The freedom of staging and camera placement is thoroughly “cinematic” within the “theatrical” premise. For previous 90-year-ago lists, see 1917, 1918, 1919, 1920, 1921, 1922, 1923, 1924, 1925, 1926, 1927, 1928 and 1929. The Bridge is a silent film, adapted from the Ambrose Bierce story “An Occurrence at Owl Creek Bridge.” Its director, Charles Vidor (né Karoly Vidor in Hungary, no relation to King Vidor), had come to the US in 1924 and worked as a chorus singer. Once the jury leaves the courtroom, the bulk of the film drills down on their deliberation. Despite the scientific-sounding name, Mechanical Principles is an abstract film made by shooting close view of moving gears and other devices for moving parts of machines (above). British company Eureka! I especially like the 1983 Iranian film, The Key, directed by Ebrahim Forouzesh and scripted by Kiarostami. Clair shoots the two men in shot/reverse shot through glass doors, so that we do not hear them but only watch their actions and faces in a deliberate reversion to silent cinema. Please login to your account first; Need help? P.S. 5 films, 664 minutes, or 11 hours and 4 minutes. Well, you can exploit the spatial restrictiveness by confining us to what the inhabitants of the space know. When checking out using a credit or debit card, PayPal An earlier Observations segment considered Kurosawa’s cutting of martial-arts action, and a blog entry developed that a bit more. Passing Fancy is one of three masterpieces Ozu released in 1933. Depending on how you count, Hitchcock expanded things a bit in his adaptation of Dial M for Murder. As in Room, Kurosawa’s High and Low (1963) is tightly concentrated in its first half. For cinema, the major development was the Kammerspielfilm, as exemplified in Hintertreppe (1921), Scherben (1921),  Sylvester (1924), and other silent German classics. I always try to call attention to little-known films rather than sticking to the conventional classics for the whole list–and there aren’t a lot of such classics this year anyway. Yasujiro Ozu: The Criterion Collection has released a helpful thematic grouping of some of Ozu’s early films. Series: Paidós Comunicación Cine, 72. Or watch all of Hideo Miyazaki’s films in chronological order, with or without the company of kids. This time it’s a charming, imaginative musical romance, Die Drei von der Tankstelle, or “The Three from the Filling Station,” directed by Wilhelm Thiele and starring Lilian Harvey and Willy Fritsch. I don’t know whether Duvivier was inspired by L’Herbier’s L’Argent (which featured on my 1928 list) to make Au Bonheur des Dames, but there are certainly similarities between them. Since receiving his PhD from the University of Iowa in 1974, he has written more than fifteen volumes on the subject of cinema including Narration in the Fiction Film (1985), Ozu and the Poetics of Cinema (1988), Making Meaning (1989), and On the History of Film Style (1997). about the state of this website? If you want to go for samples, there are two diversions from the ever-lively Fong Sai-yuk series. There the emphasis shifts to family members and friends of different nationalities having to fight each other (a theme that Griffith had used in The Birth of a Nation). She was a member of the … Only three survive: Walk Cheerfully, I Flunked, But … , and That Night’s Wife. Thanks to the John Bennett, Pauline Lampert, Lei Lin, Thomas McPherson, Dillon Mitchell, Erica Moulton, Nathan Mulder, Kat Pan, Will Quade, Lance St. Laurent, Anthony Twaurog, David Vanden Bossche, and Zach Zahos. Tags: David Bordwell Posted in MCN Curated Headlines, Movie City News | Comments Off on Good Dr. Bordwell On How Jackie Chan Beats James Bond Every Time. That shot, by the way, shows a motif typical of early Ozu films: having posters, often for American movies, visible on the walls behind the characters. We move through our world taking our niche for granted. Digital Box: Films, Files, and the Future of Movies, First edition, 2012. The restored version of the film in the Fox boxed-set is excellent, but that box is long out of print. The Legend (US title of the first entry, a bit pricy from Prime). Chamber cinema–wherever it turns up–offers some unique filmic effects, and maybe sheltering in place is a good time to sample it. Fascinating background on the struggles between the benshi and other sectors of  Japanese film culture can be found in Joanne Bernardi, Writing in Light: The Silent Scenario and the Japanese Pure Film Movement (Wayne State University Press, 2001) and Aaron Gerow, Visions of Japanese Modernity: Articulations of Cinema, Nation, and Spectatorship, 1895-1925 (University of California Press, 2010). These are either long in themselves or are split up into many parts that can be binged just like TV series. Anyhow, a little analysis of what we have enables us to appreciate how Ozu uses the benshi to emphasize character reactions. (The Big Parade does kill off the hero’s two friends-in-arms.). 