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The Left-Right Paradigm in Hollywood 
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Post Re: The Left-Right Paradigm in Hollywood
Funny Games is deliberately unpleasant and hugely manipulative, and I don't consider that a negative. It's a polarizing movie; I can certainly understand why one person would find it brilliant and another would find it repulsive trash. Haneke wasn't trying to please everyone; when you set out to make a movie like this, you fully expect a certain percentage of your audience to hate it. That's what taking risks in filmmaking is all about.

I feel a similar way about Harmony Korine's Spring Breakers, which deliberately gets under a viewer's skin, for better or worse, in an effort to say something about our 24/7 party culture. Contrast the reviews of two local DC critics I follow: Kyle Osborne (who thought it was crap) and Dustin Putman (who gave it 4 stars). I lean more toward Dustin's view.

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Last edited by KWRoss on Mon May 27, 2013 3:06 pm, edited 1 time in total.



Mon May 27, 2013 3:03 pm
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Post Re: The Left-Right Paradigm in Hollywood
KWRoss wrote:
Funny Games is deliberately unpleasant and hugely manipulative, and I don't consider that a negative. It's a polarizing movie; I can certainly understand why one person would find it brilliant and another would find it repulsive trash. When you set out to make a movie like this, you fully expect a certain percentage of your audience to hate it. That's what taking risks in filmmaking is all about.

I feel a similar way about Harmony Korine's Spring Breakers, which deliberately gets under a viewer's skin, for better or worse, in an effort to say something about our 24/7 party culture. Contrast the reviews of two local DC critics I follow: Kyle Osborne (who thought it was crap) and Dustin Putman (who gave it 4 stars). I lean more toward Dustin's view.

Spring Breakers is a far superior film IMO.


Mon May 27, 2013 3:05 pm
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Post Re: The Left-Right Paradigm in Hollywood
Vexer wrote:
So because I don't like a film automatically means I don't understand it? Okaaaaaaayyyyyyyy then :?


I think Kunz is correct; you don't understand the film. Liking it and understanding the intentions of the film are not mutually exclusive. I've seen plenty of films that I haven't liked but still understand what the director was going for.

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Mon May 27, 2013 7:50 pm
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Post Re: The Left-Right Paradigm in Hollywood
Sexual Chocolate wrote:
Vexer wrote:
So because I don't like a film automatically means I don't understand it? Okaaaaaaayyyyyyyy then :?


I think Kunz is correct; you don't understand the film. Liking it and understanding the intentions of the film are not mutually exclusive. I've seen plenty of films that I haven't liked but still understand what the director was going for.

Oh I understood the film's point plenty, I just thought it was handled in a very clumsy manner.


Mon May 27, 2013 8:07 pm
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Post Re: The Left-Right Paradigm in Hollywood
Vexer wrote:
Sexual Chocolate wrote:
Vexer wrote:
So because I don't like a film automatically means I don't understand it? Okaaaaaaayyyyyyyy then :?


I think Kunz is correct; you don't understand the film. Liking it and understanding the intentions of the film are not mutually exclusive. I've seen plenty of films that I haven't liked but still understand what the director was going for.

Oh I understood the film's point plenty, I just thought it was handled in a very clumsy manner.


Your criticisms reveal otherwise. Your comments are akin to someone watching Dr. Strangelove and saying that the fact that people kept acting in a silly way undermined the tension

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Mon May 27, 2013 8:14 pm
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Post Re: The Left-Right Paradigm in Hollywood
What about all those critics who didn't like it? Do you think none of them "understood" the film? Bottom line, the message does not work in the manner Hanecke intended.


Mon May 27, 2013 8:20 pm
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Post Re: The Left-Right Paradigm in Hollywood
Vexer wrote:
What about all those critics who didn't like it? Do you think none of them "understood" the film? Bottom line, the message does not work in the manner Hanecke intended.


I have no problem with you (or critics) disliking the movie. It challenges viewers directly in a way some people don't like. But your comments indicate not (only) that you didn't like the movie, but that you simply had no idea what the point of it was.

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Mon May 27, 2013 8:51 pm
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Post Re: The Left-Right Paradigm in Hollywood
I find Funny Games (the original version, haven't seen the American remake) Haneke's weakest film. He's one of my 3-4 favorite current working filmmakers, but the problem with that movie is the bluntess of the message. Haneke is just plain better than having to resort to the hackneyed, trite tactic of breaking the fourth wall and explicitly stating his movie is about movies. He's made an entire career out of being critical of Hollywood and chastizing that audience, he just does it much, much better in films like Cache and Amour.

