who Killed Don Quixote
The Sisters Brothers
Non Fiction
Dogman
Sunset
Cold War
Everybody Knows
Roma
Ash Is the Purest White


Other films that the Variety piece adds to the group that Screen Daily did not mention:

Damian Chazelle's First Man (would it really be ready?)
Thomas Vinterberg's Kursk
Lee Chang-dong's Burning
Mia Hansen-Love's Maya


The complete Variety piece is linked here.


CAN YOU EVER FORGIVE ME? TRAILER

Entertainment Weekly dropped a trailer for Marielle Heller's Can You Ever Forgive Me? starring Melissa McCarthy last Friday.  The trailer popped on YouTube very soon thereafter and here it is:




The original story from EW with the trailer and other info is linked here.

Our interest springs from its Oct. 19th release date, its Fox Searchlight pedigree which, coming off its Best Picture Oscar win for The Shape of Water, could be looking to send this film to T-ride.  Additionally, there's already some awards buzz floating around about McCarthy's performance.


PAYNE'S NEXT PROJECT



It appears that Telluride regular Alexander Payne has lined up his next gig as multiple sources report that he will be directing a legal thriller titled The Burial.  The script is from Tony Award and Pulitzer Prize winning playwright Doug Wright.

Amazon Studios is producing the film based on true incidents and centered on a Mississippi court case that focuses on the suit brought against conglomerate funeral homes.  The film is set in 1995 and follows the case brought by Jeremiah O'Keefe who was represented by attorney Willie Gary, described in the press reports as "flamboyant".

Linked is is coverage from:

Deadline

The Hollywood Reporter

The Film Stage

You have to think that it would be a serious consideration for TFF #46 in 2019.



There's your MTFB post for Monday, Mar. 19, 2018.  More to come on Thursday!

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Thursday, March 15, 2018

Cannes Speculation Begins in Earnest / New Trailer for The Rider / Tapley Muses on Telluride's Popularity

Welcome to the Jungle...on this Thursday...


CANNES SPECULATION BEGINS IN EARNEST

The 71st Cannes Film Festival is less than two months away (it runs May 8-19) and Screen Daily has posted what I believe to be the first large Cannes speculation piece that I have come across.

As many Telluride attendees know, the Cannes-Telluride crossover is usually quite significant from year to year.  It's not at all uncommon for 25% or more of the features that screen at Telluride to have played at Cannes previously.  So, a discerning assessment of what may make the Cannes lineup also serves as a window on some possible TFF selections.

Last year, for example, the first Cannes piece here went up on March 9th and included Wonderstruck, Downsizing and Loveless.The Mar. 13th post added Lean on Pete and The Insult.

In my look at the corresponding Screen Daily article from a year ago, I included Wonderstruck, Lean on Pete and Loveless.  That SD article also included The Insult and Foxtrot.

That said, here are the films that Screen Daily suggests for Cannes that could also be Telluride players in my estimation:

From North America: The Death and Life of John F. Donovan, Beautiful Boy, Boy Erased, At Eternity's Gate.

From UK/Ireland: Peterloo, The Man Who Killed Don Quixote, The Eyes of Orson Welles.

From France: The Sisters Brothers, Non Fiction.

From Italy: Dogman.

From Central and Eastern Europe: Sunset and Cold War.

From Spain: Everybody Knows.

From Latin America: Roma.

From Asia: Ash Is Purest White, Long Day's Journey Into Night, Shadow.

The complete Screen Daily article is here.


NEW TRAILER FOR THE RIDER

A new trailer has been released from SPC for Chloe Zhao's The Rider.  Here it is from YouTube:





TAPLEY MUSES ON TELLURIDE'S POPULARITY

If you haven't heard, 2018 passes for TFF #45 are sold out.  Every level...sold out. Depending who your read , that happened in 2-4 days.  Kristopher Tapley, co-editor at Variety and long time Telluride attendee tweeted his astonishment this week:



That's all for this Thursday.  More to come on Monday.  Enjoy your weekend.


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Monday, March 12, 2018

More Peering Into the Oscar Crystal Ball / Barry Jenkins Oscar Speech / Arthur Miller Has a Trailer

Good Monday morning and apologies for today's tardiness.  Still trying to manage the switch to daylight savings time.


