The Devil All The Time

One of the most anticipated movies of the year came out a few days ago. Like most mainstream films, I started off very skeptical. Popular movies tend to lack depth and have regurgitated story lines that have been seen many times before. However, I was pleasantly surprised by The Devil All The Time (2020). The movie is suspenseful, every moment leaves you on the edge of your seat wanting to find the glue to put the story’s puzzle pieces together. Let’s talk about it.

What a story!

I want to start off by mentioning that the genre of this film is not something that I normally watch. I was originally drawn to this film because of its all-star cast, but I stayed because the story sunk its teeth into me. Horror, love, revenge, and the battle between what is good and what is evil.

Much of the story is up for interpretation, many of the characters are not clearly “good” or “bad,” they are a bit of both. This balance beam walking act kept me engaged with the film for its entirety and almost made me forget to breath.

All of that being said, this film is a thriller, a mystery, and plays with your mind. There is death, heartbreak, and some themes that made me feel uneasy, but throughout the film, I focused a lot of my attention on the characters. While most films focus on plot, this film had a nice balance between the characters and plot, and how they carefully intertwine. For instance, Willard (Bill Skarsgard) has some slanted beliefs, but underneath it all, he seems to be a nice man. He loves his son, he loves his wife, and he loved his dog. But something about him is not right. Something about him cannot be trusted. So, what does that mean about Arvin?

There are very few definitive answers in this film. There are no super heroes. No ghosts. Just setting, plot, and characters. This is one of those films that I will be thinking about for weeks. Right after watching the film, I did not think that I liked it. It was weird. Strange. But now, a day later, I appreciate it’s intricacy and its attention to detail. I also acknowledge the great acting and directing. The screenwriting was also well done because I was never confused. I felt happy when I could put the clues together for myself and was not simply told plot points. Well done all around!

from Netflix on YouTube

Something to think about:

Willard has this saying that is repeated throughout the film, “There’s a lot of no good sons of b***hes out there.” This saying made me think about how our psychology and inner dialogues affect our everyday lives, and thus, our lives as a whole. We tend to see what we think we will see. We tend to find what we think we will find.

In other words, if in the morning we think that we are going to have a good day, we will remember the instances in that day that are good. However, if we think we are going to have a bad day, we will remember the parts of the day that are bad. A single saying laid out the structure for Willard’s life and in some ways, Arvin’s life as well. If you think people are out to get you, you will find people who are. If you think people are kind, you will find people who are.

The way you look at the world changes how you experience it. I wonder how Willard’s life would have turned out if he had a different catch phrase.

Sentence Summary

When Spiderman comes back from Thanos’ snap, he finds himself surrounded by corruption and a gone-rogue Edward Cullen.

Now, onto the real sentence summary: Arvin’s family history is engraved in him and leads him down a path that his father started for him many years ago.

See ya!

Thank you for reading. You are awesome.

What did you think of this film? Did Tom Holland surprise you, or did you always know that he had the acting chops in him?

I knew that Tom was something special. His Spiderman is goofy and adds just the right vibe to the Marvel Universe.

However, some of the other actors in this film could work on their southern accent! Ahem. I think you know who I am talking about… not Pattinson, he was incredible, as usual.

Arianna

P.S. Let’s talk about Pattinson.

I wrote this post and realized that I did not even mention the brilliant Robert Pattinson. He can truly play any role. In this film, he plays a preacher who is entrancing. His character is despicable, but somehow he also has this magnetism to him.

I cannot think of an actor who is as versatile as Pattinson. What a brilliant artist. And a fellow weirdo. I appreciate that. But his character in this film was brainwashed and had no sound moral compass.

He played the character incredibly. Round of applause for him! But not for his character, because he was a d-bag.

Exciting news!

Hi all! I have taking a few weeks off blogging because I have been up to some exciting projects. One of the projects is ready to share with you and *drum-roll please* I created my own shirts, mugs, and hoodies! I have always liked designing humorous graphic tees, almost as much as I like wearing them. I decided to share some of my designs with you guys because I think that we could all use a nice, funny graphic tee right about now.