I think the ideas in Funny Games are smart and worthy of discussing, but the film itself is fairly uncreative for a man of Haneke's ability. That said, it isn't a bad movie, just bad for Haneke and I totally, 100% understand why this is the one he chose to remake as his only Hollywood film.

Also, I came across the following quote from Haneke about the movie. He was asked about the movie being his contribution to self-reflexive movies about media and violence and given Natural Born Killers as an example in the question (just so Kunzie doesn't think he's randomly taking shots at his hero Oliver Stone):

Michael Haneke wrote:
My goal there was a kind of counter-program to Natural Born Killers. In my view, Oliver Stone's film, and I use it only as example, is the attempt to use a fascist aesthetic to achieve an anti-fascist goal, and this doesn't work. What is accomplished is something the opposite, since what is produced is something like a cult film where the montage style complements the violence represented and presents it largely in a positive light. It might be argued that Natural Born Killers makes the violent image alluring while allowing no space for the viewer. I feel this would be very difficult to argue about Funny Games. Benny's Video and Funny Games are different kinds of obscenity, in the sense that I intended a slap in the face and a provocation.


Tue May 28, 2013 11:41 am
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Post Re: The Left-Right Paradigm in Hollywood
PeachyPete wrote:
I find Funny Games (the original version, haven't seen the American remake) Haneke's weakest film. He's one of my 3-4 favorite current working filmmakers, but the problem with that movie is the bluntess of the message. Haneke is just plain better than having to resort to the hackneyed, trite tactic of breaking the fourth wall and explicitly stating his movie is about movies. He's made an entire career out of being critical of Hollywood and chastizing that audience, he just does it much, much better in films like Cache and Amour.

I think the ideas in Funny Games are smart and worthy of discussing, but the film itself is fairly uncreative for a man of Haneke's ability. That said, it isn't a bad movie, just bad for Haneke and I totally, 100% understand why this is the one he chose to remake as his only Hollywood film.

Also, I came across the following quote from Haneke about the movie. He was asked about the movie being his contribution to self-reflexive movies about media and violence and given Natural Born Killers as an example in the question (just so Kunzie doesn't think he's randomly taking shots at his hero Oliver Stone):

Michael Haneke wrote:
My goal there was a kind of counter-program to Natural Born Killers. In my view, Oliver Stone's film, and I use it only as example, is the attempt to use a fascist aesthetic to achieve an anti-fascist goal, and this doesn't work. What is accomplished is something the opposite, since what is produced is something like a cult film where the montage style complements the violence represented and presents it largely in a positive light. It might be argued that Natural Born Killers makes the violent image alluring while allowing no space for the viewer. I feel this would be very difficult to argue about Funny Games. Benny's Video and Funny Games are different kinds of obscenity, in the sense that I intended a slap in the face and a provocation.


:lol: :lol:

Hey I don't even like Oliver Stone that much! I just happen to have seen all of his films!

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Tue May 28, 2013 2:42 pm
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Post Re: The Left-Right Paradigm in Hollywood
Natural Born Killers is a much better film then Funny Games, IMO Hanecke isn't as good of a director as Stone.


Tue May 28, 2013 4:20 pm
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Post Re: The Left-Right Paradigm in Hollywood
Funny Games is one of Haneke's weaker films. Then again, my third favorite movie of last year was Amour, so...


Tue May 28, 2013 4:38 pm
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Post Re: The Left-Right Paradigm in Hollywood
PeachyPete wrote:
He's made an entire career out of being critical of Hollywood and chastizing that audience, he just does it much, much better in films like Cache and Amour.


I fundamentally disagree with you here. I loved Amour and didn't care much for Cache, but neither of them (particularly Amour) implicate audiences the way that Funny Games does. Moreover, you refer to his breaking of the fourth wall as trite, but I've never seen it used that way before or since. Breaking the fourth wall is almost always done for comic effect, never to forge a connection between the audience and onscreen killers.

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Tue May 28, 2013 5:14 pm
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Post Re: The Left-Right Paradigm in Hollywood
Vexer wrote:
Natural Born Killers is a much better film then Funny Games, IMO Hanecke isn't as good of a director as Stone.


At least you've brought something to this discussion other than simply stating your opinion. As always, an extremely valuable contribution, Vex.

JamesKunz wrote:
PeachyPete wrote:
He's made an entire career out of being critical of Hollywood and chastizing that audience, he just does it much, much better in films like Cache and Amour.


I fundamentally disagree with you here. I loved Amour and didn't care much for Cache, but neither of them (particularly Amour) implicate audiences the way that Funny Games does. Moreover, you refer to his breaking of the fourth wall as trite, but I've never seen it used that way before or since. Breaking the fourth wall is almost always done for comic effect, never to forge a connection between the audience and onscreen killers.