MORE PEERING INTO THE OSCAR CRYSTAL BALL



More Oscar prognosticators have begun to turn the page from the 90th Oscars to begin to lay the groundwork for the 91st.  As is my custom, I am mining their predictions for potential players for TFF #45.

Erik Anderson of Awards Watch posted his first pass this past week.  Included on his Best Picture list are these films that might make the Telluride lineup:

Backseat-The Adam McKay directed biopic of Dick Cheney with Christian Bale and Amy Adams.

Black Klansman- This is my first inclusion on the prospective Telluride 2018 list.  It's from Spike Lee and is based on the true story of  Ron Stallworth, an African-American lawman who infiltrated the KKK.  My primary reason for inclusion:  It's distributed by Focus Features which played Darkest Hour at TFF last year.

Boy Erased- dir: Joel Edgerton

Can You Ever Forgive Me?-Melissa McCarthy stars in a drama. Marielle Heller directs and its from Fox Searchlight...which had a good year last year with a little film that played Telluride called The Shape of Water.

Everybody Knows-  Asghar Farhadi is back.  The film maker played past Tellurides with A Separation and The Past but did  not in 2016 with The Salesman.  A return could happen with this project that stars Penelope Cruz and Javier Bardem.

First Man- Damian Chazelle's La La Land follow up about astronaut Neil Armstrong.




The Front Runner-Jason Reitman's focus on Gary Hart's flame out presidential run in with Hugh Jackman playing the Senator.

If Beale Street Could Talk- Barry Jenkins...

The Man Who Killed Don Quixote- Terry Gilliam's multi-decade passion project.

Mary, Queen of Scots- Saorise Ronan and Margot Robbie go toe to toe in this historical biopic.  I'm actually back and forth about its chances, but it's also from Focus Features which, for the moment, tipped the scales for me to include it here.

Old Man and the Gun- Fox Searchlight again and Robert Redford...a past TFF tribute recipient.



Peterloo- Mike Leigh directs the story of labor strife in England.

Roma- Alfonso Cuaron could be back after Gravity's play in 2013.

Widows-Steve McQueen directs.  That, by itself, might be enough to mean a Telluride play.

And maybe, again, maybe...Martin Scorsese's The Irishman...depending on what Netflix decides to do with its delivery.

Here's is Anderson's complete post.


Meanwhile, Joey Magidson has 2018-19 10 Oscar Best Picture picks up at Hollywood News.  They include, as you'd expect, many of the same films that Anderson has named:

First Man, Backseat, The Front Runner, The Irishman and Boy erased.  He also includes The Women of Marwen starring Steve Carrel.

Magidson's post is here


BARRY JENKINS OSCAR SPEECH


Photo from Indiewire

In the melee that was the end of the Oscar telecast in 2017, and with the reversal of fortune that presented itself after it was discovered that the winner was Moonlight and not La La Land, Barry Jenkins didn't get a chance to say what he intended to say as the telecast concluded.

That oversight was corrected, at least in some measure, yesterday in Austin, TX at the South by Southwest Fest where Jenkins was a keynote speaker. 

Among other comments, Jenkins discussed the importance of not placing limitations on oneself.

Here is linked coverage of the address from Jenkins from:

Variety

Deadline

Indiewire

Got to say that I'm glad Jenkins gt the chance.


ARTHUR MILLER HAS A TRAILER

Rebecca Miller and HBO Docs brought Arthur Miller; Writer to TFF #45 last fall and now HBO has set its reveal for Mar. 19th.  Consequently, a trailer for the documentary has been released.  Here that is from YouTube:




That's all for today.  More to come on Thursday.

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Thursday, March 8, 2018

The Oscar Dust Settles / Looking Ahead to Oscar 2019 and Telluride

It's the Thursday after the Oscars....


THE OSCAR DUST SETTLES




Let it be said that I personally enjoyed Oscar Night 2018.  Largely for these reasons:

1) The Telluride Film Festival Streak of screening the Best Picture winner clicked over to eight straight years in a row  and nine of the last ten.   That's cool.  More about that a little later.

2) I had a big night in the prediction department going 21 of 24 (and 20 of 21 in the non-shorts categories.  The only feature category that I whiffed on: Visual Effects where I had War for the Planet of the APes and Blade Runner 2049 won.  In a side note: I did list BR 049 as a possible player in the category.