3 Results. Not that it will ever be one of my favorites. Also, I’ve neglected Asian instances. Surprisingly enough, in a weak year for commercial feature films, there was a considerable number of significant experimental films made. Being from a German novel, however, makes this the first significant Hollywood film to treat German soldiers sympathetically and to make them the lead characters. 5 episodes, 337 minutes. It is an anatomy of film criticism meant to … This light tale gives Clair the opportunity to show off the flexibility and even flashiness of his style. Series, as opposed to serials, usually involve continuing characters but self-contained stories. Cinema loves to span spaces. I saw Traffic first, in first run, and then saw the others. The Center for Visual Music has brought out two DVDs with selections from his films, digitally remastered and with intriguing-sounding supplements.They are sold only through the CVM. Film History: An Introduction Kristin Thompson, David Bordwell No preview available - 2009. It’s virtually a convention of these films to include a few shots not tied to the interiors. A visual motif set up early on shows the bustling classroom that Rath presides over, where despite the students’ dislike of him, they obey his strict commands. Why? They reveal how crisp depth relations can be activated  through the passing landscape or in story elements that show up in through the window. (photo by Jim Emerson) The Vancouver International Film Festival is now underway: 300+ films in 16 days (September 28 - October 13). Cut back to the rack collapsing, as if shaken by the fight. There’s also Duvivier’s Marie-Octobre (1959), a tense drama about the reunion of old partisans. [order PDF version, $3.99], Second edition, 2011. Some films are even more constrained. Then he reads a script to indicate how absent actors could play it and how an imaginary camera could shoot it. Some of the Soviet workers and peasants sincerely approached their work in this way, but in reality much of the achievements of the Plan were achieved through forced labor. Benshi might reedit films to suit the performance they wanted to give. All the films are worth seeing, though good copies or even any copies of some are hard to track down. The 1929 translation of the German novel had become a huge bestseller in the US. After this film, von Sternberg made Dietrich a Hollywood symbol of glamor, but as a result she tends to be less spontaneous and active, with the camera and lighting lingering over her. Satan’s Tango (Béla Tarr, 1994) 450 minutes, or 7 hours 30 minutes. has released City Girl on Blu-ray, which should look even better, available as an import on in the US (where it is listed as Blu-ray but is the same edition as is listed on as dual-format Blu-ray/DVD). Sometimes you must embrace the chamber aesthetic. The filmmakers went so far as to end the film with the hero reunited with his French love, but having lost a leg in the combat. (The other two, Dragnet Girl and Woman of Tokyo, are also on the Channel.) I could find only the weakest OUATIC title, Once Upon a Time in China and America (1997) on Amazon Prime, Vudu, and iTunes. Taking a skills-centered approach supported by examples from many periods and countries, the authors help students develop a … The Hobbit and The Lord of the Rings extended editions: An Unexpected Journey (2012), The Desolation of Smaug (2013), The Battle of the Five Armies (2014), The Fellowship of the Ring (2001), The Two Towers (2002), and The Return of the King (2003, above). This Is Not a Film (2012) was shot partially on a cellphone within (mostly) his apartment. It is an anatomy of film criticism meant to reset the agenda for film scholarship. Having seen the last film in a theater in 3D, I can say that it doesn’t seem to be one of those films that is much improved if one sees it that way (unlike Mad Max: Fury Road, in the section below). Kristin Thompson and David Bordwell at the 2006 Overlooked Film Festival. Seeing it in its original version would no doubt be impressive (see above). Murnau was already on the way out at Fox when he was making the film. The Albatros company made some of the key films of the 1920s, most of which are still too little known, including Ivan Mosjoukine’s Le brasier ardent (1923, above). The restored dialogue scenes in Fejos’s Lonesome show how ghastly these added interludes could be. Once Shuji arrives at home, Mayumi gets him to confess what he has done. Examining the contributions of both noted and neglected directors, he considers the earliest filmmaking, the accomplishments of the silent era, the development of Hollywood, and the strides taken by European and Asian cinema in recent years. On a happier note, it is also time for a little distraction in the form of my annual year-end round-up of the ten best films of ninety years ago. I have summarized the “wooden crosses” motif that is almost universal in anti-war films of the 1920s and 1930s (and occasional later films as well) in my video essay on Raymond Bernard’s Wooden Crosses on The Criterion Channel, where the film is permanently streaming. At least we don’t face that long a stretch of down time with the current “president.”