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From Albania to Zaire, there's a whole world out there.
183

Convert Woozy to Bollywood!
Topic by: woozy
Posted: December 4, 2005 - 2:48 PM PST
Last Reply: January 26, 2006 - 7:47 PM PST

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author topic: Convert Woozy to Bollywood!
woozy
post #1  on December 4, 2005 - 2:48 PM PST  
So I put "Bride and Prejudice" in my queue and it came and I wrote our Bollywood afficienada, pooja, if she had an opinion and she suggested a discussion and perhaps a thread so in that skien:





----------------------------------------
On 2005-12-04 06:40:36.88, pooja wrote:
Conveniently, the film adaptation of the original Pride & Prejudice is playing now, so perhaps you should see that


I kind of want to. I had forgotten that I really rather do like most (Sense and Sensibility, excepted) Jane Austen movies and watching "Bride and Prejudice" reminded me or such. The trailer looked tacky but the reviews sound good.



> to deal with some of the things that bothered you that were "less Bollywood" and "more Austen"...


You know, I don't recall *ever* saying anything anywhere, that I thought I'd have a hard time understanding or disliking or bein relunctant to Bollywood.


>> and seeing some of Gurinder Chadha's other films might help you understand her particular issues (I enjoy her films) and how her films are perhaps less "Indian" and more of I guess what you'd call "Miramax" or "International Arthouse" style.


I have no problem with "Miramax" or "International Arthouse" or "Indian". I saw "Bahji on the Beach" which was ... nice. And I *did* like Bride and Prejudice.


>> 1/2) The (mostly) negative portrayal of the pushy harping mother...


>Some of the stereotyping of characters is a Bollywood hallmark...


This isn't a comment about the movie. This was a comment about the book. And it's a comment I only have the luxury from a 20th century perspective to make.



>> Darcies comments of "hickville, India" and "dehli belly" and "that dance looks like you are petting the dog while changing a light bulb" and all the "god, India is wierd" comments were very hard for me to take even though he was supposed to overcome them.

>Why, because you mostly identified with the white city guy?


No, because they are patently offensive.

>> I think viewers are supposed to see things from Lakhi's point of view, which is "Yes he's handsome and I feel a chemistry with him, but god he's so insensitive and shallow"

Don't you mean Lalita? Oh, "white city guy" is the "Jim" guy. (The cad soldier in the book) I didn't identify with him either. I mean he's the "extreme tourist" that I'm finding it's so trendy to bash these days. As a movie character/characature he has a sense of self-righteousness the "I'm so in tune with the cultures I view" that I try like the plague to avoid. But that leads to my personal issues. I hate tourists. I love to travel. How in the heck can anyone travel without being a tourist? Just as some folks might have fear-of-commitment-obsessive-clinginess personal issues, I have this extreme-tourist-jealousy-hatred personal issue.


>So I think it's part of the director's intent to make Darcy very unsympathetic at first glance.

As was Austen's in the book. His comments about arranged marriage were unsympathetic but understandable and were taken out of context. (He was describing someone else's opinion about one specific marriage and not his opinion or India in general). But cultural prejudice just because it is strange to *one* is very foul tasting. At that point of the film it looked like the movie was going to be a long cliche with all the character depth of a porn movie, so it was a very pleasant surprise when the movie actually as if by magic and effortlessly surpassed that. Hats off for that.




>Also India is a very big and culturally/geographically diverse place, which has been both independent and Colonial. A lot of the sympathies expressed by Darcy exist between Indians of different regions, religions and language groups, as well as between Indians living abroad in different countries.


I'd have been intrigued to have seen that. An ugly american has no depth.

> Perhaps you should try not to overlap this with your feelings about prejudice in America or even England because they're not exactly the same.

Why make Darcy American then?

>>Or perhaps it bothered you that the "villain" initially was an American? :-)


Darcy's not a villian. It didn't bother my that Darcy is american. It bothered me that his "villainy" was ignorant ethnocentricism which is so *very* unpalitable. Actually *any* modern adaptation of Austen will be a hard sell in this aspect as wealth and social prejudice was thouroughly and completely acceptable in regency era and not really acceptable now. Actually, the smug self-righteous of the "extreme tourist" would have made a more believable "villiany". Such patronizing self-righteousness is near limitted to the back-packer and in fact flourishes in the moneyed and educated americans. Heck, that's me!! *I*'d be decent Darcy!