3) I loved seeing Guillermo Del Toro win.  Such a warm and kind fellow human.  Needless to say, I plastered the pic he took of himself with me and my wife all over Twitter and Facebook...again.  And here it is:


This was taken at the Fox Searchlight party at the New Sheridan Bar.

Notes on the season...

As mentioned in Monday's post, Telluride films picked up seven Oscars:

The Shape of Water had four: Best Picture, Direction, Production Design and Original Score
Darkest Hour had two: Best Actor and Makeup and Hair
A Fantastic Woman was Best Foreign Language Film


In addition to TFF #44 continuing the Best Picture string, I'm going to note that the People's,  Pro's and Composite Telluride rankings featured here every year after the fest have become surprisingly predictive.

For example, I've done The People's Telluride Ratings and The Professionals Ratings (or some version of them) here now since 2012 and the Composite of the two since 2013.

Up until last year, and Moonlight's win, the film that finished as the second highest rated film in the People's Ratings won the Best Picture Oscar.  Moonlight broke that string when the 2016 T-ride crowd rated it #1.  This year...the #2 spot was golden again as that's where The Shape pf Water finished (2nd to Lady Bird).

However, the Composite ratings have been five straight years of invincible with the composite top rated film in each year since I started it in 2013 winning Oscar's top prize.

Of the three metrics, the Pros are a bit more all over the place:

2012- Argo was #2 to The Central Park Five
2013- 12 Years a Slave was #1
2014-  Birdman was #1
2015- Spotlight was #3 behind Son of Saul and Anomalisa
2016- Moonlight was #1
2017- The Shape of Water was #1

So...if you're looking to wager next fall after TFF #45 concludes, check the #1 Composite rated film in this space about two weeks after the fest.


LOOKING AHEAD TO OSCAR 2019



The Oscar season never really ends.  Any number of Oscar Prognosticators have already started the running tote board for next year's awards.  That. as you know, can offer us clues about what films might be on the Telluride SHOW list in six months.  So...because this is what it is...I'll be looking at some of the "year-out" predictions for clues for possible films make The SHOW lineup starting with this article from Awards Circuit's Clayton Davis.

Among Davis' Best Picture predictions are some that have a real chance to be at Telluride:

Backstreet (the Adam McKay Dick Cheney movie with last year's TFF Tribute recipient Christian Bale as Cheney)

If Beale Street Could Talk (Telluride favorite Barry Jenkins follow-up to a little film called Moonlight...maybe you've heard of it)

Martin Scorsese's The Irishman. I can see Netflix wanting to play this at Telluride.

Boy Erased.  Joel Edgerton's drama about gay conversion therapy.

At Eternity's Gate-could Julian Schnabel return to Telluride with this story of Vincent Van Gogh starring Willem Dafoe?

Mary Queen of Scots with Saoirse Ronan and Margot Robbie and from Focus Features (which had a very nice Telluride 2017 with Darkest Hour.

On the Basis if Sex-Mimi Leder's Ruth Bader Ginsburg pic starring Felicity Jones and also from Focus Features.

Private Life-Tamara Jenkins first feature since 2007's The Savages, which was great and played Telluride.  Paul Giamatti stars.

Widows-Steve McQueen.  He's played Telluride with Hunger, Shame, 12 Years a Slave.  

Roma-Alfonso Cuaron.  After Gravity's success at T-ride and the great run that he and his amigos -Inarritu and now Del Toro have also had a TFF play wouldn't surprise.


That's all for today.  More to come on Monday!

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Monday, March 5, 2018

And the Oscar Goes To.... / The Telluride Streak Continues / Better Than Last Year

Good Post-Oscar morning Film Nerds!


