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Lost in Translation is an incorrect portrayal of Japan and the Japanese, for anyone who has actually lived there a decent length of time. It is fair account, though, of what it would be like if you were callous tourist riding on the dull zeitgeist of your wasted life, but there aren't that many people like that in Hollywood...apparently.

It is a subtle film, but the characters portrayed are pathologically superficial with obvious sociopathic urges. Why that should be venerated is beyond me.

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Lost in Translation is an incorrect portrayal of Japan and the Japanese, for anyone who has actually lived there a decent length of time. It is fair account, though, of what it would be like if you were callous tourist riding on the dull zeitgeist of your wasted life, but there aren't that many people like that in Hollywood...apparently.

It is a subtle film, but the characters portrayed are pathologically superficial with obvious sociopathic urges. Why that should be venerated is beyond me.

You sir are missing the metaphor. :rolleyes:

The film is not about Japan. It's about being in a world where you feel like the only one communicating on a soulful level, until someone else comes along and you are awakened to them. Tokyo in this instance is a metaphor for a place to feel lost and alone in because it is a place that looks like westernland, but is oddly different to it. Everything you see in that film, from Murray's relative tallness to Johanson's hair, expresses a sort of disconnection that both of them feel as people in their real lives.

The film is not about portraying all of Japan, which is no doubt much richer than the strange and hollow landscape of the film. Japan, in this instance, serves as the artist's tool. And brilliantly, I might add.

The point of the film is that they are not superficial, but they are both lost in a tide of the superficial, and so neither of them knows what they are supposed to do or supposed to be. In find it a very powerful film on that level because it perfectly expresses what early 21st century life's main theme seems to be: Nobody knows what the hell is going on any more or why, and some people just ride with it, others wallow in some fictitious past, and yet others feel lost and depressed.

It's amazing on several levels.

I very much look forward to Sofia Copppolla's next.

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The film is not about Japan. It's about being in a world where you feel like the only one communicating on a soulful level, until someone else comes along and you are awakened to them. Tokyo in this instance is a metaphor for a place to feel lost and alone in because it is a place that looks like westernland, but is oddly different to it. Everything you see in that film, from Murray's relative tallness to Johanson's hair, expresses a sort of disconnection that both of them feel as people in their real lives.

The film is indeed not about Japan, though it does use that to highlight the characters and to make the film more trendy than it would have been. However, as fof the soulful communications it just isn't there. They have no souls, they are post-modern husks that are on the cusp of realisation that they have wasted their lives (something that their displacement in a foreign culture only helps to accelerate).

The point of the film is that they are not superficial, but they are both lost in a tide of the superficial, and so neither of them knows what they are supposed to do or supposed to be. In find it a very powerful film on that level because it perfectly expresses what early 21st century life's main theme seems to be: Nobody knows what the hell is going on any more or why, and some people just ride with it, others wallow in some fictitious past, and yet others feel lost and depressed.

If you don't know who you are or what you want to do with your life, then you are superficial. The fact that they enjoy being lost in the tide of the superficial, for entertainment reasons, shows us they have no sense of self. Again, I ask why should this be venerated?

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The film is indeed not about Japan, though it does use that to highlight the characters and to make the film more trendy than it would have been. However, as fof the soulful communications it just isn't there. They have no souls, they are post-modern husks that are on the cusp of realisation that they have wasted their lives (something that their displacement in a foreign culture only helps to accelerate).

I think Coppolla is sufficiently an artist to be using Japan as a backdrop for more than simply trendy reasons. Japan is one of the most advanced countries in the world, but, if I may, the writing's funny, the language is harsh and the people are very frenetic. In the film, that is. And the spiritualised side is incomrehensible. In the film. It is, as such, a perfect kind of backdrop to portray someone lost against the world.

In Western culture, the Japanese are some of the most 'alien' people on the planet, a country that is perhaps least understood while at the same time being the most fascinating to many of us. Although I think its trendiness has passed its sell-by-date a bit.