>Why aren't you posting these comments on the discussion boards? Maybe I should start a thread called "Convert Woozy to Bollywood" or something! I wouldn't mind if this is up for other members's comments... ;-)



You may post these, and you may start such a thread. I wrote you personally because I wanted to ask you something directly. I have no qualms making this public.


I'll watch a few Bollywood movies. I'll probably like them. I don't think I'll become a Bollywood groupie though.


But whereas I admit to badmouthing anime (well, actually expressing personal confussion over which I don't consider badmouthing) I don't recall ever saying anything discouraging about Bollywood. Just that I hadn't seen much if any.

woozy
post #2  on December 4, 2005 - 3:00 PM PST  
More from the mailbox:
>>>>>>>
---------------------------------------- On 2005-12-02 16:34:30.94, woozy wrote: Well, is it? Do you have any comments or cliff notes I should consider before I begin this film?
>>>>>>>>>
It's not strictly a Bollywood film... the heroine ends up with a phiranga guy for one thing, and you won't have to turn on the subtitles, but it's close enough. The song lyrics are mostly sung in English, but they're amusing. The music and choreography are the real thing. Next try Bollywood/Hollywood. Did you see Ghost World? If you liked Ghost World, then saw Gumnaam and had no problem with it, you're ready for Bollywood. puja
>>>>>>>>
> On 2005-12-02 20:49:19.22, woozy wrote: > I did like ghost world. Never seen Gumnaam.
I think Ghost World does a good job of making a statement right at the beginning about what to think about the protagonist, who is watching the wild surf-rock musical "item" number from Gumnaam as the film starts. The fact that she's watching that expresses the state of her alienation to the film audience. But if you think that's just ridiculous you won't really be sympathetic. If you "get" the absurd charm of that sequence, perhaps you are in tune with her outlook on life, and perhaps you would get a copy of Gumnaam to see for yourself at the earliest opportunity. I have to admit that I'm not old enough to have an appreciation of Bollywood straight on, like my parents's generation. A lot of the attraction is "kitsch" value, the way people in the gay community consume broadway-type musicals for "camp". But the straightforward melodramatic "sincerety" of the stories are appealing, like Shakespeare plays...

I think if you have any potential to ever like Bollywood films, that Gumnaam sequence would have wormed its way into your permanent consciousness. If you can't even remember what it was like, if you didn't watch the "extras" for the full musical sequence from the original film, you are probably lacking the "Bollywood gene"...

> It's a pity I don't like musicals, romances, or Jane Austin

Well in that case your goose is cooked! Better stick to math books! Maybe I can convince Uncle to give Bollywood a try.
>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>
My my, how revealing! It's interesting that you seem to dislike AMERICAN conventions so much, but that you seem to cling to them when you're faced with something that has cultural and story-telling elements that are "unique" to a certain other culture, like Bollywood and anime. You can't help but to judge them based on those preconceptions you have. You seem naturally suspicious of stuff that are foreign to YOUR own (woozy's) conventions.
So you DIDN'T particularly enjoy that "Musical" episode of Buffy? I thought it was brilliant, although it was less "Bollywood" and more "broadway". You might have been conflicted about that episode, judging from your confusion about arrogance vs. camp. I don't know if you have seen any episodes of My Name is Earl, but you'd probably HATE that show. I think that show is hilarious, and the portrayals of the characters are not much different from David Byrne's film True Stories, but you probably won't be able to get past the characterizations of "rednecks" "negroes" "trailer trash" etc. You would probably feel that it's just a vulgar show about "poor ridiculous southern Americans" produced by East and West Coast types.

I thought the point of Enid watching Bollywood was that she was transfixed by an alien vibrancy and sense of freedom that was so lacking from her own life. It was Enid's version of escaping into a fairytale fantasy. And that's a good way to approach Bollywood. Did you enjoy The Princess Bride? The Wizard of OZ? To many people in India, escaping into the world depicted in Bollywood films is like that. Look at all the lavish estates and mansions that the characters live in! For a while all the rich "heroes" were handsome men who made a killing in "the dot com business"... It's escapist storytelling and perhaps you're not into that.