All of the products are available on Redbubble! I have some of my photography for sale on my profile as well, but I am most excited about the movie related graphics that I just added. Here are some of the products:

The two graphics say: “Let’s watch a movie together” and “You can talk to me when the movie is over.” The face mask is perfect for going to the move theatres and not wanting to be bothered while you are watching the movie, especially as many movie theatres are just starting to open up again.

Here are links to some of the products:

Click on the product that you are interested in and it will bring you to the web page. These are just some of the products, for all available products, you can check out my dashboard on Redbubble.

Lightweight Hoodie

Classic T-shirt

Pullover Sweatshirt

Essential T-Shirt

Let me know your feedback and I will apply them to future designs! I made the prices as affordable as possible.

As always, thank you so much for your support. It means more to me than you will ever know. If you decide to purchase something, let me know on Instagram! I would love to know what you got!

Sending you some sunshine,

Arianna

Gifs and Giggles ft. Conan

Let’s review some gifs. Time to laugh! Film lovers, writers, and creatives unite! Let’s laugh at our creativity and small successes that make us so happy. Get ready to have some fun and hopefully laugh a little. And thank you Conan, you make some pretty great gifs and your facial expressions are pretty unique.

1. When someone says your writing sucks.

from GIPHY

2. *New email*: Your film was accepted.

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3. Plot twist!

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4. Off to accept my award… in my dreams.

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5. When the audience understands your joke.

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6. When you get a little too nervous…

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7. When a horrible film wins the award.

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8. When the ending of a movie is perfect.

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9. When the director is explaining their film and it is a masterpiece.

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10. Pose for a picture! (aka shy people on a red carpet)

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Thank you for being here. I like you. Go for your dreams. You can do this. Come back and look at this post when you start to doubt yourself. Laugh a little. Know that you are not alone. You got this!

Come back next week for a better post! But, laughing is pretty fun, too. 🙂

Have a splendid day!

Arianna

Moe N. Reed and Bern Houston

This week I had the incredible chance to interview the writer, Moe N. Reed. She is a CSU Northridge alum and has a M.A. degree in screenwriting. One of her past projects premiered at the Pan African Film Festival in 2018 in the best documentary category! She loves collaborating with other creatives and working in a variety of genres.

When asked why she got into filmmaking she replied, “I decided to write and produce my own content because I have a passion for storytelling. I enjoy coming of age stories and depicting characters in a non stereotypical fashion. I think it is important to have diverse images in the media.” I agree, so many main-stream movies have duplicate characters that are seen over and over again in different films. Diversity needs to be better displayed in film, and it is because dedicated creatives like Reed, that media is starting to become more diverse. What a great achievement!

Next, I asked what is something she has learned on her filmmaking journey. Reed replied, “I learned to trust and believe in my instincts. Filmmaking is a creative process and not everybody will see my vision, but it is important to be persistent.” I have also learned this lesson. Being a creative can be hard when others do not see your vision, but ultimately, it is up to you to accurately represent your ideas and stay loyal to your vision.

When I meet filmmakers, writers and creatives, I like to ask what their favorite tv shows and movies are. You can tell a lot about a person by watching their favorite stories. Reed enjoys Atlanta on FX. She “initially liked the show because of the cast,” but continues “to like the show because of its high production value.” She enjoys the acting, writing, and would love to work on the show! One of her favorite films is Love Jones “because it has the perfect balance of romance and comedy.”

Lastly, I asked Reed what is some advice she would give to a new filmmaker. She had some great words of wisdom:

It is important to have a plan and a back up plan in order to deal with the mishaps that often happen within indie filmmaking. 

It is important to be flexible when it comes to scheduling and have a budget for the entire film process (pre production – post production).

In addition, it is important to know just because the project didn’t come out perfect, still celebrate the victory of completing it.

Moe N. Reed

Reed’s Current Projects:

She has a 6 part web series, called “The Life of Bern,” that is available to watch on YouTube. You can support the series by following them on all platforms, click here to follow their Instagram.

