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HD Rebuild: The Godfather FULL 1-3 Chronological Edit MAX LENGTH

Last Impressions

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Congrats in releasing the first part of this momentous task. This will definitely be on my watch list as soon as i can get a few minutes or 10 hours spare in the future. Bogged down at work at the moment but this will be a nice little reward once my current workload is complete. I still haven't managed to watch the new Copolla edit of part 3.
 

Wraith

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UPDATE & ANOTHER DOSCOVERY on FILM 1

Film 2 has had the revised ORIGINAL seldom used dialogue of Michael and Anthony at bedtime restored. This has been rendered and will be submitted this weekend finally.

Film 1 has had the following changes made following an eagle eyed member who previewed this and spotted the problems I missed. This has been rendered and is loading. I will advise when that is ready.

Apologies for a post revision release to all. THANKS for your patience:

But was it worth it?
I'll let you be the judges.

Here are the fixes to Film 1

-Fanucci sync issue in the store fixed (source material was the issue). Subtitles expanded as well.
-Original De Niro speaking Italian dialogue when he is offered food, restored from The Epic cut. Subtitles expanded. This was an Alternate take (see below it proved to be a challenge, proof tomorrow)
-A longer shot of the Train fade from young to old Vito used from The Epic cut (so train no longer slowed down to facilitate the longer fade I wanted.)
-Music glitch in Vegas fixed
-AMC logo removed from one shot of Vito in bed
-Red flag scene completely replaced with new expanded subtitles, clarifying the marchers chanting in italics, as is the norm for ambient subtitles in most films (already replaced for all singing too) thus removing a burnt in subtitle glitch in a poor font and color.
-Fan edit thanks added to end of credit roll.

FINALLY, another video and that discovery.

This shows the two versions of De Niro speaking Italian, and the looped version from the chorological edits. I have also shown the FULL version of the original Vegas shot, compared to the on in common use on all other versions. The original is taken again from The Epic cut.

I'll come back to Vegas in a moment.

TODAYS DISCOVERY

That scene with De Niro speaking in Italian, is also an alternate take. How can I be sure? Well, when I tried to line up the scene extension of Vito walking away down the street, i could not align the crossfade I previously applied! RATS! I tried and tried, and then I notice a lady behind Vito , with brown hair, a white blouse and a shawl round her shoulders. As Vito walks away past the market stalls, I noticed this lady's white blouse disappears and the shawl is over head, covering most of her face and said white blouse. Then I check....many of the extras are in slightly different places, the stall alignment to the stall behind is different, hold moly, another alternate take. This was probably done to facilitate a slightly differing camera set-up to permit the long pan out, probably with a different lens too. I managed, frame by frame, to find the optimal number of frames for the crossfade and when to apply it (10 frames in case you are insane like me). Is it perfect...alas no. Can I live with the trade off....that being a cross fade from the stall to Vito in the passageway of his apartment per The Epic HD source material, OR use the looped version with a near perfect pan crossfade (no-one has complained yet), vs. dropping that wonderful contemplative shot as he walks down the street having lost his job and refused food.....YUP, I can live with it...and I hope you all can too. Have a look at the shots for yourself below..Plus ...the whole scene from the start to Vito walking is 2 secs longer...coz YES, I tried to lift the audio and apply it to the version which visually DOES line up...but that did not work, coz they delivered their lines slightly differently so the dialogue CAN'T be made to sync up... "OOOO", I hear you exclaim! What about the McGurk effect? NOPE, the scene is underscored with music, and the 70s mix does not have a speech central channel...there is no way to clean pull the dialogue to be McGurk chopped....Which is what I did for Superman. I pulled the center channel and rebuilt all the audio....Here it is impossible. Sorry folks. Sometimes you have to accept defeat.

Back to Vegas....