Also, the objective of the typical Bollywood film is not to present musical elements in an "action film" or a "romance film"... The aim is total entertainment, with a mixture of genres that is referred to as a "masala"... So one film would contain elements of a bunch of genres, in addition to singing and dancing. Farah Khan's Main Hoon Na would be a great example of what they mean by a "masala" film. A peace propaganda film, a college romance film, a John Hughes type comic film, a Bruce Willisian action film, a family melodrama, all with music and singing and dancing. So the critic you quoted was a little off in his assessment. Did you see the Richard Corliss articles I linked to somewhere? He's starting to get a really good idea about what Bollywood really is about.

---------------------------------------- On 2005-12-03 10:15:16.357, woozy wrote: >

I think Ghost World does a good job of making a statement right at the beginning about what to think about the protagonist, .... If you "get" the absurd charm of that sequence, perhaps you are in tune with her outlook on life,

Ah! Now I remember the scene. I got the impression that we, the american audience, were supposed to be unfamiliar with Bollywood and be taken by surprise at the "what the heck ... " absurdity of it and be surprised that something as bizzare as Bollywood actually exists.

This was not the first time I had heard of Bollywood. Our local columnist had written about it and had commentted how in all mainstream Indian movies (in other words Bollywood) everbody sings and dances no matter what the movie is about or movie genre. My impression of this as an isolated statement is one initially of "how wierd" immediately followed by "don't Indians find that wierd too" and then followed by "I wonder what'd it be like not to find such wierd; I wonder what appeal the story telling device serves to an audience who takes it for granted" and then thoughts about what do I/we take for granted.

Generally, I try to eschew cliches. I like to consider myself one of the smart educated sensitive artistic people. (We all do, don't we?) So I dislike it when I see american (my culture) movies and television that rely on cliches and unrealistic aspects. On the other hand, good story-telling involves awareness and genuine use of literary techniques. To me the issue, being aware of these techniques and using them to best use. I dislike the poorly written situation comedy that relies upon wise-cracking well-dressed teens, and flustered single adults worrying about who dumped whom. My dislike is that I think the audience is to assume these cliches are truthful and that the writers think they are truthful. My reaction is to want to write a TV ripping every one of these assumptions apart. Then there is Buffy the vampire slayer. I *love* Buffy the vampire slayer. He the conventions and cliches are treated as literary elements; the writers know this, the audience know it, and the story use, examine and explore the conventions. (And on the third hand there is "Independence Day". I *hate* "Independance Day". The writers know darn well the conventions and know darn well the audience take them for real at face value. And the writers deliberate deliver then conventions in the most blatent and logically absurd conditions in an effort to manipulate the audience. Hence the cynically get to chuckle as the make a nation cheer the family dog making the leap to safety while thousands of nameless human extras are extinguished in front of theire eyes).

Oops, got carried away there for a second. Anyhow, then there are myths, puppet plays, opera, shakespear plays, etc. Part of the appeal of those is to see *how* the form pertains to real life and pschology and the human condition. I'm not sure *when* the idea that stories and drama was supposed to be realistic but I guess it's always been there partially.

Back the ghostworld. I think part of it is the initial Bollywood is different/it's absurd/let's dismiss it is countered by Enid's we(americans) are equally absurd/let's see what this is/this is now more aburd than us/I hate being us that I'll enjoy watching them for a while as that is time where I don't have to be us.

> A lot of the attraction is "kitsch" value, the way people in the gay community consume broadway-type musicals for "camp". But the straightforward melodramatic "sincerety" of the stories are appealing, like Shakespeare plays...

I get that impression. Nothing wrong with kitsch or camp but it's a mistake to think it alone validates. Also embracing camp and kitsch for irony is pretty arogant and I dislike arrogance. (Which can be annoying when like all college educated americans, I am arrogant.) >

I think if you have any potential to ever like Bollywood films, that Gumnaam sequence would have wormed its way into your permanent consciousness. If you can't even remember what it was like, if you didn't watch the "extras" for the full musical sequence from the original film, you are probably lacking the "Bollywood gene"...