Overall, this is what Reed had to say about the web series: “The web series follows the life of Bern, a teen who was diagnosed with Selective Mutism as a child, but after winning a rap freestyle contest, Bern must learn how to navigate the challenges of his new found fame. The episodes will document Bern’s journey, from an introvert to the hottest sought-after rapper in Los Angeles, as he tries not to become another gimmick emcee.”


Thank you for reading and supporting independent writers, cinema, and diverse stories. I enjoy getting the chance to meet new creatives and share their wonderful work with you! And, thank you Moe for giving me the chance to interview you. I appreciate your time!

Arianna 🙂

*All photos in this post belong to Moe N. Reed.

Nice to see you!

I know that most of you are probably expecting a film review, or an interview with a filmmaker, but this week is going to be a little different. In the past weeks, I dealt with a power outage, just after starting an online class, so my schedule has been a bit crazy. I figured that because a few more people have been reading my blog, I wanted a chance for you to get to know me a little better.

When I created this blog, I was focused on being a filmmaker and an actor, but my goals have changed from the process of learning and gaining new experience. Currently, I am focused on writing, school and keeping my mind happy by spending time in nature. Today I am going to share with you some of my current projects, announcements, and achievements! Let me know some of your wins in the comments!

1. Feature Screenplay

For so long I was trying to think of an idea good enough for a feature-length film. I started writing a story, then contemplated turning it into a novel, and then I gave the story a break. I set it down. Something about it wasn’t right, so I wanted to move on for a little bit. Then, in a dream one night, an idea came to me, and I have been writing about it ever since. It is a sci-fi, family drama, adventure story, and I am excited to write it (and eventually film and direct it one day)! More details to come in the future!

from GIPHY

2. Publishing my poem book

I have been working on this poem book for more than five years. Yes, you read that right! Five years. While I was recovering from my concussion, I wrote poems to express myself. When I healed, I started to compile my poems and edit them. Now, the book is almost ready, and it is on schedule to come out this December!

The poems are heavily inspired by my healing journey, nature, learning, growing and just appreciating the beauty in every single day. I was going to wait until after the pandemic to release it, but I think it has the ability to help some people realize that they are not alone in their feelings, and everyone goes through ups and downs, even if they look happy on the outside.

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3. My Short Screenplay was accepted into a festival!

When I started screenwriting, I was under the impression that it took years to get accepted into festivals and years to learn how to write a compelling film. Although I am not an expert and I have so much to learn, getting accepted into a festival makes me feel like I am on the right path with my goals. A small victory is still a victory! BOOYAH!

from GIPHY

4. My Short Screenplay is nominated for an award.

My screenplay, Will Power, was accepted into another film festival and was nominated for an award in its category. This is very exciting and makes me want to do a happy dance. I found out I was nominated on my birthday, and it was such a great birthday gift for myself. I am very excited! If it wasn’t for the pandemic, I could have been possibly accepting my first award in person in the next few months, but the festival is postponed to next year.

from GIPHY

5. Finally, I am a Sophomore in college!

I had to wait a few years after high school to start college because of my concussion. But, after I complete my current summer class, I am officially a Sophomore! It is kind of surreal to be honest. When it took me 5 years to recover from my concussion, I thought that I would never be able to go to college. But here I am. I am very thankful.

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6. Completing more collaborations.

I love meeting filmmakers, creatives and small brands online. I also love helping connect them with other people in my network. It is fun to support other creatives and watch their dreams come true. Hard work and dedication pay off. And so does being supportive and cheering other people on!

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7. I went to the eye doctor.

This is not an achievement, or a celebration, but my eyes got a lot worse. Boo. My doctor says it is probably from all of the time I spend on my computer doing school work and researching and learning. This kind of thing happens. My eyes got significantly worse after my concussion and an encounter with a terrible eye doctor (that’s a whole nother story), but now I do have the chance to get some snazzy new glasses, right?

Sometimes things happen that can easily be labeled as set-backs and negative occurrences, but if you look at them from a different angle, maybe they aren’t so bad. I mean, I still need to wear my glasses, or I will trip down the stairs, but I DO get to choose some new, fun glasses, so is it really that bad? Anyone with bad vision will understand. LOL.