The alien character of the Japanese (inthe film) serves to heighten the disconnection. You could have set the film in any sufficiently developed western city, but the impact of a culture so advanced and yet utterly incomprehensible at even the language level, or the historical level, makes Tokyo the perfect place for it.

If you don't know who you are or what you want to do with your life, then you are superficial. The fact that they enjoy being lost in the tide of the superficial, for entertainment reasons, shows us they have no sense of self. Again, I ask why should this be venerated?

Er, no, superficiality is not a lack of direction. Superficiality is one who is basically shallow, incapable of any real emotion or understanding. Which is not either of the two characters' problem. Their problem is that the understand all too well, but have absolutely no idea what todo about it. That's called being depressed. :rolleyes:

I think the point of the film is that the two main characters do not enjoy being lost. They may laugh at the bizarreness of it all, but ultimately their loss is an experience that renders them to tears and desperation regularly.

It should be so venerated because it manages to capture all this blend of emotion in one short film.

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The film is indeed not about Japan, though it does use that to highlight the characters and to make the film more trendy than it would have been. However, as fof the soulful communications it just isn't there. They have no souls, they are post-modern husks that are on the cusp of realisation that they have wasted their lives (something that their displacement in a foreign culture only helps to accelerate).

What, was that like everyone in Britain again there Cacks?

God, it's a pity that not everyone can have a true insight into the Japanese collective psyche like Guru Barder, isn't it?

And the idea that not knowing who you are oor what you want to be makes you superficial is lunacy at best.

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I have to say, i didn't like the girl in it, she seemed to be prick teasing the old guy for kicks :rolleyes:

I thought it was ok, but, even though the film isn;t about Japan, if it hadn't have been set there i'd have found the film an even duller experience. Glad i've seen it though...

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I fucking hated it when my friend said "Oh, nothing happens, they don't even shag. The only funny bit was 'lip my stocking"'. I felt tempted to scream "Oh, go watch 50 First Fucking Dates, you fucking gobshite", but I was in a library at the time. Instead, I just told them they were dead inside.

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Cacophanus:

It is a subtle film, but the characters portrayed are pathologically superficial with obvious sociopathic urges. Why that should be venerated is beyond me....

The film is indeed not about Japan, though it does use that to highlight the characters and to make the film more trendy than it would have been. However, as fof the soulful communications it just isn't there. They have no souls, they are post-modern husks that are on the cusp of realisation that they have wasted their lives (something that their displacement in a foreign culture only helps to accelerate)....

If you don't know who you are or what you want to do with your life, then you are superficial. The fact that they enjoy being lost in the tide of the superficial, for entertainment reasons, shows us they have no sense of self. Again, I ask why should this be venerated?

I am sorry but i do not share your view that the characters they potray are superficial and this is why,

Neuromancer:

Er, no, superficiality is not a lack of direction. Superficiality is one who is basically shallow, incapable of any real emotion or understanding. Which is not either of the two characters' problem. Their problem is that the understand all too well, but have absolutely no idea what todo about it. That's called being depressed...

I think the point of the film is that the two main characters do not enjoy being lost. They may laugh at the bizarreness of it all, but ultimately their loss is an experience that renders them to tears and desperation regularly...

It should be so venerated because it manages to capture all this blend of emotion in one short film.

I like to think that instead of being lost both characters, acted by Murray and Johansen depict a stagnation, a somewhat 'froth' like state in their lives, where they are floating temporarily.

Temptation is a concept repeated throughout the film, the very fact that both characters do not get it on or escape their misery is a testament to their balanced and grounded nature. I don't think what Coppolla is depicting is a story about two lost characters but rather how easy it is to sometimes bail out. It is a story about courage, temptation and realisation. For Murray’s character, he is thousands of miles away from his wife, children and instead of finding it a 'break' from the monotonous family life, he is instead warped into contemplation and temptation. It is quite clear he has a cold and formal like relationship with his wife and the distant telephone calls almost personify this.