I'm lacking the anime gene. I see great appeal to the story-telling of myth and opera and Maori and Pacific Island legends. (Remind you to tell you about .... er, whasisname ... and his death in the womb of the goddess of life/death ... A *great* myth.) So when I hear about anime I really want to experience. However I've finally decided I don't get and I have a problem that for the most part the creaters do believe and are unaware of their conventions too much (as are american sitcom writers of theirs).

>> It's a pity I don't like musicals, romances, or Jane Austin

>
Well in that case your goose is cooked! Better stick to math books! Maybe I can convince Uncle to give Bollywood a try.

My tongue was in cheek. I don't dislike musicals. I just don't find a musical as a musical nescessirally an attraction. I don't find myself thinking "I'd like a musical". I dislike flat romances. My desire to see couples fall in love and be happy is ... less than compelling. But, heck, I'm a softy for beautiful moments and heartfelt moments and when I want my protagonists to be happy. And Jane Austen... well, I think she is probably over my head (hey, if I'd be miffed if an english major tried to lecture me on calculus, wouldn't I be just as bad looking down my nose at one of literatures great and never assume that it might be *me*?). Her dialog is crisp and brilliant but her social observations are supposedly her brilliance. I don't get her subtelties nor understand how her portrayal of her time and culture (which supposedly is spot on and who am I to question) are of outside or universal appeal. None the less her stories are charming and compelling. But I have the "cliche" and "conventions" issue with her as well. (It's like the "prince married the princess and lived happily ever after" of fairy tales. I guess there are two types of people: those who know the prince will marry the princess and believe that that is the entire point of a fairy tell, and then there are those who think the point of a story is to hear something they don't know and want a surprise ending.)

I'll give Bollywood a few more tries (I think Gumnaam and that cricket movie everyone loves next). I liked B&P although I got the impression it was aimed at westerners to make them feel good about how open minded they are being.

Now will you give Indonesian Explotation and "Lady Terminator" a try ;-) No, don't bother. It's a terrible film but I liked it more than I expected although the appeal to me was in deconstructing it and looking for the Indonesian story-telling elements that are "exotic" to me.
>>>>>>>>>>
>>>>>>>>>>
Oh, pooja! Last night with you, Sonja, and IronS was divine! And how sweet was little artifex passing out mints? And your idea of binding Uncle Eo in the closet to cook for us... genius!

My heart burns....
>>>>>
Oops, that last one wasn't supposed to be posted. Forget you saw that.
pooja
post #3  on December 4, 2005 - 3:32 PM PST  
Just so everyone understands, it would be my LAST thought to try and convert woozy to Bollywood! I don't think he's really compatible, but if he wants to try it out I applaud his effort. Personally, I would think Bollywood would be a better fit for someone who likes anime, and romance, like dbooher, but that's just from personal experience with what my housemates like.

But it's entirely possible for someone who has never seen a Bollywood movie to fall in love with them, so maybe woozy will get hooked. Probably not, though. Sorry, woozy, but you don't immediately strike me as being the "romantic" type...
;-)
woozy
post #4  on December 4, 2005 - 4:54 PM PST  
> ... Probably not, though. Sorry, woozy, but you don't immediately strike me as being the "romantic" type...
> ;-)
> ---------------------------------

I sob .... *don't*.

Eyes droop. woozy, shuffles home dejectedly, dragging his woo-ing mandoline behind him in the dirt, his hand-picked wildflowers wilting and drooping in his hand.

pooja
post #5  on December 4, 2005 - 6:07 PM PST  
Besides, I was being facetious about starting another "Convert Woozy" thread! I read through the other one, and it was a train wreck...

Well, it's time to settle in and watch Veer-Zaara again, which clocks in at 192 minutes with ELEVEN songs! So good night everyone, and keep dancing!
dpowers
post #6  on December 4, 2005 - 10:15 PM PST  
i'm disappointed. i thought this would be a discussion of kuch kuch hota woozy or a classic like jhanak jhanak woozy baje or mughal-e-woozam. at the very least the thread would for the first time detour somewhere with pretty mountains.
woozy
post #7  on December 4, 2005 - 11:21 PM PST  
> On December 4, 2005 - 10:15 PM PST dpowers wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> i'm disappointed. i thought this would be a discussion of kuch kuch hota woozy

Well, I was rather fond of kootchie-kootchie, hottie woozy but haven't seen that in many years.
dpowers
post #8  on December 5, 2005 - 8:37 AM PST  
my heart, my heart... will find the one, the only one
who will make the part... that isn't my heart... happy again...