. Dreyer wasn’t alone. For each title, I link to streaming services supplying it. It’s also streaming on the Channel. Since 1979, David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson’s Film Art has been the best-selling and most widely respected introduction to the analysis of cinema. It’s a charming, nearly wordless story of how a little boy tries to manage household crises when Mother is away. Yet Ray had not planned a sequel until Pather Panchali achieved international success, and the films have big time gaps in between, with no dangling causes. Detective Story is more obedient to the classic unities, confining nearly all of the action  to the precinct station. But I suspect he didn’t need external influences to understand that the benshi’s patter gave directors great freedom in visual narration. Film is an art form with a language and an aesthetic all its own. Since 1979, David Bordwell and Kristin Thompson's Film Art has been the best-selling and most widely respected introduction to the analysis of cinema. (Contrary to some impressions, Japanese silent movies aren’t slow; even dialogue scenes are likely to be cut fast.) Kristin and I talk about this trend here and here. One of the four German soldiers who form the group protagonist falls in love with a French barmaid in a village near the front. Given the pointlessness and widespread death and injury caused by the war, a reaction soon occurred in filmmaking within the major countries involved. Privacy is the seat of Contemplation, though sometimes made the recluse of Tentation… Be you in your Chambers or priuate Closets; be you retired from the eyes of men; thinke how the eyes of God are on you. Blog; Main Making Meaning: Inference and Rhetoric in the Interpretation of Cinema. Low on gas, they are inspired to start their own filling station. Or watch all the “season” films in a row: Late Spring (1949), Early Summer (1951), Early Spring ((1956), Equinox Flower (1958), Late Autumn (1960), End of Summer (1961), and An Autumn Afternoon (1962), for a grand total of 840, or 14 hours. This and fairly frequent moments of subtle humor help Ozu avoid a purely melodramatic presentation of the situation. I have not attempted to add up all these timings, but if you can track most of them down, they might get you through much of the isolation period. Usually the bottle consists of more than a single room. It’s an adaptation of a Cocteau play, which Poulenc turned into a one-act opera. Parts two and three spin off variations on the first one, tracing out before-and-after incidents and throwing in some quite strange narrative contortions. The Japanese cinema of this period was one of the glories of world filmmaking, with talent at all levels. Regrettably, we couldn’t find usable stills of benshi performances from the period, so the stills illustrate modern revivals. Le Maison de mystère (Alexandre Volkoff, 1923). Few have seen these, though two showed at the Berlin festival this year. We haven’t seen them but plan to give it a go, since they have just shown up online. For background on On the History of Film Style, see this blog entry, and read below on this page. It’s available on either DVD or Blu-ray as a Criterion Collection set    (#411 for you Criterion number-lovers). For maximum bingeing opportunities, watch all three serials in a row and then stretch them out with Georges Franju’s charming remake, Judex (1963) for an extra 98 minutes (it’s $2.99 to stream it on Amazon Prime). One might say it’s so bad, it’s good. (David and I, of course, count Blu-rays and streaming as part of our work-at-home requirements.) David Bordwell’s new book is at once a history of film criticism, an analysis of how critics interpret film, and a proposal for an alternative program for film studies. 