Miss Johansens character on the other hand seems, constantly, to be questioning the wisdom of tagging along with her globe hoping boyfriend. Although this isn't present in any discourse to either herself, bf, or even Murray, it is quite clear from her constant gazes that she feels her presence in japan is not of her desire, intention or readiness.

For me, the purpose of Japan or the 'set', is that of a dream, voice, constantly telling the character 'they do not beling here'. If it were based on a true story, Murrey would almost certainly have returned home, taken up a new 'post midlife crises hobby' and lived happily ever after whilst Scarlett's character would have left her boyfriend with dignity and have adopted a more predictable, structured lifestyle the personality of her character seems to fit into....

add Neuromancers conclusion

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If you don't know who you are or what you want to do with your life, then you are superficial.

2 + 2 = 5

Also do you run your posts through MS Word's thesaurus before you post them?

No, he just employs English more betterer than most people. It's not hard.

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I fucking hated it when my friend said "Oh, nothing happens, they don't even shag. The only funny bit was 'lip my stocking"'. I felt tempted to scream "Oh, go watch 50 First Fucking Dates, you fucking gobshite", but I was in a library at the time. Instead, I just told them they were dead inside.

o/\o

Lost in translation is one the best films I've seen in recent years.

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Oh dear.

The group perhaps haven't correctly stated Japan, or more precisely, Tokyo's location in the film.

Tokyo features because:

(i) It superficially looks very similar to a western city - it's familiar.

(ii) It isn't. And the subtle differences (the height of the showers* etc.) throw you.

Where "you" is your common, or garden, non-japanese-speaking business traveller.

Would the film work as well set in Budapest?

No (for any number of reasons that you can pick up on by doing a search of the forum).

If you don't know who you are or what you want to do with your life, then you are superficial. The fact that they enjoy being lost in the tide of the superficial, for entertainment reasons, shows us they have no sense of self.

This is rubbish.

If you don't know who you are or what you want to do with your life, then you don't know who you are or what you want to do with your life.

Perhaps you'd like to go and consult your dictionary again?

No, he just employs English more betterer than most people. It's not hard.

:rolleyes:

* And yes, anyone who really wants to argue the toss about details such as this is welcome to. I'll refer you to exhibit A ( http://www.sociometry.co.uk/photos/Tokyo/F...ize/Doorway.jpg )- Jim's all of 6 foot...

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I think Coppolla is sufficiently an artist to be using Japan as a backdrop for more than simply trendy reasons. Japan is one of the most advanced countries in the world, but, if I may, the writing's funny, the language is harsh and the people are very frenetic. In the film, that is. And the spiritualised side is incomrehensible. In the film. It is, as such, a perfect kind of backdrop to portray someone lost against the world.

Culture's are only incomprehensible if you are attached to another. As such trying to interpret individual spirituality from a purely societal perspective will make it appear alien. To clarify, the characters in the film are not lost against the world. They are lost within themselves because they are socially superficial and have no sense of self.

In Western culture, the Japanese are some of the most 'alien' people on the planet, a country that is perhaps least understood while at the same time being the most fascinating to many of us. Although I think its trendiness has passed its sell-by-date a bit.

The trendiness got an Oscar Nomination, so it's still pretty potent (and if anything the film rejuvenated the "alien" zeitgeist of Japan...shit, I hate Hollywood).

The alien character of the Japanese (inthe film) serves to heighten the disconnection. You could have set the film in any sufficiently developed western city, but the impact of a culture so advanced and yet utterly incomprehensible at even the language level, or the historical level, makes Tokyo the perfect place for it.

Indeed, if the film had been set in any Western city it would have been chastised for being dull. Coppola's is shrewd enough to have realised that at least, so callous kudos to her.