                                  _
.-. / \ _
^^ / \ /^./\__ _/ \
_ .--'\/\_ \__/. \ / \ ^^ ___
/ \_ _/ ^ \/ __ :' /\/\ /\ __/ \
/ \ / .' _/ / \ ^ / \/ \/ .`'\_/\
/\/\ /\/ :' __ ^/ ^/ `--./.' ^ `-.\ _ _:\ _
/ \/ \ _/ \-' __/.' ^ _ \_ .'\ _/ \ . __/ \
/\ .- `. \/ \ / -. _/ \ -. `_/ \ / `._/ ^ \
/ `-.__ ^ / .-'.--' . / `--./ .-' `-. `-. `. - `.
@/ `. / / `-. / .-' / . .' \ \ \ .- \%
@(88%@)@%% @)&@&(88&@.-_=_-=_-=_-=_-=_.8@% &@&&8(8%@%8)(8@%8 8%@)%
@88:::&(&8&&8::JGS:&`.~-_~~-~~_~-~_~-~~=.'@(&%::::%@8&8)::&#@8::::
`::::::8%@@%:::::@%&8:`.=~~-.~~-.~~=..~'8::::::::&@8:::::&8::::::'
`::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::::'
Cinenaut
post #9  on December 5, 2005 - 11:29 AM PST  
Woozy
Boozy
Bolzy
Bolly
Bollywood!
woozy
post #10  on December 5, 2005 - 1:20 PM PST  
> On December 5, 2005 - 11:29 AM PST Cinenaut wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> Woozy
> Boozy
> Bolzy
> Bolly
> Bollywood!
> ---------------------------------

Computer Graphics Effects
CG
GC
GreenCine
GC
CG
CQ
C0
Cine-zero
Cinenaught


Cinenaut
post #11  on December 5, 2005 - 1:43 PM PST  
pooja
pooma
poima
pnima
anima
anime
woozy
post #12  on December 5, 2005 - 3:08 PM PST  
> On December 5, 2005 - 1:43 PM PST Cinenaut wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> pooja
> pooma
> poima
> pnima
> anima
> anime
> ---------------------------------

I get it but are poima and pnima words?

boobs
boons
boins
bains
brains

I guess this can pass time.

Bride and Prejudice
Tides and Jaundice
Rides and Mountings
Climb any Mountain

and ... er, what are we doing?

Cinenaut
post #13  on December 5, 2005 - 3:44 PM PST  
> On December 5, 2005 - 3:08 PM PST woozy wrote:
> ---------------------------------

> I get it but are poima and pnima words?

> ---------------------------------

...no, and neither is bolzy. Nobody said it would be easy to convert pooja to anime.

woozy
post #14  on December 5, 2005 - 5:27 PM PST  
> On December 5, 2005 - 3:44 PM PST Cinenaut wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> > On December 5, 2005 - 3:08 PM PST woozy wrote:
> > ---------------------------------
>
> > I get it but are poima and pnima words?
>
> > ---------------------------------
>
> ...no, and neither is bolzy. Nobody said it would be easy to convert pooja to anime.
>
>
> ---------------------------------

D'oh!!! "convert"! I get it now!

pooja
post #15  on December 5, 2005 - 7:51 PM PST  
All right, I'm going to have another go at this!

So, has anyone here actually seen a decent Bollywood film? Raise your hands, don't be shy! What did you see and how did you like it?

I'm watching Shaadi No. 1 right now, which is a very silly and slapstick comedy film, with very nice songs. It's so new it just came out on DVD I think...