AND THE OSCAR GOES TO:



Here are your winners from the 90th Academy Awards as announced last night (***indicates a missed prediction):



Best Picture: The Shape of Water
Best Direction: Guillermo Del Toro/The Shape of Water
Best Actress: Frances McDormand/Three Billboards
Best Actor: Gary Oldman/Darkest Hour
Best Supporting Actress; Allison Janney/I, Tonya
Best Supporting Actor: Sam Rockwell/Three Billboards
Best Adapted Screenplay: James Ivory/Call Me By Your Name
Best Original Screenplay: Jordan Peele/Get Out
Best Foreign Language Film: A Fantastic Woman
Best Animated Feature: Coco
Best Documentary: Icarus
Best Film Editing: Dunkirk
Best Cinematography: Blade Runner 2049 (Deakins finally wins!)
Best Production Design: The Shape of Water
Best Original Score: The Shape of Water
Best Original Song: Remember Me/Coco
Best Makeup/Hair: Darkest Hour
Best Costumes: Phantom Thread
Best Sound Editing Dunkirk
Best Sound Mixing: Dunkirk
Best Visual Effects: Blade Runner 2049***
Best Documentary Short: Heaven Is a Traffic Jam on the 405***
Best Live Action Short: The Silent Child***
Best Animated Short: Dear Basketball

The Shape of Water led the pack with four Oscars: Picture, Director, Original Score and Production Design

Dunkirk had three: Film Editing, Sound Editing and Sound Mixing

Darkest Hour had two: Actor and Makeup/Hair

Three Billboards had two: Actress and Supporting Actor

Coco had two: Animated Feature and Song

Blade Runner 2049 had two: Cinematography and Visual Effects

TFF #44 films took home seven Oscars for Best Picture, Director, Original Score, Actor, Foreign Language Film, Production Design, Makeup/Hair.


THE TELLURIDE STREAK CONTINUES



Beginning in 2008 with Slumdog Millionaire, nine of the last ten Best Picture winners have come through Telluride.  That run now includes a string of eight in a row.  The Shape of Water's win last night continues the streak:

2008: Slumdog Millionaire
2009: The Hurt Locker (not at TFF)
2010: The King's Speech
2011: The Artist
2012: Argo
2013: 12 Years a Slave
2014: Birdman
2015: Spotlight
2016: Moonlight
2017: The Shape of Water

That may finally mean that we can say that the best indicator/precursor for predicting what will win Best Picture now is a Telluride appearance.  It seems, after this crazy and unpredictable and suspenseful Oscar season that a TFF play is more reliable than almost any other precursor whether that's a guild award or some other awards program.

At least until it isn't.

Undoubtedly, the time will come when some film will win Best Picture that does NOT play Telluride.  That's inevitable and this year seemed like a prime year for that to be true but right this minute, this morning...if I were a film maker, producer, Oscar groomer, whatever...and I wanted my film to be a serious player for the big prize a year from now, I'd be busting my hump to get selected for TFF #45.

One other note:  Last night's win for Del Toro for Best Director and Best Picture was particularly sweet after the Del Toro experience we had, especially that my wife had at the fest last fall.  Again, for those who reached out and busted their buns to help make her meeting the new Oscar winner possible, thank you.  You know who you are and many of you swore me to keep your efforts quiet...so ...no names...but, again...thank you from the depths of my soul.

I'll have more on Thursday...with further thoughts as well as an analysis of TFF #44's impact on Oscar.


BETTER THAN LAST YEAR



Just a quick note that MTFB went 21 of 24 for Oscar predicting last night (after a late change in the Documentary category to Icarus).  As usual, the Shorts portion cratered the night.  I was 1 of 3 for the Shorts and 20 of 21 everywhere else.

And...look out...I'll talk Thursday about the Telluride film ratings we do here with the attendees, professionals and their composite.  It has become a ridiculously reliable bellwether for Oscar.

More on Thursday!

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Sunday, March 4, 2018

Final Oscar #90 Predictions / Oscar Predictions from the Experts

Here's a special Sunday edition of  MTFB...because, you know, Oscars...


FINAL OSCAR #90 PREDICTIONS



Here are MTFB's final Oscar predictions for 2018.  Accuracy you ask?  Last year was a semi-disaster  as I only correctly predicted 15 of the 24 categories.  That repeated 2016's tally.  That came on the heels of the 2015 and 16 Oscars where I was on fire going 40 of 48 over the previous two years.

Here's

2017: 15/24
2016: 15/24
2015: 20/24
2014: 22/24
2013: 18/24
2012: 18/24
2011: 17/24
2010: 14/24

The overall record for the past eight years of Oscar predicting: 139/192 for a 72.4% success rate.  All that means that the the average suggests that I'll hit about 17 or 18 of these and miss on six or seven.

