TP:TR. Full 18-hour experience

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asmahan
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Re: TP:TR. Full 18-hour experience

Postby asmahan » Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:21 am

I don't think Freddie is commentary on anything, I think Lynch simply wanted a cockney-accented guy with a super hand to fight in one of the Top 10 Anime Battles of All Time.
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Re: TP:TR. Full 18-hour experience

Postby eyeboogers » Thu Jan 11, 2018 2:41 pm

asmahan wrote:I don't think Freddie is commentary on anything, I think Lynch simply wanted a cockney-accented guy with a super hand to fight in one of the Top 10 Anime Battles of All Time.


You might think so, but Mark Frost has confirmed that they were making exactly such a comment, playing around with the deus ex machina trope.
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Re: TP:TR. Full 18-hour experience

Postby Mr. Reindeer » Thu Jan 11, 2018 7:39 pm

LateReg wrote:
Mr. Reindeer wrote:
Tonydes wrote:I think Freddie and the Green Glove is the equivalent of the stuffed Robin at the end of Blue Velvet. We should be wary because it’s too good to be true. Something is ‘off’ and should be questioned.


The fact that something was intended as a subversive commentary on storytelling conventions (as Frost has implied) doesn’t make it inherently good. Metacommentary, like all other storytelling choices, must be judged on the merits of how well it comes across onscreen. A storyteller can choose to deliberately deny viewers a conventionally satisfying payoff, and that in and of itself can be, contradictorily, even more satisfying (Part 18 is a great example of this). For me, the green glove fight is a lazy resolution set up with clunky exposition, and the fact that the creators intended it to be an amusing self-aware commentary on the use of deus ex machina doesn’t change the fact that the product we see onscreen is itself a pretty lame example of deus ex machina. You don’t get a free pass on lazy storytelling just because you intended it ironically.


I find it interesting that in a work filled with storytelling about storytelling and constantly denying instant gratification, that this is where you adamantly draw the line. It strikes me as intentionally dissatisfying, but it doesn't strike me as lazy at all, as there were a lot of pieces moved into place just so this particular showdown could occur. It was a very deliberate, highly orchestrated and therefore probably deeply thought out event. And as I believe laughingpinecone said and you agreed with, it sets things up so Cooper doesn't have to confront his own demons. Others have similarly pointed out other ways it resonates.

You and I first talked about the scene after it aired and I enjoyed the execution whereas you did not, and I think that's mostly what it comes down to; I think there's plenty to read into the scene - and it is suddenly set up by Cole's unexpected, hilariously headspinning and perhaps retconning monologue that opens Part 17, which begins the mad rush in a show that had all the time in the world and deliberately took its time only to pointedly give you this mad dash to the finish. You want it to be something else, and maybe it should be, but that it's this over the top and the one time the show rushes is significant enough to earn the benefit of the doubt from me. I know creators are fallible, but remember all the time people spent saying how there's not enough time left to tell the story, and others would reply that the whole thing had been mapped out and there is exactly as much time as Lynch needs? I remind myself of that while thinking of the unexpected rush at the beginning of Part 17. Freddie's a huge storytelling risk, but it and the "clunky exposition" leading up to it (in Part 14) were all extremely calculated pieces of a massive puzzle.


You’re absolutely right — the execution was the biggest issue for me. Although I’m not a fan of the concept on paper, there was probably a way to execute it in a manner I would have found more compelling. What we got felt to me tonally dissonant with the rest of the work, in a jarring and dissatisfying way. It played like a direct to TV action/sci-fi film, and felt self-consciously campy in a way that the rest of the series did not. Was that intentional? Maybe. I haven’t seen the behind-the-scenes stuff yet, but what I read from other people is that DKL describes the scene in much grander/more apocalyptic terms on set than what we ultimately saw, and that elsewhere he complains about the budget limiting his vision in other contexts. Granted, we also know that he took certain CGI effects away from the professional production house because he wanted them to look more prehistoric (and I loved all those “two-dimensional” effects he did). But I can’t help thnking that the green glove sequence feels like an instance of him picturing something more epic and missing the mark due to non-creative, practical concerns (pure conjecture on my part, of course). Regardless, while I can appreciate your analysis of how the scene fits in with the rest of the work on a conceptual level, it doesn’t have the mastery of mood and tone that made the rest of the piece great. You talk about the “mad rush” to the end, but after the first half-hour of Part 17, the show (thankfully) settles right back into being the deliberately-paced mood piece that it had been for most of its run.