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Thank you for reading.

Thank you to everyone who has subscribed to my blog. I appreciate it so much. I have been having so much fun interviewing new filmmakers, and I hope you have been enjoying those posts, too! If you have any questions you would like me to ask the filmmakers I interview, email me and let me know!

Also, if you have a friend who is a creative, tell them to contact me through my contact page. I would love to interview them! They could be a writer, director, filmmaker, producer, etc. Let’s support each other. Lastly, if you are a blogger, I would love if you interview me and make a blog post to help support my poem book! I would be so grateful! If you are interested, email me at alohaarianna@outlook.com and I will get back to you ASAP. The poem book also includes poems about my passion for filmmaking and story-telling!

Have an awesome day. That’s an order! 🙂

Arianna

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Queen Media Collective

I always enjoy getting to know filmmakers because all of their stories are so different. Some filmmakers have been making films since their childhood, while others get into filmmaking in their adult years. This week, I had the chance to interview the inspirational Michaela P. Shelton. Her brand and production company, Queen Media Collective, focuses on women of color who create quality content and provide media services for entrepreneurs.

Shelton graduated from San Jose State University with a Bachelor’s of Science in Journalism. Since graduating, she has been “building her portfolio in writing and editing for various publications.” She is the creator, director, writer and star of Reckless Behavior The Series that is currently in its pre-production stages for its 2nd Season. The first season premiered January of this year, and was screened at the Pan African Film and Arts Festival! Shelton says that the 1st Season was created with the goal of being “light hearted” and something that people could relate to. But, Season 2 will explore “deeper” topics that are very present in the lives of black millennials. You can watch all of Season 1 here.

Season 1 tells the the story of Michaela Holloway. She is “a post college black millennial and aspiring writer, who navigates through life attempting to find herself and avoid reckless behavior.” This series was created with the intent “to create something for us and by us that promotes the beauty and culture of the Bay Area.”

Shelton’s brand also produces motivational, genuine and authentic lifestyle pieces, “reviews, exclusive interviews and pieces targeted to men and women of color.” The intention of her content is “to inspire, intrigue and create awareness.” I even had a chance to ask Michaela a few questions. First, I asked her what made her want to get into filmmaking:

I started wanting to get into film after writing reviews for a few web series. It made me wonder if instead of solely writing blogs about my life, I could create a web series and reach a larger audience.

Next, I asked what her favorite part of the creative process is:

My favorite part of the creative process is definitely the script writing process. I love creating characters and bringing their stories and personalities into one cohesive narrative.

I am always interested in learning what a filmmaker’s favorite shows and movies are. Michaela said that her favorite movie is Rush Hour and her favorite show is The Game. Lastly, I asked Michaela what is one piece of advice she would give to a newbie in the film industry.

I would tell a new filmmaker to make sure to do their research and try to find a mentor who they can go to for guidance and advice throughout the process.

Before you watch Shelton’s web series, I think you to check out the blog series from five years ago that inspired Reckless Behavior The Series. If you want to learn more about Shelton and her work, you can check out Shelton’s production company on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook. You can also visit her personal accounts on Twitter and Instagram, where she posts updates on her current projects.

Thank you for reading! I want to continue to support independent cinema by showcasing up-and-coming creatives. As always, I hope you and your family are safe and healthy. Thank you Michaela for giving me the chance to get to know you a little better. I wish you the best of luck in all of your future endeavors!

*All photos in this post are not mine, they belong to Queen Media Collective and Michaela P. Shelton.

Onward Movie Review

Onward (2020) is a magical story about two brothers, Ian (Tom Holland) and Barley (Chris Pratt). They lost their dad, but go on a crazy adventure to be able to spend one last day with him. The story has many laughs along the way, but there are definitely some sad parts. (But, it is a Pixar film, so you know you will cry at some point.)

This film came out in March, but was stunted by the pandemic. So, shortly after its release, it was made available on Disney Plus. I was hesitant to watch this movie after the trailer left me unfulfilled, but I wanted to watch a feel-good, chill movie, and I think this movie filled its purpose.