Er, no, superficiality is not a lack of direction. Superficiality is one who is basically shallow, incapable of any real emotion or understanding. Which is not either of the two characters' problem. Their problem is that the understand all too well, but have absolutely no idea what todo about it. That's called being depressed. :rolleyes:

The characters don't even understand themselves, they are spiritually childlike (Murray's idiotic conversation on the phone trying to empower himslef by asking for Japanese food and the dumb bint's shitty possessive attitude towards Murray). They are both individually insecure because they won't accept or acknowledge their sense of self.

I think the point of the film is that the two main characters do not enjoy being lost. They may laugh at the bizarreness of it all, but ultimately their loss is an experience that renders them to tears and desperation regularly.

It should be so venerated because it manages to capture all this blend of emotion in one short film.

Emotion? There is no emotion. They don't care about anyone other than themselves and they manipulate each other to satiate the gnawing maw that is their hollow self. She is possessive of Murray because she is bored of her husband and wants something else to entertain her. Murray knows that he has wasted his life and ponders a fling so as to entertain himself also.

I also like the lack of direction she had, despite her puffed up sense of intellectual superiority (and the denied realisation that displays of intellectual prowess amount to very little). That, at least, was displayed with a modicum of skill.

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No, he just employs English more betterer than most people. It's not hard.

I know you meant this as a joke, but it's worth pointing out that being unnecessarily wordy does not equal good writing.

Anyway, I think Cacky's main problem with this film is that he went to it expecting a massive Japanese gush-fest, and it wasn't. He saw a film that really had nothing to do with Japan (And so what if it was trendy? The setting of the film was largely irrelevant, so why not make it somewhere fashionable?). Perhaps if it had constant namedropping of Kurosawa, mechs, and all the other stuff you constantly jabber on about on this board maybe it would have been a better film, eh?

And, as I said before, your comments about superficiality are ludicrous. For instance:

The characters don't even understand themselves, they are spiritually childlike (Murray's idiotic conversation on the phone trying to empower himslef by asking for Japanese food and the dumb bint's shitty possessive attitude towards Murray). They are both individually insecure because they won't accept or acknowledge their sense of self.

Most of that is true. They are both insecure. Does this mean that insecure people shouldn't be allowed in films? Your problem seems to be that these people aren't perfect. That would be fun:

BILL MURRAY: Hello there, young girl, would you like a drink?

SCARLETT JOHANNSON: No thank you, although I am dissatisfied with my relationship with my husband, I shouldn't betray him. Also, the obvious age difference between us would create problems in any relationship we shared.

BM: I see. Indeed, I have a relationship with my wife, who, while not perfect, has stuck by me for many years. It would be wrong to cheat on her with a girl I barely know. I apologise.

SJ: That's ok. Now, shall we communicate on a spiritual level?

BM: Yes, let's. How do you really feel?

Christ, why aren't you making films, Ollie? That sounds FANTASTIC!

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(i)Culture's are only incomprehensible if you are attached to another. As such trying to interpret individual spirituality from a purely societal perspective will make it appear alien. To clarify, the characters in the film are not lost against the world. They are lost within themselves because they are socially superficial and have no sense of self....

(ii)I also like the lack of direction she had, despite her puffed up sense of intellectual superiority (and the denied realisation that displays of intellectual prowess amount to very little). That, at least, was displayed with a modicum of skill.

Firstly, you say here that one cannot understand a culture if they are attached to another. Personally I believe it goes a little bit beyond this. Provided someone practices and has a strong affinity with a certain culture they will never fully understand another. I hope you said this to us rather than to the characters in commentary to their sense of bewilderment in the environment they find themselves in. I understand when you say "...they are socially superficial (to Tokyo/Japan)..." but not "...and have no sense of self...". Are you saying here their identity lacks sufficient strength that when they are placed outside their natural environment...or that that made up their identity...they loose a sense of pf who they are?