I don't think either of them implicates the audience the way Funny Games does, in that they're about much more than simply implicating an audience. The idea is in both films: Cache (Haneke's masterpiece, and right behind Inglourious Basterds as the best film of the 00s, for me) is very much interested in how we perceive events, and it's no accident the film opens with the characters watching a videotape unbeknownst to the viewers. Amour opens with the police breaking into the home of the main characters (a sealed door, no less!), a subtle way for Haneke to slap us in the face again for having the audacity to think we should be privy to the intimate events the film is about to unfold. The movie then cuts to an audience settling in at a theater performance, waiting for something to happen. It's a condemnation of how typical Hollywood films unfold, where the audience is spoon-fed everything they need to know.

I'm not saying this is completely what either of those movies is about, but that idea is in there, amongst many others. I mean, there's a reason he also has said this:

Michael Haneke wrote:
My films are intended as polemical statements against the American 'barrel down' cinema and its dis-empowerment of the spectator. They are an appeal for a cinema of insistent questions instead of false (because too quick) answers, for clarifying distance in place of violating closeness, for provocation and dialogue instead of consumption and consensus.


Jesus Christ, I love that quote.


Tue May 28, 2013 7:39 pm
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Post Re: The Left-Right Paradigm in Hollywood
I hate Funny Games because Haneke succeeded with his goal. I say goal because there are no other goals striven for aside from a deliberate attack on the audience in their part of watching the film and, by circa proxy philosophy psychology Haneke movie motif logic magic algorithm however the fuck he makes his films, their part in the Hollywood movie complex. Haneke himself said that anyone who walked out of Funny Games was in no need of the film, and those who were in need of the film were those who suffered through it. I get it, very clever; by the time the remake came out (without a changed scene, shot, line of dialogue or piece of clothing) it was just insulting. What am I getting out of this movie by rewatching it and evaluating how clever it is at prodding me for watching it? Fuck that noise, I'll watch Cache again and discover something worthwhile.

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Wed May 29, 2013 1:46 am
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Post Re: The Left-Right Paradigm in Hollywood
PeachyPete wrote:
I find Funny Games (the original version, haven't seen the American remake) Haneke's weakest film. He's one of my 3-4 favorite current working filmmakers, but the problem with that movie is the bluntess of the message. Haneke is just plain better than having to resort to the hackneyed, trite tactic of breaking the fourth wall and explicitly stating his movie is about movies. He's made an entire career out of being critical of Hollywood and chastizing that audience, he just does it much, much better in films like Cache and Amour.

I think the ideas in Funny Games are smart and worthy of discussing, but the film itself is fairly uncreative for a man of Haneke's ability. That said, it isn't a bad movie, just bad for Haneke and I totally, 100% understand why this is the one he chose to remake as his only Hollywood film.

Also, I came across the following quote from Haneke about the movie. He was asked about the movie being his contribution to self-reflexive movies about media and violence and given Natural Born Killers as an example in the question (just so Kunzie doesn't think he's randomly taking shots at his hero Oliver Stone):

Michael Haneke wrote:
My goal there was a kind of counter-program to Natural Born Killers. In my view, Oliver Stone's film, and I use it only as example, is the attempt to use a fascist aesthetic to achieve an anti-fascist goal, and this doesn't work. What is accomplished is something the opposite, since what is produced is something like a cult film where the montage style complements the violence represented and presents it largely in a positive light. It might be argued that Natural Born Killers makes the violent image alluring while allowing no space for the viewer. I feel this would be very difficult to argue about Funny Games. Benny's Video and Funny Games are different kinds of obscenity, in the sense that I intended a slap in the face and a provocation.


Who would've guessed that I'd find a discussion of "Funny Games" in this thread?

Thanks for the quote, PeachyPete. I watched the original 'Funny Games' relatively recently and it is interesting that I immediately made the connection with 'Natural Born Killers', which Haneke refers to. I must say that, although I'm not totally won over by 'Funny Games', it achieves exactly what it sets out to do.

JamesKunz wrote:
PeachyPete wrote:
He's made an entire career out of being critical of Hollywood and chastizing that audience, he just does it much, much better in films like Cache and Amour.


I fundamentally disagree with you here. I loved Amour and didn't care much for Cache, but neither of them (particularly Amour) implicate audiences the way that Funny Games does. Moreover, you refer to his breaking of the fourth wall as trite, but I've never seen it used that way before or since. Breaking the fourth wall is almost always done for comic effect, never to forge a connection between the audience and onscreen killers.