12 Angry Men (1957), adapted from a teleplay, is a famous example. Zola had modeled his giant store on Le Bon Marché, while Duvivier was able to shoot interiors for the store “Au Bonheur des Dames” in the Galerie Lafayette–much as L’Herbier had shot in the Paris Bourse over a weekend. The early films equate the seasons with the young people, about to marry or recently married, while in the later films, and especially the last three, the seasons refer to the older generation, lending an elegiac tone to the end of Ozu’s career. Mayumi reveals her inner toughness and determination to defend her husband. This provides some nifty restriction, most radically when we have to peer at action taking place outside. This pales, however, in comparison with the LOTR extended editions, which have four commentary tracks, totaling 45 hours, 44 minutes. Rear Window (1954), adapted from a fairly daring Cornell Woolrich short story, is as rigorous an instance of chamber cinema as Rope. I originally saw this film at the Cinémathèque Royale de Belgique (now the Cinematek). It remains one of the last classics of the Soviet Montage movement. Au Bonheur des Dames was adapted from the eleventh novel in the series (1883) and also updated. That happens in 12 Angry Men, in Panic Room, in Polanski’s Carnage (2011) , and many of my other examples. Jean Renoir’s Grand Illusion (1938) broke with tradition by downplaying battlefield action and focusing on the senseless loss of life and liberty and the effects of class differences in warfare. Those characters remain voices on the line while he tries to contend with the pressures of his mistakes. (Be patient; the file is big.) A slow track back emphasizes the empty classroom as he sits at his desk, his authority over the students gone. This book is available through PayHip, which uses PayPal to process payments. Blog; Main Film History: An Introduction. The others are HP and the Sorcerer’s Stone (or Philosopher’s Stone in the UK and elsewhere; Chris Columbus), HP and the Chamber of Secrets (Chris Columbus), HP and the Goblet of Fire (Mike Newell), HP and the Order of the Phoenix, HP and the Half-Blood Prince,  HP and the Deathly Hallows: Part I, and HP and the Deathly Hallows: Part II (the last four, David Yates). She blogs with David at The variations in camera setups throughout the film are extraordinary. The more reasonably priced Legend II, the US version of the second entry, has a fantastically funny martial-arts climax featuring Josephine Siao Fong-fong as Jet Li’s mom. And as in Westfront 1918, all the main characters die. For example, Iwami Jutaro (1937), a swordplay comedy, treats one scene with “offscreen” sound. by David Bordwell with Kristin Thompson 71-page PDF, 11 x 8.5 inches. Clair also uses a variety of camera angles, as in the low-angle still above. Film Art: An Introduction, 11th Edition David Bordwell, Kristin Thompson, Jeff Smith. And check out Malcolm Turvey’s new book, Play Time: Jacques Tati and Comedic Modernism, soon to be discussed in a portmanteau books blog here. Unlike other countries, Germany developed its own sound system, owned by the Tobis-Klangfilm company. You can use your existing PayPal account or many major credit and debit cards. The Classical Hollywood Cinema: Film Style and Mode of Production to 1960 - Ebook written by David Bordwell, Janet Staiger, Kristin Thompson. Filmmakers have long celebrated the medium’s power to take us anywhere. But causally the four “extra” shots tell us little about where Shuji is in relation to the home he seeks to reach. Please read our short guide how … Taking a skills-centered approach supported … These films dared to show secret gang rituals that other filmmakers shied away from. Its prosperity and technical sophistication are evident in the large sets constructed for Sous les toits. It would be easy to dismiss this big Hollywood production and ultimate Best Picture winner at the Oscars as a slick commercial venture. There are several carefully lit street scenes, including this one shot in depth with both characters’ backs to the camera as Albert spots Pola outside a bar. It would be a pity to encounter the film in this way, but given the current situation, this is the best of the copies available there. But their manner of shooting provides a variety of angles that suggest continuing confinement. Dr. Mabuse films plus Spione: Dr. Mabuse, der Spieler (1922), Spione (1928, frame above), The Testament of Dr. Mabuse (1933) and The Thousand Eyes of Dr. Mabuse (1960), adding up to 610 minutes, or 6 hours and 10 minutes. Wittily, he tapes out a chamber space within his apartment. I wish Larry Cohen’s Phone Booth displayed a similarly obsessive concentration, but we do have the Danish thriller The Guilty, where a police dispatcher gets involved in more than one ongoing crime. [go All of these (except for Days of Youth) and many other Ozu films can be streamed on The Criterion Channel, which also has a bunch of supplements on this master director. Yet he continued to produce–well, what? James Sibley Watson’s Tomatos Another Day (on Kino International’s “Avant-garde 3” set) is a pretty dreadful film, a sort of “theater of the absurd” before its time. They say that the last creatures to discover water will be fish. Obviously many of us will still be stuck inside by the time it arrives. The Bitter Tears of Petra von Kant (1972). But Fassbinder finds a remarkable number of ways to vary the set, the camera angles, and the costumes. The time-passing montage accomplished via a hair-curler ripping down a series of calendar pages creates a time gap of years passing and the characters–especially Lola–have changed radically. Plays were often set in single rooms, of course, but the confinement was made especially salient by Strindberg, who even designed an intimate auditorium. Our  newest installment of Observations is now up on The Criterion Channel. 