You are spot on about the second point here.

p.s. you have an excellent vocabulary...not in variety but in expression :rolleyes:

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It is a subtle film, but the characters portrayed are pathologically superficial with obvious sociopathic urges.

This thread is killing me. :)

Indeed, if the film had been set in any Western city it would have been chastised for being dull. Coppola's is shrewd enough to have realised that at least, so callous kudos to her

You missed the point.

It wasn't set in any Western city - for precisely the same reason that "The Mayor Of Casterbridge" wasn't set in London, or New York, or Rio...

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What's wrong with some of you people?

I loved this film. Makes me feel all tingly just thinking about it. Lovely stuff.

It's not perfect though, but for none of the reasons people have mentioned.

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Anyway, I think Cacky's main problem with this film is that he went to it expecting a massive Japanese gush-fest, and it wasn't. He saw a film that really had nothing to do with Japan (And so what if it was trendy? The setting of the film was largely irrelevant, so why not make it somewhere fashionable?). Perhaps if it had constant namedropping of Kurosawa, mechs, and all the other stuff you constantly jabber on about on this board maybe it would have been a better film, eh?

A lot of the superficial aspects of Japan were portrayed truthfully, but neither my wife or I were expecting a "gush fest" about Japan (if anything my wife despises the otaku mentality about Japanese pop-culture, and would have despised a film about that even more).

We didn't like the film because it portrayed hollow people in a way that is somehow "okay" (something the Oscar Nomination confirmed). At least with Kurosawa films the characters are at least self aware and sincere.

Most of that is true. They are both insecure. Does this mean that insecure people shouldn't be allowed in films?

Insecure characters need to be in films, as in any medium, but they shouldn't be displayed in a positive manner (because being individually insecure makes you fundamentally dangerous to the people that surround you, which is a "bad" thing). The reason why insecure people are portrayed like this is because most people are insecure and they don't want to accept it (fuelling the wonderful cycle of self-worth), so a film that shows it's alright to be a bitter, twisted and vindictive fuck goes down a storm (with those type of people obviously).

Firstly, you say here that one cannot understand a culture if they are attached to another. Personally I believe it goes a little bit beyond this. Provided someone practices and has a strong affinity with a certain culture they will never fully understand another. I hope you said this to us rather than to the characters in commentary to their sense of bewilderment in the environment they find themselves in. I understand when you say "...they are socially superficial (to Tokyo/Japan)..." but not "...and have no sense of self...". Are you saying here their identity lacks sufficient strength that when they are placed outside their natural environment...or that that made up their identity...they loose a sense of pf who they are?

In a little way yes, their "sense of self" is inexorably linked to their parent culture. Where "sense of self" is actually their social persona (and not anything truly individual).

You're hilarious. Qualified psychologist now, are we?

For what it's worth, yes.

You missed the point.

It wasn't set in any Western city - for precisely the same reason that "The Mayor Of Casterbridge" wasn't set in London, or New York, or Rio...

The difference is that "The Mayor Of Casterbridge" would have been equally as much of a classic if it had been set in London, or New York, or Rio. If Lost in Translation was set anywhere other than Tokyo it would have been shown up for being a callous piece of opportunistic trash.

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I thought it was great because it was so different, a lot of my friends didn't like it because "nothing happens" but thats why I loved it in a way.

I think people are looking into it too much, if you didn't like it then its not your cup of tea, simple as that.

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The difference is that "The Mayor Of Casterbridge" would have been equally as much of a classic if it had been set in London, or New York, or Rio. If Lost in Translation was set anywhere other than Tokyo it would have been shown up for being a callous piece of opportunistic trash.

I think there's a litle truth in that....

...he may have a point afterall folks?

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The difference is that "The Mayor Of Casterbridge" would have been equally as much of a classic if it had been set in London, or New York, or Rio. If Lost in Translation was set anywhere other than Tokyo it would have been shown up for being a callous piece of opportunistic trash.

Wrong.