Why should I watch this move?

Besides the fact that this film stars the voices of Chris Pratt and Tom Holland, I would say that this film is a great movie for a child to watch. The story evokes creativity, encourages imagination, and thinking outside of the box. The main characters also go on a fun adventure, which would have intrigued me immensely as a child.

Yet, there is a serious side to the story. I remember clearly crying at multiples points, but the sad parts of the film might be overlooked by a child. There is one sad part that has to do with a cassette, that made me cry profusely. It touches on the significance and preciousness of someone’s voice. But, maybe I only cried because I am older, and see the significance in some of the scenes. If I watched this movie as a kid, there would be a good chance that I would have been able to watch it without crying. Oh, to be a kid and believe in magic and the unmatchable beauty of the world! What a time!

There are also some clever scenes that were clearly directed with meaning and thought behind them. For instance, when the dragon mascot of the school becomes the face of a rock dragon, that was pretty cool! Also, when Ian crosses out ‘laughing together’ on his list of things to do with his father, I realized the incredible importance of being able to laugh with the people you care about. Sometimes we don’t realize the value in some things, until we do not have it anymore.

from Pixar on YouTube

What to think about?

This movie contains many cheesy, predictable plot twists, but the essence of the movie touches on the magic of being a child. When you get older, the “magic” fades away. It is a sad metaphor that is made in the film, but it is true. It got me thinking about when my childhood ended, and when I became an adult. In many ways I still feel very young, but in other ways, I have clearly grown up. I think I will always have my creative, imaginative side within me, and that is something that I am proud of.

One thing that I also liked about this movie is how the mom saves the day. I think that this part is very realistic, and shows the power and importance of mothers. However, at the finish of the movie, even though the father disappears again, I think that the ending image should have had the mother, her two sons, and their father (as a transparent spirit) to symbolize that he was with the family all along. Yet, I still like the meaning of this film, and the title “onward,” meaning to keep going and getting through the challenges that life throws at you.

Rating: 6 out of 10.

Watch this movie: 6/10

This movie’s animation is incredible and the details in the outfits and rooms is great. I like the arc of the story (for the most part) and the ending’s message invoking the characters to do what they were destined to do. I also enjoyed how the brothers are opposites of each other, and how their love for one another is shown throughout the film.

The cheese puff boat was also pretty cool (if you have watched the movie, you know what I am talking about). However, for a good part of the movie, I was distracted by Pratt’s voice, I almost think that his part would have been better if someone less-known would have played that part. I think that his voice sounded like it was trying a bit to hard to be funny, and it made me less immersed in the film.

There are also plot holes throughout the film, but it is a kid’s movie, so I do not want to be too annoyed by this. But, for instance, the boys’ father has his legs for most of this film, but he cannot see where he is going– or can he? Sometimes the father walks as if he can see or hear, and other times he walks as if he cannot. This confused me throughout the film.

Overall, this film is a mix of fairy tale lore, dragons and curses, swords and flying, and the power of family. The film creates a sense of appreciation for our family, who cares about us through everything we go through. In the last few scenes of the film, Ian watches through rocks as he sees his brother greet his father and hug him. It is such a precious moment, and framing the scene with rocks between them shows Ian’s distance from his father, and emphasizes his longing to be with him. This movie has a lot of meaning, and I admire that. I know that the creators behind this movie created this movie out of their personal experiences in life, and I respect that greatly.


Thank you for reading this blog post and supporting my blog! Sometimes it can be overwhelming trying to keep up with my Instagram, blog, school, family, friends, work and more, but my love for movies keeps my posting. I love talking about films and sharing my thoughts with you. I hope you enjoy reading my blog, and hope that it brings you a little joy. 🙂

Arianna

P.S. Some moments of the movie that stood out to me: It was really sad when Ian and Barley’s father disappears while Barley is hugging him. This part particularly hurt. But, early in the movie when their father shows his dance moves with his feet– that was funny and heart-warming. It really showed their father’s personality and their connection to him and his spirit.