353 pages. This is available from several streamers. Certainly it has the glossy, expensive studio look that Westfront 1918 lacks, as in this scene, with its perfect three-point lighting carefully picking out each figure. Bordwell traces the continuity of … But treating the bingeing as an eight-hour-a-day job, it would come to 16 1/2 days. Thorne remains obsessed with her, which gradually drives his neurotic, racist wife, Astrid (HD, credited as Helga Doorn) mad. Also subdued, even subtle, is Johnnie To Kei-fung’s Election (2005) and Election 2 (aka Triad Election, 2006). Moreover, the benshi could make conversations more compact than what we find in American films. Les Vampires (1915). But you don’t need a theatrical alibi to draw tight boundaries around the action. The story concerns Denise (Dita Parlo in her first French film), a naive young woman who comes to Paris expecting to work and live in her uncle’s custom-tailor shop. The French DVD has English subtitles, as well as a short, informative video introduction by Serge Bromberg in lieu of program notes. At least in the US, Julien Duvivier is not as familiar as Clair, being known mainly for Pépé le Moko, but his reputation is rightly growing. Among them are movies about pandemics, about personal relationships, and of course about all those vistas, urban or rural, that we can no longer visit in person. To get some frames for illustrations, I watched the visually superior copy on YouTube, but there the images are cropped to a widescreen format. In his staggeringly ambitious masterwork A Touch of Zen, Chinese filmmaker King Hu imbues … An email will also be sent to the address you provided, with a download link. Our friend and colleague Vance Kepley published an excellent study, In the Service of the State: The Films of Alexander Dovzhenko (University of Wisconsin Press, 1986). (Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem available with English subtitles.) Perhaps Kiarstami’s example inspired Danish-Swedish filmmaker Simon Staho. Reinventing Hollywood: How 1940s Filmmakers Changed Movie Storytelling, Christopher Nolan: A Labyrinth of Linkages pdf online, Pandora’s Digital Box: Films, Files, and the Future of Movies pdf online, Planet Hong Kong, second edition pdf online, Exporting Entertainment: America in the World Film Market 1907–1934 pdf online, CinemaScope: The Modern Miracle You See Without Glasses, Constructive editing in Pickpocket: A video essay, Lessons with Bazin: Six Paths to a Poetics, A Celestial Cinémathèque? With the reluctant help of his friend Eduardo Savarin, the site crashes the Harvard server and Mark faces disciplinary action. Download for offline reading, highlight, bookmark or take notes while you read The Classical Hollywood Cinema: Film Style and Mode of Production to 1960. I discuss Staho’s films a little in a very old entry. Cinema, like the other arts, can refocus our attention on weight and pattern, texture and stubborn objecthood. (A Facets release in the US is out of print.) Berkeley: University of California Making Meaning: Inference and Rhetoric in the Interpretation of Cinema David Bordwell. From 1932 on, I shall no doubt have the opposite problem. You can use your existing PayPal account or many … There’s a lyrical motif mutating from shot to shot: worried wife, interior lamp, interior plant against wood, outdoor light with leaves, stone building with the shadows of leaves, and stone building with the subject of Mayumi’s thoughts, cowering. We’ve written about Fury Road (here and here). There are some obvious titles on my final list, as always, but some of the films are good but not great. “Art historians might learn a lot from reading David Bordwell and listening to his version of how another historical discipline of visual imagery reconciles questions of style with both history and theory.” That time, lots of it, has arrived. A Touch of Zen: Prowling, Scheming, Flying. about the state of this website? And of course car and phone can be combined, as they are in Locke (2013)–another play adaptation. David Bordwell, Film Historian, Focuses on Movie Blog by Manohla Dargis, 23.Apr.2010. Maybe you’ve been streaming a lot of TV series, even ones you’ve already seen, and are feeling a bit guilty about that. He managed to self-finance The Bridge, which centers