eyeboogers wrote:
asmahan wrote:I don't think Freddie is commentary on anything, I think Lynch simply wanted a cockney-accented guy with a super hand to fight in one of the Top 10 Anime Battles of All Time.


You might think so, but Mark Frost has confirmed that they were making exactly such a comment, playing around with the deus ex machina trope.


Mark and David aren’t necessarily always on the same page. I sort of agree with Asmahan — DKL is known for legitimately falling in love with wacky ideas, some of which feel distinctly un-Lynchian in the conventionally accepted sense (see Dumbland, or The Cowboy and the Frenchman). And his description of having had the “green glove” idea for several years prior to incorporating it into TP implies to me that he appreciated it in earnest as a concept, rather than as a post-ironic commentary. I think DKL often intends things much more sincerely than many viewers tend to assume.
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Re: TP:TR. Full 18-hour experience

Postby LateReg » Thu Jan 11, 2018 9:26 pm

Mr. Reindeer wrote:
LateReg wrote:
Mr. Reindeer wrote:
The fact that something was intended as a subversive commentary on storytelling conventions (as Frost has implied) doesn’t make it inherently good. Metacommentary, like all other storytelling choices, must be judged on the merits of how well it comes across onscreen. A storyteller can choose to deliberately deny viewers a conventionally satisfying payoff, and that in and of itself can be, contradictorily, even more satisfying (Part 18 is a great example of this). For me, the green glove fight is a lazy resolution set up with clunky exposition, and the fact that the creators intended it to be an amusing self-aware commentary on the use of deus ex machina doesn’t change the fact that the product we see onscreen is itself a pretty lame example of deus ex machina. You don’t get a free pass on lazy storytelling just because you intended it ironically.


I find it interesting that in a work filled with storytelling about storytelling and constantly denying instant gratification, that this is where you adamantly draw the line. It strikes me as intentionally dissatisfying, but it doesn't strike me as lazy at all, as there were a lot of pieces moved into place just so this particular showdown could occur. It was a very deliberate, highly orchestrated and therefore probably deeply thought out event. And as I believe laughingpinecone said and you agreed with, it sets things up so Cooper doesn't have to confront his own demons. Others have similarly pointed out other ways it resonates.

You and I first talked about the scene after it aired and I enjoyed the execution whereas you did not, and I think that's mostly what it comes down to; I think there's plenty to read into the scene - and it is suddenly set up by Cole's unexpected, hilariously headspinning and perhaps retconning monologue that opens Part 17, which begins the mad rush in a show that had all the time in the world and deliberately took its time only to pointedly give you this mad dash to the finish. You want it to be something else, and maybe it should be, but that it's this over the top and the one time the show rushes is significant enough to earn the benefit of the doubt from me. I know creators are fallible, but remember all the time people spent saying how there's not enough time left to tell the story, and others would reply that the whole thing had been mapped out and there is exactly as much time as Lynch needs? I remind myself of that while thinking of the unexpected rush at the beginning of Part 17. Freddie's a huge storytelling risk, but it and the "clunky exposition" leading up to it (in Part 14) were all extremely calculated pieces of a massive puzzle.