I tried to retain the Desert Inn shot from the Vegas transition and I can now see what the problem was when they made the Chronological version. That shot crossfades in DIRECTLY over Michael's face. By the time he fades out, we are left with 20 frames before the next cross fades begins. If I slow it down it looks crap. So it looks like the Desert Inn did not complain, its just the limitations the filmakers had when they chose to extend the scene with Michael and Vito which faded to black. Their choices were limited by the way the music just starts HARD with no fade in. So the result they chose was the only option unless they went back to the original source Vegas material they used, and for a TV re-edit, I would imagine that that would have cost money they just did not have. So my fix remains. Shame really. Have a look at the new source though...

The mantra was to preserve not fan-edit.

ENJOY

FILM 1 BACK tomorrow.

"We've been here befor"
 
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Wraith

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Congrats in releasing the first part of this momentous task. This will definitely be on my watch list as soon as i can get a few minutes or 10 hours spare in the future. Bogged down at work at the moment but this will be a nice little reward once my current workload is complete. I still haven't managed to watch the new Copolla edit of part 3.
Thanks.

By all means watch the new version of Part 3. It has some pacing improvements but at the cost of character and pace IMHO with a ruined ending in my view....That's why I did La Fine. They still didn't fix continuity issues...shame really. KERCHING!...me thinks!
 

Wraith

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BLUE SCREEN DUMP @ 90%

Oh what JOY!

So with FILM 1 almost done...my system crashed!

So, let's take advantage.

I went back in and re-checked every single change, tightened up the replaced subtitles and re-did the crossfade to facilitate including Vito's longer walk off after the offer of food. It was exceptionally hard to pull-off since I had to decide what to focus on image wise to make the crossfade a unnoticeable as possible. Plus there were constraints. The framing is slightly different so I had to apply a slight zoom to align the top of the market stall. I had to let the pan pass the woman in the white blouse, since it is too open a shot. The best place to apply the zoom is as Vito passes behind the stalls. Then I had to choose who to focus on the alignment. I went with the top of the stall and Vito, since as a viewer, one watches the protagonist. This leads to a slight misalignment of the lady in front of the stall. I resolved that by tightening up the crossfade from 10 to 8 frames. Finally, I increased the zoom from 113% to 115% for that last 20 frames of the shot leading into the the crossfade to the AMC big long pull out shot (which has a 113% crop to remove the AMC logo. This allowed me that little extra width on the intro shot to PERFECTLY align Vito's head during the crossfade. Incredibly, when you view it, you are so focused on him walking away, that you don't see the remaining trade-offs. I have to say I am very happy with it and I do not believe it can be improved on further short of re-shooting it or deploying a CGI morph. I don't have the kit or budget for that CGI mapping (the budget already exceeding ZERO due to font purchasing and an additional external drive to store this monster at top data rates) and re-shooting, even with de-aging technology would need a crowdfunding campiagn....(sorry, I'm being silly).

When editing other movies one can hide these things with a flash, or a cutaway to a reaction shot. Here, the beauty of the shot is that it is continuous. It is a trade-off as I noted in earlier posts, but we must retain it. I tried to create a cutaway shot, but it was awful and ruins that moment.

The mantra was to preserve not fan-edit.

Almost almost done !
 

LukeFoord

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Holy sh*t I think I just spent an hour reading this entire thread. You must have spent as much time typing all these updates as you have spent editing! It's all appreciated. Your work is immense and I was really engaged reading all your progress.

I was about to watch the movies for the first time in years but I will hold out for your versions!

I think further down the line I may cut your versions in half to form four films, since my dream way of watching Godfather has always been watching it in four 'sessions', with the films being:
  1. Prologue (Young Vito scenes from Godfather 2)
  2. Act 1 (Godfather 1)
  3. Act 2 (Modern-day scenes from Godfather 2)
  4. Epilogue (Godfather 3)
 

Wraith

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Holy sh*t I think I just spent an hour reading this entire thread. You must have spent as much time typing all these updates as you have spent editing! It's all appreciated. Your work is immense and I was really engaged reading all your progress.