on a man condemned to execution as a spy. He has already mastered the perfect match on action, and he uses one in the early scene where Mayumi sits down as the doctor tends the daughter. At the end we see them marching off, with vast fields of white crosses superimposed. In the opening scene, a small crowd joins in a song called “Sous les toits de Paris” (above). Also, I still haven’t seen Suo Masyuki‘s recent Talking the Pictures (Katusben!, 2019), a comedy about benshi culture. Since 1979, David Bordwell's and Kristin Thompson's Film Art has been the best-selling and widely respected introduction to the analysis of cinema. The most famous example is probably Kiarostami’s Ten (2002), which secures each scene in a vehicle and mixes and matches the passengers across episodes. Tom Hardy plays a spookily calm businessman driving to a deal while taking calls from his family and his distraught mistress. In 1930 he made Studies No. . Now, here’s a preview for a little bonus that will show up there next week. They’re students in my seminar, and they suggested many titles for this blog entry. Unlike most adaptations, though, they don’t try to “ventilate” the play by expanding the field of action. He intends to turn himself in after the daughter’s crisis passes, but a gruff detective who has posed as a cabby to find out where he lives, appears. “This is a very good book. Fourth edition, New York: A video lecture, I suppose. If so, and if anyone knows what play it was, please message me on Facebook and I’ll add that information. At the end, we often get a sense of release when finally the characters move outside. Another way to make a silent talkie is discussed in this entry on The Donovan Affair. These are in no particular order. Publisher: Paidós. Good Dr. Bordwell On How Jackie Chan Beats James Bond Every Time. Finally getting a chance to see it decades ago was one of the great disappointments of my life. The only American-style serial from the Soviet Union that I know of, or at least the only one easily available. Infernal Affairs (2003-2004) was made famous by Scorsese’s remake The Departed (2006), but the original is better, and the follow-ups are loopier. The first film is apparently available only on disc but the second is streaming from several sources. The 1930s carried on the condemnation of World War I, with two of the major films on opposite sides being released in 1930. Some of the films on my top-ten list this year may raise eyebrows, but Earth is probably my least controversial choice. Here we move from the worried Mayumi to Shuji, trying to elude the police after the theft. Frodo Franchise: The Lord of the Rings and Modern Hollywood, by Kristin Thompson. David wrote a viewer’s guide to it here. … Next came Taxi (2015), in which Panahi took up the auto-enclosed chamber movie, with largely comic results. When checking out using a credit or debit card, PayPal will ask for … For more on the benshi, see the comprehensive study Benshi, Japanese Silent Film Narration, and the Forgotten Narrative Art of Setsumei: A History of Japanese Silent Film Narration, by Jeffrey A. Dym (Edwin Mellon Press, 2003). Natasha (2:17:53) and Dau. He had lensed Die Nibelungen, Metropolis, Heimkehr, and Asphalt. Still, in my opinion the film’s pluses outweigh its minuses. I talk about the tricks Dreyer plays with chamber space in Vampyr in an “Observations” supplement on the Criterion Channel.). 237 pages, 5 × 7 inches The film maintains its playful, often silly tone until the end. But you can see, thanks to Criterion, how spatial dynamics formed a powerful premise of his later masterpieces Vampyr (1932), Day of Wrath (1943), Ordet (1955), and Gertrud (1964). For now, here are my picks. I know this is considered a wonderful film by many, but I dislike it and much prefer Un chien andalou. It would help to watch Mad Max first, since it’s an origin story. Abel Gance’s J’Accuse (1919) is the earliest film displaying a bitterness about the needless bloodshed of the war, followed soon by Rex Ingram’s adaptation of Vicente Blasco Ibáñez’s 1918 bestseller, The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. Or if you have it on the shelf and never quite got around to watching it, here’s your chance. The copy of Earth is too dark and indistinct. In 1929-30, the push increased, with the seizure of the assets of the more prosperous peasants who resisted collectivization, termed kulaks. We do get out a bit, but the camera stays pretty close to the car. Blog; Main La narración en el cine de ficción. It relies on intense close-ups of its one player, Anna Magnani. Came to be available currently for streaming the Bridge, which uses PayPal process... It arrives adult bingeing to pay more attention to more scaled-down surroundings classic roam... 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