With that in mind here are MTFB's predictions for The 90th Academy Awards:


BEST PICTURE



1) The Shape of Water
2) Three Billboards
3) Get Out
4) Dunkirk
5) Lady Bird
6) Phantom Thread
7) Call Me By Your Name
8) Darkest Hour
9) The Post

The top five seem like the only real candidates and their positions are fluid.  We've gotten used to having a two horse race down the finish these past few years:

Moonlight vs. La La Land
Spotlight vs. The Revenant
Birdman vs. Boyhood
12 Years a Slave vs. Gravity

But this year...you can make a reasonable case for any of the top four and Lady Bird still has a path to the big prize. I'm putting the nomination leader and PGA/DGA winner at the top: The Shape of Water
 
Late note:  I have moved Get Out ahead of Dunkirk to the #3 spot as of 11am (CDT) Sunday morning.

BEST ACTRESS

It's Frances McDormand's.  Upset specials: Sally Hawkins or Saoirse Ronan.

BEST ACTOR



Gary Oldman for the win.  Timothee Chalamet is your best chance at a spoiler.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTRESS

Allison Janney has this sown up in a race that was once perceived as a tight contest with Laurie Metcalf.  If anyone would upset, it would be her.

BEST SUPPORTING ACTOR

Sam Rockwell with the win in another category that was initially thought to be competitive with Willem Dafoe.

BEST DIRECTION



Guillermo Del Toro is your favorite to win here but it's not a lock. Christopher Nolan is a possible upset.

BEST ADAPTED SCREENPLAY

No one thinks it's likely that anyone but James Ivory wins for Call Me By Your Name.  Upset special: Aaron Sorkin for Molly's Game.

BEST ORIGINAL SCREENPLAY

A category that is very competitive.  Three Billboards and Get Out are thought to be the favorite with Lady Bird and The Shape of Water with an outside chance.  My call, for the moment: Get Out.


BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

Coco is an incredibly prohibitive favorite.  If there were a spoiler it might be The Breadwinner.

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM



This is all over the place.  I've run across support for the notion of any one of the five films winning the trophy Sunday night.  For the moment, let's call the winner A Fantastic Woman with The Square and Loveless also possible.

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE

Another difficult race.  I've changed this prediction to Icarus with TFF #44's Faces Places as the upset possible.

BEST FILM EDITING

A tight race between Dunkirk and Baby Driver.  I'm going with Dunkirk.

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Will it be Roger Deakins' year, finally, for Blade Runner 2049?   I'm saying yes but there is also a lot of support for Dunkirk and The Shape of Water.

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN



The Shape of Water seems most likely followed by Blade Runner 2049.

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

Another toss up.  I'm going with Remember Me from Coco with This Is Me from The Greatest Showman as the upset special.

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

Alexandre Desplat looks to have the inside track for The Shape of Water.  Hans Zimmer could get it for Dunkirk.

BEST COSTUME DESIGN

I'm expecting Phantom Thread to win this with The Shape of Water as a potential spoiler.

BEST MAKEUP/HAIR

The overwhelming sentiment is that the crew from Darkest Hour will win for their transformation of Gary Oldman into Winston Churchill.  Wonder could challenge, but likely will not.

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

A very competitive category from which I'm predicting War for the Planet of the Apes but Blade Runner 2049 or Last Jedi could also play.

BEST SOUND MIXING

Dunkirk.  Maybe Baby Driver.

BEST SOUND EDITING

Dunkirk.  Maybe Baby Driver.

BEST ANIMATED SHORT

Dear Basketball is my pick here to win.  Runner Up: Garden Party

BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT

DeKalb Elementary with The Silent Child as your upset special.

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT

Edith and Eddie edges out Heroin(e).


If these predictions are 100% accurate (and they won't be...see above) then TFF #44 films will lay out this way:

The Shape of Water wins four : Best Picture, Direction, Original Score and Production Design

Darkest Hour wins two: Best Actor and Makeup/Hair

A Fantastic Woman; Best Foreign Language Film

Total Telluride take: Seven Oscars.