I was about to watch the movies for the first time in years but I will hold out for your versions!

I think further down the line I may cut your versions in half to form four films, since my dream way of watching Godfather has always been watching it in four 'sessions', with the films being:
  1. Prologue (Young Vito scenes from Godfather 2)
  2. Act 1 (Godfather 1)
  3. Act 2 (Modern-day scenes from Godfather 2)
  4. Epilogue (Godfather 3)
Thanks for that...and thank you for reading it and taking an interest. I hope the videos (thrown together quick, but just needed to share) were also helpful. I will be removing them soon and replacing them with an alternate way to see them.

Funnily enough, I seriously considered doing exactly what you propose, and in fact that is VERY CLOSE to where the INTERMISSION CARDS are placed....In fact, I placed the intermission in Opus 1 after the Cannoli's, in order to balance the run time, but beyond that, The Godfather the runs thru. Opus 2, the break is exactly as you propose. So you can watch it almost as you wish. When the intermission card pops up (for 15 secs), STOP>

Yes, these are effectively very long, but I certainly love a good long yarn. Even at 4hrs, Lawrence of Arabia flies by.
 

LukeFoord

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Oh lovely, sounds great! Yeah intermission does work best to balance them out. Looking forward to watching!
 

Wraith

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COMPLETION UPDATE:

Hi
Well, after no less than 3 BLUE SCREENS OF DEATH and then, when I was 96% rendered on FILM 1, we had a 1 sec power outage (seriously, you can't make this up), it is finally all ready, done and loaded.

These are not BDs but artwork includes a design for the whole set as follows:
In total

Disc 1 The Godfather: Don Vito's Opus (FILM 1) Revised
Disc 2 The Godfather: Michael's Opus (FILM 2) Revised
Disc 3 The Godfather: La Fine - Revised
Disc 4 The Godfather: Extended hal_over_9000
Disc 5 The Godfather Part II: Extended hal_over_9000
Disc 6 The Godfather Trilogy 1901-1980 VHS preservation: ACTUAL VHS TRANSFER open matte version

There is also a two disc Magnum Opus cover art, and single discs for both Magnum Opus movies.

ENJOY and thank you all again.

W
 
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Wraith

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CONFESSIONS. LIMITATIONS and LAMENTATIONS

So, having loaded the correct version of both films, Opus 1 v2.05, Opus 2 v3.01, what follows are the persistent issues or limitations I have settled for within both films. I'm listing these so that there is full transparency on those issues AND so that if they are spotted, I do not get an avalanche of messages telling me there is a glitch. I'm happy to be notified of any other issues. Finally, no SD sources were used, though a handful of shots came from a 720p master file which was the only source for those three shots*. So here we go.

OPUS 1
- Split screen travelling matte during opening shot to remove huge caption
- New apartment establishing shot* from cropped AMC shot (so slightly lower res)
- Crossfade to AMC long shot of Vito walking away after food offer, which has different color grade. Trying to fix that makes other issues worse. The shot is also cropped so lower res (but not SD). It was that, or drop the shot.
- Slight resolution drop to align boy Vito and Young Vito Crossfade
- Post interval opening shot* is from AMC with a heavy crop due to logos at the top AND bottom. No other source. Extended version retained the logo, so I wen back to the source which does have some minor artifacts.
- *Tom Hagen kissing his wife come from the 720 master.
- Closing titles have differing speeds. Aligning the speeds creates strobing and antialiasing issues, so the speeds were retained and appropriately spaced to prevent caption overlaps

OPUS 2
- Opening shots on jetty from 720p master
- Opening shots after interval are repurposed material, reversed and slowed to facilitate new dialogue for which there is only a poor quality SD source, but the audio is clear. This makes the grain more prominent, but it was that or ditch the dialogue. This is the only edit that contains that dialogue.
- Closing titles have differing speeds. Aligning the speeds creates strobing and antialiasing issues, so the speeds were retained and appropriately spaced to prevent caption overlaps
- In memoriam sequence taken from the 720p master including the shot of Kay. A full rebuild was possible of the insert right, but when shrunk to fit the smaller window caused artifacts. Many attempts were not able to resolve this so the source shot was used and resized to match the space it occupies to minimize this artifacting and antialiasing.