You’re absolutely right — the execution was the biggest issue for me. Although I’m not a fan of the concept on paper, there was probably a way to execute it in a manner I would have found more compelling. What we got felt to me tonally dissonant with the rest of the work, in a jarring and dissatisfying way. It played like a direct to TV action/sci-fi film, and felt self-consciously campy in a way that the rest of the series did not. Was that intentional? Maybe. I haven’t seen the behind-the-scenes stuff yet, but what I read from other people is that DKL describes the scene in much grander/more apocalyptic terms on set than what we ultimately saw, and that elsewhere he complains about the budget limiting his vision in other contexts. Granted, we also know that he took certain CGI effects away from the professional production house because he wanted them to look more prehistoric (and I loved all those “two-dimensional” effects he did). But I can’t help thnking that the green glove sequence feels like an instance of him picturing something more epic and missing the mark due to non-creative, practical concerns (pure conjecture on my part, of course). Regardless, while I can appreciate your analysis of how the scene fits in with the rest of the work on a conceptual level, it doesn’t have the mastery of mood and tone that made the rest of the piece great. You talk about the “mad rush” to the end, but after the first half-hour of Part 17, the show (thankfully) settles right back into being the deliberately-paced mood piece that it had been for most of its run.

eyeboogers wrote:
asmahan wrote:I don't think Freddie is commentary on anything, I think Lynch simply wanted a cockney-accented guy with a super hand to fight in one of the Top 10 Anime Battles of All Time.


You might think so, but Mark Frost has confirmed that they were making exactly such a comment, playing around with the deus ex machina trope.


Mark and David aren’t necessarily always on the same page. I sort of agree with Asmahan — DKL is known for legitimately falling in love with wacky ideas, some of which feel distinctly un-Lynchian in the conventionally accepted sense (see Dumbland, or The Cowboy and the Frenchman). And his description of having had the “green glove” idea for several years prior to incorporating it into TP implies to me that he appreciated it in earnest as a concept, rather than as a post-ironic commentary. I think DKL often intends things much more sincerely than many viewers tend to assume.


I think one poster here said Lynch made it sound much more epic...but that's just their opinion. I didn't think he made it sound any more epic or apocalyptic than it appeared in the finished product, which I personally find totally disorienting. I think with everything he was able to do in post production and the time he had to do it he could have made it more "epic" had he wanted to, so I have to trust the scene matches his vision. There is a hole in the floor and that is real fire shooting out. Doesn't get any more epic than that, imo. Furthermore, I have to think that the pivotal scene was one that he and Mark had talked about extensively while writing the script. That's the impression I get, anyway, from my understanding of their working relationship and Frost's comments on the scene.
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Mr. Reindeer
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Re: TP:TR. Full 18-hour experience

Postby Mr. Reindeer » Thu Jan 11, 2018 10:08 pm

Totally fair. Like I said, I was just speculating and going off what that one poster wrote. I’m still working my way through the series in glorious high def (slowly, thanks to my brutal work schedule, and also working on my TP timeline project as I go along) before actually watching the behind the scenes footage myself. I find the L/F working relationship really fascinating. I get the sense that there is tremendous mutual respect, but that certain elements may mean very different things to each man (as the text of TFD as well as DKL’s comments about the books hint). As a rule, I think Mark seems a lot more interested in literary/mythological allusions and metacommentary than DKL is (I’m basing this on DKL’s interviews and his other works)...but of course, the Sunset Blvd. references in TP:TR (and IE, and MD) work against this generalization. Still, the self-conscious “subversion of narrative conventions” angle feels way more Mark to me...it’s not the type of game DKL has ever expressed much interest in playing. His unconventional narrative choices tend to be less intellectual/academic and more intuitive/emotional, founded in dream logic rather than engagement with narrative theory. For instance, Eraserhead is probably one of the more unconventional films to have been made In the last half century, from a narrative standpoint...but I don’t believe that was due to a conscious decision to defy the rules. Rather, I think DKL was simply conveying his own unique vision. We know how Frost views the green glove scene, but I’m still about 50/50 regarding whether DKL, as director/cowriter, views it as intentional subversion of expectations, or earnest dreamscape.