I also watched Howrah Bridge today, which was one of Helen's first big hits as the prima Bollywood dancer... This is the film where the ubiquitous "Chin chin choo" song was first performed. If you'd like to see the Helen documentary, it's an extra on this Merchant-Ivory DVD. Helen also appears in Sholay, Gumnaam and Teesri Manzil. In Gumnaam she does a lavish dream-sequence item number as well as some dancing in a cute swimsuit on a beach. The big item number in Teesri Manzil is one of the classics! You have to see it to believe it! In Sholay she does a hot "gypsy girl" number. A much older but still foxy and spry Helen kicks up her heels in the ShahRukh Khan vs. Amitabh Bachchan romance Mohabbatein. All of those films are available here at GreenCine... you can use dpowers's favlet buttons to easily find them!
pooja
post #16  on December 5, 2005 - 7:54 PM PST  
> On December 5, 2005 - 3:08 PM PST woozy wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> boobs
> boons
> boins
> bains
> brains

Oh, but why even bother trying? Eventually everything is devolved to boobs on the brain. That's what you were aiming for all along, wasn't it?
:-b
woozy
post #17  on December 5, 2005 - 8:26 PM PST  
> On December 5, 2005 - 7:51 PM PST pooja wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> All right, I'm going to have another go at this!
>
> So, has anyone here actually seen a decent Bollywood film? Raise your hands, don't be shy! What did you see and how did you like it?
>
Well, I very much liked Bride and Prejudice. I'll give Gumnaam a go.

>
> Oh, but why even bother trying? Eventually everything is devolved to boobs on the brain. That's what you were aiming for all along, wasn't it?
> :-b


It's called making lemonaide out of lemons. I don't particularly have boobs on the brain. It's just that when conversation gets low folks seem to like to make fun of me and my boobs obsession and so when Eo complains how he's disapointed in all of us for not wanting to discuss cinema, and you sympathize that you try to have a simple conversation about bollywood and all we want to do is talk about how we hate tourists, I figure I'll talk about boobs and then everyone can talk about how all woozy ever talks about is boobs and then everyone will have something to talk. It's my way of being of service.
woozy
post #18  on December 5, 2005 - 8:28 PM PST  
I liked the extra on the DVD of the "wedding song" on Bride and Prejudice. I thought they should have left it in. It introduced the characters well and set the mood for ... setting the mood via songs.
pooja
post #19  on December 5, 2005 - 8:55 PM PST  
> On December 5, 2005 - 8:26 PM PST woozy wrote:
> ---------------------------------
> I figure I'll talk about boobs and then everyone can talk about how all woozy ever talks about is boobs and then everyone will have something to talk. It's my way of being of service.

Here's a picture of Helen from Gumnaam (as Miss Kitty) for you, woozy. Too bad she's not holding those in front of her torso, eh?

> I liked the extra on the DVD of the "wedding song" on Bride and Prejudice. I thought they should have left it in. It introduced the characters well and set the mood for ... setting the mood via songs.

OK, now I don't believe you actually watched this film! There was no deleted "wedding song" on B&P so what the boobzie are you talking about?
woozy
post #20  on December 5, 2005 - 9:10 PM PST  
]> Here's a picture of Helen from Gumnaam (as Miss Kitty) for you, woozy. Too bad she's not holding those in front of her torso, eh?
>
See, I very seldom bring up an *comments* of boobs. Usually someone like you makes the crude boob crack with the idea "ha, I bet that's what you're thinking, isn't it woozy?"

> > I liked the extra on the DVD of the "wedding song" on Bride and Prejudice. I thought they should have left it in. It introduced the characters well and set the mood for ... setting the mood via songs.
>
> OK, now I don't believe you actually watched this film! There was no deleted "wedding song" on B&P so what the boobzie are you talking about?
> ---------------------------------

I didn't say the extra was a "deleted" wedding song. It was an "extended" wedding song; about 12 minutes long whereas as the wedding song left in the movie was only about 7 minutes and was put about 10 minutes into the movie rather than at the very very beginning. The extra "extended" wedding song featured each of the sisters doing a brief solo "narative" about what type of romance they were interested in as well as a the parents having naratives were Mrs. B sings about how she has four daughters but is worried they'll never marry and improve her social situation and Mr. B explains how he's been married 27 years and indulges her. Meanwhile scenes of the airplane with Raj, Darcy, and ... ooh, what's the sister's name again ... landing (although they didn't sing).

There were extended other songs but they didn't add much. The original number of the wedding song, however, as originally staged would have been a nice musical introduction to all the characters and to the idea of singing to express ideas itself.

I liked the gospel choir on the beach as well.



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