BOTH
Remade subtitles may differ slightly in color to surrounding untouched ones. This is due to the subtitles retained being made up of many colors when you zoom in. I took ten readings, and averaged them out to pic an optimum color. Going in and creating an isolated alphabet and then building each caption letter by letter, was too labor intensive to consider, so I analyzed the font and found the correct one and paid up! The color analysis was performed for each section where new subtitles were created, but of course, they will be a single color and not the mosaic of color that film grain and film processing introduce.

A handful of crossfades have slowed material in them to facilitate ideal timing to the audio source and narrative pacing. These should not be noticeable. One that was (Young Vito train shot and fade out in Opus 1) was resolved by finding a better and longer version of that shot, which is no longer slowed.

Given the 602 minutes overall run time, I think this is all acceptable. I hope you all do too.

Again, I lament that some post announcement revisions took place and for my carelessness on the version confusion.

Opus 1 v 2.05 is done.

CIAO for NOW
 

Wraith

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BEDTIME READING:

Today I stumbled across this excellent article detailing the editing of the Godfather movies,, especially Part II.

It bears out what I was saying about Part II but is FAR more interesting than I imagined. I wont spoil it for you other than to say, there is over 90 mins of Young Vito material still missing and which I hope will one day emerge Some great stills from it too. And there are even more versions of these films than I had previously read about.

Highly recommended.

 

Wraith

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FINAL UPDATE (hopefully)

Film 2 / Opus 2 : The Godfather: Michael's Opus was submitted today.

Both movies have undergone post preview revisions and I now consider them completed.

Thanks to you all for going with me on this journey. I did not expect so much interest and support; you have all been very kind with your comments, patience and critical thinking which certainly kept me going in what turned out to be not quite the straightforward edit I though this would be. I found it fascinating and discovered many things about the films I did know, including an HD version of The Epic which I had long forgotten that I had. In fact I know not from whence it came!

And with that, sit back and please enjoy The Godfather: Magnum Opus.
I shall be taking a break.

WRAITH
 
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Wraith

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DO YOU WANT EVEN MORE?????

All

I implore you all to read the article above. It is astonishing that two major story thread (De Niro building his empire) and Pacino seeking revenge and training Sonny exist, and are unseen.

I never though we would see Superman 2 The Donner Cut, but years of fans nagging Warner Bros got there eventually.

Elsewhere, I think a concerted BEGGING campaign to Coppola and Paramount Could yield a result. There is over 3 hours of material that was completed, that could readily be fashioned into THE GODFATHER: THE LOST YEARS. Paramount would make a fortune on it, and we would finally see DeNiro wearing the dental plumbper which made him look so much like Brando in that picture. This I did know about, but could not figure out why he did not look that much like him in the material we have. This still, proves it happened and the resemblance is remarkable.

This is not the place for such a campaign, but if anyone is interested, message me.
I think this could be achievable.
 
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Wraith

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A REAL GEM - 2 Hours of Pleasure

The cast, Francis and more at Tribeca film Festival discussing Part 1 and 2. Highly worth your time.
 

Wraith

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THE LOST YEARS:

Looks like this will never happen. I've read EVERYTHING on this site, and it is well worth a read. There person there is trying to build an UBER cut of The Godfather movies from any source.