Other multiple winners:

Dunkirk with three: Film Editing, Sound Editing and Sound Mixing
Three Billboards with two: Best Actress and Supporting Actor
Coco wins two: Best Animated Feature and Best Original Song

Among feature categories, seven films will pick up a single Oscar:


I, Tonya: Best Supporting Actress
Get Out: Best Original Screenplay
Call Me By Your Name: Best Adapted Screenplay
Icarus: Best Doc
Blade Runner 2049: Best Cinematography (Roger Deakins finally gets Oscar)
War for the Planet of the Apes: Best Visual Effects
Phantom Thread: Best Costumes


OSCAR PREDICTIONS FROM THE EXPERTS

Here's an analysis of Oscar predictions from expert Oscarologists with links to their final picks.

Sasha Stone/Awards Daily

Sasha and I diverge on Best Pic.  She has Three Billboards.  Other spots where we disagree and Sasha's picks in each:

Song: Mighty River
Foreign Film: The Insult
Doc Short: Heaven is a Traffic Jam on the 405
Animated Short: Garden Party
Live Action Short: My Nephew Emmett


Kristopher Tapley-Variety/InContention

Kris and I diverge in four categories:  Kris has:

Original Screenplay: Three Billboards
Song: This Is Me
Visual Effects: Blade Runner 2049
Doc Short: Heroin(e)

Scott Feinberg/The Hollywood Reporter

Scott has five differences from my picks:

Foreign Language: The Insult
Production Design: Blade Runner 2049
Visual Effects: Blade Runner 2049
Doc Short: Heaven Is a Traffic Jam on the 405
Live Action Short: The Eleven O'Clock

Anne Thompson/Indiewire

Anne and I match a good deal.  We differ in two categories:

Documentary: Faces Places
Doc Short: Heroin(e)


Awards Watch

Erik Anderson's group and I diverge in six places:

Song: This Is Me
Visual Effects: Blade Runner 2049
Doc: Last Men in Aleppo
Foreign Language Film: Loveless
Doc Short: Heroin(e)
Live Action Short: The Silent Child

Greg Ellwood/The Playlist

Greg and I are hugely agreeable only picking one category differently.  Greg's picks that are different from mine:

Doc Short: Heroin(e)

Pete Hammond/Deadline

Pete and I diverge in three categories:  He says:

Foreign Language Film: The Insult
Doc Short: Heroin(e)
Animated Short: Negative Space


I'll have more in tomorrow morning's regularly scheduled post.


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Thursday, March 1, 2018

Predictions for Eight More Oscar Categories / Berlin Analysis

It's the last Thursday before Oscar...

PREDICTIONS FOR EIGHT MORE OSCAR CATEGORIES

Here are the final eight category predictions for Oscar #90.  This completes a stab at all 24 categories over the last week.  I'll post FINAL OSCAR PREDICTIONS ON SUNDAY.


BEST COSTUME DESIGN

I'm expecting Phantom Thread to win this with The Shape of Water as a potential spoiler.

BEST MAKEUP/HAIR

The overwhelming sentiment is that the crew from Darkest Hour will win for their transformation of Gary Oldman into Winston Churchill.  Wonder could challenge, but likely will not.

BEST VISUAL EFFECTS

A very competitive category from which I'm predicting War for the Planet of the Apes but Blade Runner 2049 or Last Jedi could also play.

BEST SOUND MIXING

Dunkirk.  Maybe Baby Driver.

BEST SOUND EDITING

Dunkirk.  Maybe Baby Driver.

BEST ANIMATED SHORT

Dear Basketball is my pick here to win.

BEST LIVE ACTION SHORT

DeKalb Elementary with The Silent Child as your upset special.

BEST DOCUMENTARY SHORT

Edith and Eddie edges out Heroin(e).



BERLIN ANALYSIS



In my last post, I suggested six films that might have some possibility as players from the Berlin International Film Fest to make an appearance over Labor Day weekend in Telluride.

They were:

Alonso Ruizpalzcios' Museum
Christian Petzold's Transit
Aleksey German's Dovlatov
Malgorzata Szumowska's Mug
Marcelo Martinessi's The Heiresses
Erik Poppe's U: July 22


Interestingly, Awards Watch posted a story on Monday that assessed the films that might have some 2019 Oscar prospects.  Erik Anderson lists four of  the six films as potential Foreign Language Film potential nominees: Mug, Museum, The Heiresses and U: July 22.