Casterbridge is a mirror for Henchard's mood/situation throughout, and only works in that way because it's a small town that can go through a fairly obvious cycle of prosperity. It's also very specifically about a time and a place.

Setting it in New York, London, Rio, Tokyo would fail. They're simply too big and too complex and, well, wrong...

Similarly, setting Lost In Translation anywhere other than Tokyo would remove a whole layer of the film - the reaction of the characters to their surroundings mimics their reaction to each other, and the people around them.

It's not especially subtle, but you'd appear to have missed it. Or not properly appreciated it.

Incidentally, I'm really not sure where you've got the idea from that people reacted positively to Lost In Translation simply because it included Tokyo.

Not everyone (and certainly not everyone in Hollywood) immediately links "Japanese" with "Cool" or "Trendy".

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Cacophanus:

Insecure characters need to be in films, as in any medium, but they shouldn't be displayed in a positive manner (because being individually insecure makes you fundamentally dangerous to the people that surround you, which is a "bad" thing). The reason why insecure people are portrayed like this is because most people are insecure and they don't want to accept it (fuelling the wonderful cycle of self-worth), so a film that shows it's alright to be a bitter, twisted and vindictive fuck goes down a storm (with those type of people obviously).

Errr surely you can't judge what kind of characters and which way they are shown should be 'allowed' in films?

It's a form of fascism!

Characters in films, as in real life, should be able to think any way they want.

Insecurity may be a 'bad' thing to be but insecure people aren't 'bad' themselves.

Anyway who cares whether the characters are like this? It makes films a whole lot more realistic, instead of some fucking boring, bland hollywood film where everyone is either good or bad and noone has any problems unless either a close relative is dead or they are going to jail.

I also think it doesn't matter where it is set. It's the way it is written and filmed that defines it. You could have a similar story with people in a foreign land anywhere in the world.

This film does not show Tokyo to be 'cool' or even 'uncool'. It plays a part in the feeling of the characters but in the end I think it is mainly a simple backdrop.

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know you meant this as a joke, but it's worth pointing out that being unnecessarily wordy does not equal good writing.

Anyway, I think Cacky's main problem with this film is that he went to it expecting a massive Japanese gush-fest, and it wasn't. He saw a film that really had nothing to do with Japan (And so what if it was trendy? The setting of the film was largely irrelevant, so why not make it somewhere fashionable?). Perhaps if it had constant namedropping of Kurosawa, mechs, and all the other stuff you constantly jabber on about on this board maybe it would have been a better film, eh?

And, as I said before, your comments about superficiality are ludicrous. For instance:

I loved the film, it really communicated what a person feels like when away in a foriegn country. Your surrounded by people that you can't communicate with.

When I went to spain last year, I went out with my cousin, and his friends. Going out in a group of 7 seems good, but only one could speak english, so it was a little crap :)

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Incidentally, I'm really not sure where you've got the idea from that people reacted positively to Lost In Translation simply because it included Tokyo.

Not everyone (and certainly not everyone in Hollywood) immediately links "Japanese" with "Cool" or "Trendy".

True.

Nippon-cool is very very out at the moment.

Hiphop and Americana are in.

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Insecure characters need to be in films, as in any medium, but they shouldn't be displayed in a positive manner (because being individually insecure makes you fundamentally dangerous to the people that surround you, which is a "bad" thing).

Comedy gold. More, please.

The reason why insecure people are portrayed like this is because most people are insecure and they don't want to accept it (fuelling the wonderful cycle of self-worth), so a film that shows it's alright to be a bitter, twisted and vindictive fuck goes down a storm (with those type of people obviously).

So films shouldn't explore Truth? Instead, they should be tools for promoting "good" whilst deriding "bad"? What a dull, unimpressive world.

Let's turn this whole topic on its head - Lost in Translation is essentially a very subtle and truthful romantic comedy/drama. Are you against the genre itself, or can you suggest a better movie that achieves 'the goal' where LiT doesn't?

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