As far as the material in the 1930s and Michael shoot out....here is a snippet from their buddy at Paramount for this question:

________________________________________________________________________________________________
I know that the bloody shootout at the Pizza Parlor death scene is gone for good. It was never actually finished. They spent a few days filming it before Coppola nixed it for good. When he viewed the dailys, he thought they looked absurdly ridiculous. It was so bloody that it was almost laughable, and he thought it might get them an X rating too, so he abandoned the scene midway thru shooting. All that remains is a few stills and I don't know whatever happened to the footage they shot.

As for the other major sequences, I know that they are "officially" lost. After Barry Malkin made the rough cut of The Saga, pretty much everything that he didn't use went in the dumpster. But almost every single frame ever shot was transferred to video in '76 so Malkin and Coppola could make the edit more easily on tape. After they made their videotape rough cut, the engineers at Paramount used the tape as a reference to make the film master for the Saga. But nobody knows if these tapes were archived or not.


Just for clarity, even if these tape transfers were saved or not, they likely would not be usable since they were time coded to match the film reels they were taken from, meaning they probably would look like this:











Paramount has treated the Godfather franchise pretty badly. From destroying all of the excess footage, to ruining the negatives and losing first gen interpositives, it's a pretty shameful history. Even the excess footage from Part III has been lost, which is why the original opening to that film, which was finally released as an extra to the DVD, was taken from Coppola's crappy VHS dub. And that footage went missing less than ten years after it was vaulted!
_________________________________________________


This is a tragedy.....shame.

For the full lowdown, go here
 

Darth Kermit

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NOOOOOOOOOOOO! My dreams of a LOTR extended length Godfather epic were dashed before they could even be dreamt! Dammit Paramount, fuck you!
 

Wraith

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Hey, I'm with you. You may not know this but the original neg was in such bad condition that a couple of scenes in the restoration had to be taken from Alternative takes from an interpositive protection copy...that is REAL bad archiving. And don't get me started on The Alamo. That's shot, despite a pristine 70mm roadshow version being found in the 80s in Canada after many years searching. Its was transferred and got a Laser disc release (which thank god I do have) and in doing so, they ran the print through a chemical bath and chopped it into 1000ft sections for storage. Its now pretty much gone accoding to Robert Harris, so unless they do one of those A.I. upscales of the Laserdisc file, that's gone too....and the list goes on...

If anyone knows anyone who can do that...let me know...results can be remarkable.
 

Darth Kermit

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Damn, that's rough. That's really rough. Things like this make me cry sometimes. So many great films, including tons of old silent films, are lost forever, and that makes me so sad.
 

Wraith

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LAMENT: RANT
Over 80% of everything made before 1926 is gone. We are lucky to have what we have from that era, but we are loosing films made in the 70s and even some 80s movies are suffering. Colour stock of that era was Varried.

The real problem is that the people running archives are getting younger so they they don't have the cultural memory. Even if they studied film studies, they won't know masterpieces which didn't win oscars or didn't have box office or big stars coz they never were exposed to them.

So even on the streaming services, it's the same old shit. There is no substitute for watching film after film after film.. When I grew up, tv was full of cinema, coz there was no VHS and it was easy money for studios and cheaper than producing 2hrs tv to just pay to show a film. There are so many films that I love that are not on disc, or tape or on streaming. Some, I have fracked Down, others I recorded on reel to tape, and a few from someone I know who, well, has access to telecine.. But unless this stuff is digitised, it will be lost.

I mean, CBS can't be bothered to invest in an HD upgrade of DS9 and voyager to safeguard its monetising ability then you can kiss goodbye that The Brothers Kamarazov or The Intruder 1962 will get looked after if the Alamo was allowed to crumble.

Add to that, that the guys pushing the spreadsheets didn't grow up watching older movies, and frankly, there is a silent cultural purge passively crumbling.