Anderson's conjectures add fuel to my speculation that these films are potential TFF #45 titles.  



More on Sunday!

Monday, February 26, 2018

Oscar Predictions: Below the Line Part One / Berlin Closes / Features for TFF #44 Films Heroin(e) and Loveless

It's Monday...Oscar is less than a week away.


OSCAR PREDICTIONS: BELOW THE LINE PART ONE



I'm taking a look today at eight additional categories for this year's 90th Oscar ceremony. 

BEST ANIMATED FEATURE

Coco is an incredibly prohibitive favorite.  If there were a spoiler it might be The Breadwinner.

BEST FOREIGN LANGUAGE FILM

This is all over the place.  I've run across support for the notion of any one of the five films winning the trophy Sunday night.  For the moment, let's call the winner A Fantastic Woman with The Square and Loveless also possible.

BEST DOCUMENTARY FEATURE



Another difficult race.  Let's say Faces/Places with Icarus as the upset possible.

BEST FILM EDITING

A tight race between Dunkirk and Baby Driver.  I'm going with Dunkirk.

BEST CINEMATOGRAPHY

Will it be Roger Deakins year, finally, for Blade Runner 2049?   I'm saying yes but there is also a lot of support for Dunkirk and The Shape of Water.

BEST PRODUCTION DESIGN



The Shape of Water seems most likely followed by Blade Runner 2049.

BEST ORIGINAL SONG

Another toss up.  I'm going with Remember Me from Coco with This Is Me from The GReatest Showman as the upset special.

BEST ORIGINAL SCORE

Alexandre Desplat looks to have the inside track for The Shape of Water.  Hans Zimmer could get it for Dunkirk.

I'll have a set of predictions on Thursday for the remaining eight categories and the comprehensive final set of predictions in a special Sunday edition of MTFB.



BERLIN CLOSES



The 68th Berlin International Film Festival came to a close over the weekend with The Golden Bear going to Adina Pintilie's Touch Me Not.

Berlin has been a noticeable touchstone for films that end up playing Telluride in the fall with such films as A Fantastic Woman and The Other Side of Hope being examples from last year.

The Berlin-Telluride crossover has been very common as this list attests:

2016: Fire at Sea (Golden Bear winner), Things to Come
2015: Taxi (Golden Bear winner), 45 Years, Ixcanul
2014: 50 Year Argument, '71, The Decent One, Diplomacy
2013: Gloria, Fifi Howls from Happiness, Le Maison de la Radio, Slow Food Story, On Death Row
2012: Barbara, A Royal Affair
2011: Forgiveness of Blood, Mondo Lux, Pina, A Separation (Golden Bear winner), Target, The Turin Horse
2010: Daniel Schmid, If I Want to Whistle I Whistle, The Illusionist
2009: Gigante, London River
2008: Happy-Go-Lucky, I've Lover You So Long
2007: The Counterfeiters

Last year I listed five Berlin films that I thought were the most likely to continue the trend with both Fantastic Woman and Other Side of Hope making that list (The other mentions were The Party, On Body and Soul and Spoor.

But...I have to tell you that I have no films from this year's Berlin Fest that are pinging my TFF sonar.

If forced to name some possibilities, I'd probably guess:

Alonso Ruizpalzcios' Museum
Christian Petzold's Transit
Aleksey German's Dovlatov
Malgorzata Szumowska's Mug
Marcelo Martinessi's The Heiresses
Erik Poppe's U: July 22


Here's coverage of the Berlin fests awards from Variety

And also from Indiewire.


FEATURES FOR TFF #44 FILMS: HEROIN(E) AND LOVELESS




I ran across a couple of articles that focused on two films that played TFF #44 and are Oscar nominated.

Business Insider took a look this week at the Short Doc Oscar nominated Heroin(e) which focuses on the opioid epidemic in a small town in West Virginia.

That profile is here.

And I also tumbled across an Ioncinema interview with twice Oscar nominated Russian director Andrey Zvyagintsev (Leviathan) whose Loveless is nominated for Best Foreign Language Film this year.

That interview is here.


That''s a wrap for MTFB for this Monday.  More coming Thursday.


EMAIL:  mpgort@gmail.com OR michael_speech@hotmail.com

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