Hello, JamesKunz, have you seen any movies by Godard? I have seen only a few, but he also uses the breaking of the fourth wall for non-comical effects (albeit different ones than Haneke in 'Funny Games').


Wed May 29, 2013 2:24 am
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Post Re: The Left-Right Paradigm in Hollywood
JJoshay wrote:
I hate Funny Games because Haneke succeeded with his goal. I say goal because there are no other goals striven for aside from a deliberate attack on the audience in their part of watching the film and, by circa proxy philosophy psychology Haneke movie motif logic magic algorithm however the fuck he makes his films, their part in the Hollywood movie complex. Haneke himself said that anyone who walked out of Funny Games was in no need of the film, and those who were in need of the film were those who suffered through it. I get it, very clever; by the time the remake came out (without a changed scene, shot, line of dialogue or piece of clothing) it was just insulting. What am I getting out of this movie by rewatching it and evaluating how clever it is at prodding me for watching it? Fuck that noise, I'll watch Cache again and discover something worthwhile.

My thoughts exactly, if the film was trying to be realistic, that went completely out the window with the "rewind" scene, why not have
[Reveal] Spoiler:
the one guy getting killed with the shotgun as a hallucination or imagined scene instead of that nonsense with the remote(which BTW reminded me of Click and made me laugh out, i'm guessing that's not the reaction Hanecke was going for)? Hanecke still could've gone for the mind screw and it would've made a hell of a lot more sense.
There's a actually a video game called Spec Ops: The Line which has a similar aim as Funny Games, only in this case it acts as a deconstruction of games like Modern Warfare. The game developers made similar comments to Hanecke(the lead developer said something along the lines of "there is another choice, turn the game off"), and those who have played the games compared the message to that of Funny Games. I thought the game succeeded pretty well with it's message in that it didn't feel like it was blindly condemning the individual like Hanecke was. Fuck that noise indeed, i'd much rather watch of those "Hollywood" films then sit through another of one of Hanecke's pretentious crapfests.


Wed May 29, 2013 3:01 am
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Post Re: The Left-Right Paradigm in Hollywood
Vexer wrote:
JJoshay wrote:
I hate Funny Games because Haneke succeeded with his goal. I say goal because there are no other goals striven for aside from a deliberate attack on the audience in their part of watching the film and, by circa proxy philosophy psychology Haneke movie motif logic magic algorithm however the fuck he makes his films, their part in the Hollywood movie complex. Haneke himself said that anyone who walked out of Funny Games was in no need of the film, and those who were in need of the film were those who suffered through it. I get it, very clever; by the time the remake came out (without a changed scene, shot, line of dialogue or piece of clothing) it was just insulting. What am I getting out of this movie by rewatching it and evaluating how clever it is at prodding me for watching it? Fuck that noise, I'll watch Cache again and discover something worthwhile.

My thoughts exactly, if the film was trying to be realistic, that went completely out the window with the "rewind" scene, why not have
[Reveal] Spoiler:
the one guy getting killed with the shotgun as a hallucination or imagined scene instead of that nonsense with the remote(which BTW reminded me of Click and made me laugh out, i'm guessing that's not the reaction Hanecke was going for)? Hanecke still could've gone for the mind screw and it would've made a hell of a lot more sense.
There's a actually a video game called Spec Ops: The Line which has a similar aim as Funny Games, only in this case it acts as a deconstruction of games like Modern Warfare. The game developers made similar comments to Hanecke(the lead developer said something along the lines of "there is another choice, turn the game off"), and those who have played the games compared the message to that of Funny Games. I thought the game succeeded pretty well with it's message in that it didn't feel like it was blindly condemning the individual like Hanecke was. Fuck that noise indeed, i'd much rather watch of those "Hollywood" films then sit through another of one of Hanecke's pretentious crapfests.


Changing the film as you said would totally negate the film's point. I think it straight up never should have been made, and I for one will never be watching nor recommending it again.

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Wed May 29, 2013 3:59 am
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Post Re: The Left-Right Paradigm in Hollywood
Unke wrote:
PeachyPete wrote:
I find Funny Games (the original version, haven't seen the American remake) Haneke's weakest film. He's one of my 3-4 favorite current working filmmakers, but the problem with that movie is the bluntess of the message. Haneke is just plain better than having to resort to the hackneyed, trite tactic of breaking the fourth wall and explicitly stating his movie is about movies. He's made an entire career out of being critical of Hollywood and chastizing that audience, he just does it much, much better in films like Cache and Amour.