Compare that I grew up in the 60s, and also watched Chaplin, laurel and hardy, Silents, and 30-59s films. The equivalent, is ask a person born in the 90s, if they have watched, The Conversation, The Parallax View, The Offence, dDay of the Dolphin, Summer of 42, The Party, A man for all season....I asked a mother to be at work if she had seen Back to The Future, and she had only vaguely heard of it. Never heard of Bob Hope, The Marx Bros, David Lean, let alone, Battleship Potemkin or Wings. Didn't know who Patrick Swayze was, thought Ghost was a horror movie and didn't realise Tom Hanks made his name in comedy, hadn't heard of Splash but thinks Bridgerton is genius. She had heard of close encounters, but never seen it, and is too busy socialising to watch films, but will binge watch 30 episodes of The Kardashians.

Technology is actually destroying cultural exploration because it's all curated content, designed to get those endorphins going,meat her than engaging brain. Yeah, I git hooked on the Tiger King too, but in hindsight, I could have watched 3 movies I have never watched..

Bridgerton is a hit, but Song of the South is banned as offensive. One is a life affirming fable, the other a fiction of how the world was. I'll let you work out which is which. THAT is what is wrong, and why the archives, like in the Marvel Universe will fade to dust!

Apols for the rant....
 
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Darth Kermit

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Yeah, it's truly sad. I grew up in the 2000's (you're as old or maybe older than my dad lol, who was born in '64). And don't worry about apologizing, I rant all the time about film. I'm lucky that I grew up the way I did, because I appreciate all the older movies. Every Easter we watch Cecil B. DeMille's The 10 Commandments. And I grew up on Star Trek, Star Wars, and so many other great old films. Indiana, E.T., Back to the Future, etc. And then I got into film even more and have watched stuff from the Lumieres bros to The Godfather to Avengers: Endgame. And it's the same with music too. Nowadays you can't play that one Christmas song about asking your girl to stay, but WAP is a cultural icon. It pisses me off to no end just how low our standards of art have become, to where someone can piss in jars full of random crap until one with a cross finally makes headlines, or sell a black canvas for millions as "modern art" or make a song about "fuck[ing] til the daylight" and it's considered good. I miss the good old days I never grew up in of Billy Joel, Chaplin, Coppola. Hell I'd even take growing up in the 90's, with Tarantino, Fincher, and the like. I appreciate streaming services and stuff for giving me access to plenty of films I don't have the money to buy, but it definitely has plenty of drawbacks. That's why I love going to the theatre. It feels like the last authentic experience of cinema. Myself a theater kid as well as film, I hope to be able to make films that people will want to go to see in the cinema, just like Nolan has done for me. Or any old re runs I manage to see in theaters. Also, just gotta say, you're incredibly tech savvy compared to all the 50 and 60 year olds I know. I think the best streaming service out there is Criterion, because they specialize in preserving old and off the grid films, like Satantango, anything by Kurosawa, Chaplin, Marx bros, you name it. They don't have everything streaming, but you can buy DVD's and Blu-Ray's of so many films thanks to them, and they also put the digital versions out there of many films.
 

Wraith

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You are an exception...my son is in his 30s, and only last year in January did I take him to a cinema to see a 70mm print of a film, I had delibertaly not shown him as a a teen on TV, even though I had the DVD......Lawrence of Arabia...

At 4hrs, even I was worried he would not enjoy it. He was knocked out by it, said it flew by...I commented, "there is not that much dialogue", to which he said, "dad, you always say, show don't tell"

There are great modern filmmakers, modern is fine, but let's not let the past crumble....I also enjoy streaming coz there are gems in there I have not seen, but take even Brando...where can I see The Men or Sayanora, or Bedtime Story....(remade as dirty rotten scoundrels),mill tel you, my off air recordings, or now very rare early 90s DVDs, which have crap scans.

....oh, and thanks for the compliment, but I'm still 12 years old, my date of birth turned to dust some time ago....

Criterion have real gems.

Also lost....
  • Cleopatra (1917) ...
  • Hollywood (1923) ...
  • Greed – The Directors' Cut (1924) ...
 
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