Saving Mr. Banks Movie Review

The film Saving Mr. Banks came out in 2013, but I watched it for the first time yesterday. Before watching the film, I did not know what to expect. I knew the story would be about Disney and Mary Poppins, but that was the extent in which I was familiar with the movie.

Saving Mr. Banks (2013) stars Tom Hanks, Emma Thompson, Colin Farrell, Paul Giamatti, and more. The movie centers around family, story-telling, creativity and dealing with the struggles that life presents us with. I found that this movie perfectly explains why I love movies, why I love writing and story-telling. This movie showcases the brilliance of creativity, and its ability to heal and help us work through our hard times.

I hope you watch this film, if you have not watched it yet. It is available on Netflix, so I recommend that you check it out if you can! It is helpful to watch, especially during this time of uncertainty, and being quarantined away from family and friends.

from Movieclips Trailers on YouTube

What is this movie about?

The base of this movie is about the author of Mary Poppins, P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson), who is in a battle with Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) over the rights to her stories. Travers does not want to give up the rights to Disney, but she needs the money from selling the rights to support herself. She does not want her story to become something that she doesn’t support and something that is different then the vision of her characters that she has in her head. However, Disney is committed to buying the story’s rights because he made a promise to his daughters that he intends on keeping.

But, the film is about much more then that. Across the journey of the movie, we see flashbacks into Travers’ childhood and learn more about her relationship with her father. We quickly learn that the story of Mary Poppins is inspired by her childhood and the people who came into her life, which explains why she is so specific about how she wants the Mary Poppins movie to portray her characters. She wants the movie to correctly exemplify the people that she cares about, she does not want to disrespect the characters in any way, she wants to portray them correctly and accurately.

What to think about?

This film left me thinking about the story behind movies and books that most people are unaware of. For example, think about the hit movies in the Hunger Games series. These movies were very popular and many people read the books. But, how many people know what inspired the author to write these books? I, for one, do not know what inspired these books.

Saving Mr. Banks reminded me to consider the inspiration behind a movie or book. Learning about the background of the person who wrote a story gives you context and more appreciation for the story in front of you. It is brilliant to learn how a story was conceived and what conditions led to the story’s arrival in the world. Was it a hard time? A happy moment? A confusing, explorative time in the author’s life? Maybe I am just interested in all of this because I am a writer myself, but I think learning about the context in which a story was written makes me appreciate a story that much more.

After watching this film, I have a whole new look at the movie, Mary Poppins (1964), that I watched during my childhood. The story has a whole new meaning, and context that I did not realize when I watched it as a child.

My Favorite Part of the Movie

The reason why I love this movie so much is because I can relate to Travers. I also turn to writing when I need to work through something in my head. When you spend so much time writing a character, and infusing it with so much love and parts of yourself, it can be so hard to give that character to someone else, and trust that they will treat the character correctly.

Travers had a hard childhood, she dealt with some really hard times, but she turned her life around, and pushed herself out of her comfort zone by the end of the film. I really enjoyed the character arc that is shown in this movie, and the unique personality of Travers herself. The way she spoke, and the respect she had for herself and her story, is admirable. I learned a lot from her, that I will work into my daily life.

Rating: 9 out of 10.

Watch this Movie: 9.5/10

This movie is sad, maybe that is why I took off a star. But truly, I cannot name something I would change about this movie. The actors were all great and the flashbacks were easy to understand in relation to the present story. Sometimes there were continuity issues that bothered me for an instant, but the story quickly drew me back in. I think I would rate this movie 9.5/10 (but I can’t figure out how to select 9.5 stars, so I will go with 9 for now).

***Here is my affiliate link if you would like to get this movie! As an Amazon Associate, I earn from qualifying purchases. I get a small percentage of the sale at no extra charge to you.


Thank you for reading. I really hope you take some time to watch this brilliantly, well-told movie, I think you will learn a lot from it. I wrote this review the day after I watched the film, so that shows how much I enjoyed this movie, and how much I wanted to write about it and share it with you. Enjoy the rest of your day!

Arianna 🙂

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