I think the ideas in Funny Games are smart and worthy of discussing, but the film itself is fairly uncreative for a man of Haneke's ability. That said, it isn't a bad movie, just bad for Haneke and I totally, 100% understand why this is the one he chose to remake as his only Hollywood film.

Also, I came across the following quote from Haneke about the movie. He was asked about the movie being his contribution to self-reflexive movies about media and violence and given Natural Born Killers as an example in the question (just so Kunzie doesn't think he's randomly taking shots at his hero Oliver Stone):

Michael Haneke wrote:
My goal there was a kind of counter-program to Natural Born Killers. In my view, Oliver Stone's film, and I use it only as example, is the attempt to use a fascist aesthetic to achieve an anti-fascist goal, and this doesn't work. What is accomplished is something the opposite, since what is produced is something like a cult film where the montage style complements the violence represented and presents it largely in a positive light. It might be argued that Natural Born Killers makes the violent image alluring while allowing no space for the viewer. I feel this would be very difficult to argue about Funny Games. Benny's Video and Funny Games are different kinds of obscenity, in the sense that I intended a slap in the face and a provocation.


Who would've guessed that I'd find a discussion of "Funny Games" in this thread?

Thanks for the quote, PeachyPete. I watched the original 'Funny Games' relatively recently and it is interesting that I immediately made the connection with 'Natural Born Killers', which Haneke refers to. I must say that, although I'm not totally won over by 'Funny Games', it achieves exactly what it sets out to do.

JamesKunz wrote:
PeachyPete wrote:
He's made an entire career out of being critical of Hollywood and chastizing that audience, he just does it much, much better in films like Cache and Amour.


I fundamentally disagree with you here. I loved Amour and didn't care much for Cache, but neither of them (particularly Amour) implicate audiences the way that Funny Games does. Moreover, you refer to his breaking of the fourth wall as trite, but I've never seen it used that way before or since. Breaking the fourth wall is almost always done for comic effect, never to forge a connection between the audience and onscreen killers.


Hello, JamesKunz, have you seen any movies by Godard? I have seen only a few, but he also uses the breaking of the fourth wall for non-comical effects (albeit different ones than Haneke in 'Funny Games').


I've seen Breathless (of course), Band a Part, and Alphaville. That's interesting though.

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Post Re: The Left-Right Paradigm in Hollywood
Vexer wrote:
JJoshay wrote:
I hate Funny Games because Haneke succeeded with his goal. I say goal because there are no other goals striven for aside from a deliberate attack on the audience in their part of watching the film and, by circa proxy philosophy psychology Haneke movie motif logic magic algorithm however the fuck he makes his films, their part in the Hollywood movie complex. Haneke himself said that anyone who walked out of Funny Games was in no need of the film, and those who were in need of the film were those who suffered through it. I get it, very clever; by the time the remake came out (without a changed scene, shot, line of dialogue or piece of clothing) it was just insulting. What am I getting out of this movie by rewatching it and evaluating how clever it is at prodding me for watching it? Fuck that noise, I'll watch Cache again and discover something worthwhile.

My thoughts exactly, if the film was trying to be realistic, that went completely out the window with the "rewind" scene, why not have
[Reveal] Spoiler:
the one guy getting killed with the shotgun as a hallucination or imagined scene instead of that nonsense with the remote(which BTW reminded me of Click and made me laugh out, i'm guessing that's not the reaction Hanecke was going for)? Hanecke still could've gone for the mind screw and it would've made a hell of a lot more sense.
There's a actually a video game called Spec Ops: The Line which has a similar aim as Funny Games, only in this case it acts as a deconstruction of games like Modern Warfare. The game developers made similar comments to Hanecke(the lead developer said something along the lines of "there is another choice, turn the game off"), and those who have played the games compared the message to that of Funny Games. I thought the game succeeded pretty well with it's message in that it didn't feel like it was blindly condemning the individual like Hanecke was. Fuck that noise indeed, i'd much rather watch of those "Hollywood" films then sit through another of one of Hanecke's pretentious crapfests.


*Sighs* I rarely argue you Vexer. We're different in terms of our tastes, and I'm normally cool about that. But here...

You. Just. Don't. Get. It. Everything you say is like someone reading Animal Farm and saying that having pigs talk was SO unrealistic and stupid.

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Post Re: The Left-Right Paradigm in Hollywood
JamesKunz wrote:
You. Just. Don't. Get. It. Everything you say is like someone reading Animal Farm and saying that having pigs talk was SO unrealistic and stupid.


Babe: Pig In The City....now THERE was some Leftist Hollywood claptrap if ever there was...


Wed May 29, 2013 12:26 pm
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