Btw, one of the things that annoys me most about the scene is seeing the Woodsmen’s “healing” ritual in broad daylight. The “Moonlight Sonata” scene in Part 8 immediately became one of my favorite DKL-directed scenes ever: eerie and haunting. Repeating the ritual in the cozy sheriff’s station demystifies it for me and retroactively makes Part 8 a bit less effective.

I’ll also add that as soon as Bob is gone, the scene becomes phenomenal. The superimposed Cooper head is aces.
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Re: TP:TR. Full 18-hour experience

Postby Xavi » Fri Jan 12, 2018 7:21 am

There are many ways to interpret the introduction of the green gloved Brit and his function in the story. Some even suggested that his presence was completely redundant, for James could have done and experienced all in a similar way. Well, not quite.

Let's go back a few steps and ask the question "who is permitted to visit the Giant?" According the time elapsed in the broadcasting of the tv-series, Cooper was the first who saw the Giant in TPS3, in an all black-and-white scene, yet for many it still remains vague of when in the story his visit occurred. It lasts until Andy's (the all cheese sandwich eater) vortex-journey to count him as the second visitor.
The dialogue between James and Freddie revealed that Freddie also was one of the "chosen ones" that got the privilege of "seeing" the Giant, and on top of that, he'd got a destiny as well.

The gathering in the sheriff's station showed a wide variety of people, who all "spoke" the same language, who all "believed" in dreams and in otherworldly phenomena, and who witnessed a happening beyond reason. But that was not the end, no way, it was just the beginning of an ongoing adventure in a world with even more layers than anyone could've possibly ever have expected.

Its continuation might be called "In the footsteps of Phillip Jeffries."


PS. I forgot to mention Major Briggs, but he was dead anyhow.
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Re: TP:TR. Full 18-hour experience

Postby LateReg » Fri Jan 12, 2018 12:26 pm

Mr. Reindeer wrote:Totally fair. Like I said, I was just speculating and going off what that one poster wrote. I’m still working my way through the series in glorious high def (slowly, thanks to my brutal work schedule, and also working on my TP timeline project as I go along) before actually watching the behind the scenes footage myself. I find the L/F working relationship really fascinating. I get the sense that there is tremendous mutual respect, but that certain elements may mean very different things to each man (as the text of TFD as well as DKL’s comments about the books hint). As a rule, I think Mark seems a lot more interested in literary/mythological allusions and metacommentary than DKL is (I’m basing this on DKL’s interviews and his other works)...but of course, the Sunset Blvd. references in TP:TR (and IE, and MD) work against this generalization. Still, the self-conscious “subversion of narrative conventions” angle feels way more Mark to me...it’s not the type of game DKL has ever expressed much interest in playing. His unconventional narrative choices tend to be less intellectual/academic and more intuitive/emotional, founded in dream logic rather than engagement with narrative theory. For instance, Eraserhead is probably one of the more unconventional films to have been made In the last half century, from a narrative standpoint...but I don’t believe that was due to a conscious decision to defy the rules. Rather, I think DKL was simply conveying his own unique vision. We know how Frost views the green glove scene, but I’m still about 50/50 regarding whether DKL, as director/cowriter, views it as intentional subversion of expectations, or earnest dreamscape.

Btw, one of the things that annoys me most about the scene is seeing the Woodsmen’s “healing” ritual in broad daylight. The “Moonlight Sonata” scene in Part 8 immediately became one of my favorite DKL-directed scenes ever: eerie and haunting. Repeating the ritual in the cozy sheriff’s station demystifies it for me and retroactively makes Part 8 a bit less effective.

I’ll also add that as soon as Bob is gone, the scene becomes phenomenal. The superimposed Cooper head is aces.


I think you're right about David/Mark's differences, and the working relationship must be interesting. I got the impression at some point that David and Mark both probably pointed out to one another what they were going for with each idea. I can't remember what gave me that impression, but I thought it was something that Mark had said regarding how much they talked about the script and achieved an understanding of it. Even if Lynch is typically not forthcoming, I think the reason this project worked - and why Frost was okay with it being as Mulholland Drive-esque as it was - is because through their conversations Lynch revealed at least some of what he was getting at. That's my speculation.

Interesting about the Woodsmen...for what it's worth, the entire room does get dark once they arrive.

How do you feel, play by play, about the trajectory? Part 17 starts with Lynch's hilariously forthcoming conversation, consisting of big reveals (a plan was always in place! not sure if it's working out right! Ray was an informant! etc.), and then settles back into it's rhythm, albeit more steadily than usual. Suspense mounts. Mr. C finds himself in the police station. Tension continues to mount. Green Glove saves Andy (and I thought, maybe that's his destiny!). Lucy finds herself exactly in the right place at the right time, thanks in part to Andy's vision. And she shoots Mr. C. That's really the first offense right there, right? The first in a line of offenses that, depending on the viewer, deflate the tension that occur briefly within a five minute span. Then the woodsmen come, which I like, as the room goes dark due to their presence. Then Cooper shows up. In the moment Bob came at him, I panicked...hard. I thought, oh no, he's possessed again! But then he's not, and it's up to Freddy. Cooper recognizes this, and states, "Are you Freddy?" to the one person who can actually defeat Bob and who Cooper should already know, lol. All of this, as you agree with me, is suddenly a whirlwind, a mad rush. You say that it doesn't fit the mood. I think in some ways it built into this mood, and that the mood itself is sustained, despite the violence of the Bobball bouncing back and forth (at the very least, the effects are appropriately "prehistoric," fitting what we'd seen throughout the show). Then Bob utters his famous words about the death bag. That more than anything clearly tells me that at some level we are functioning on the level of parody, commentary, etc. As you said, once Cooper's face superimposes the scene, everything becomes unquestionably phenomenal. But that also signals that something is up. Something is somehow not real. It leads us into a calmer disorientation so we can contemplate that. I've already said this, but I think that you can definitely argue that what they've done here is not at all lazy, but intricately orchestrated to build into this incongruously chaotic stretch, just for those few moments. I still see Lynch in complete control in that moment, control over his art, over his viewers' emotions. I think there's so much purpose there: to deny us and therefore Cooper proper catharsis, to provide us with the first of a series of possible endings, to signal that it's too good to be true, etc. Which once again doesn't mean you have to like it. Hell, I don't know if I like it. But it did hit me viscerally on first viewing, and I think it makes so much sense with everything we've seen. While the meta-stuff does seem more like Mark, I have to believe that since it is so heavy throughout, that Lynch has to be fully on board with it. I admire the execution of the scene while still disliking it from a strictly plot standpoint, but where The Return lives and breathes for me is in terms of theme, of meaning, of dream, of the subconscious journey, and maybe that's why I have no problem disliking it and loving it at the same time, coming down unquestionably positive on it overall. Sort of like the ending of AI: Artificial Intelligence. Of course the story matters, but it's all wrapped up into a big ball for me, and I really don't often think of it only in terms of story, like, ever at this point. I think when I finally gave up on deciphering INLAND EMPIRE is when I finally learned to let go. Which is just to say that I may be uniquely suited to like the Green Glove scene. :D Although I think you also had a similar experience with INLAND! So it just comes down once again to the execution...which I think is absolutely fantastic in and of itself and given what the scene MAY be about.
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Re: TP:TR. Full 18-hour experience

Postby Mr. Reindeer » Fri Jan 12, 2018 4:49 pm

I get everything you’re saying; I guess part of the problem too is that the jarring change in pacing and tone pulls me out of the show in a way that the sweeping scene or shovel-painting scenes don’t, even though they are equally “showy” in their own way about defying convention. Maybe it’s that the green glove battle IS a relatively conventional scene in its execution, it just becomes an act of expectation-subversion by nature of its placement in this particular work/world, which has stylistically favored arthouse cinema over campy action.

I’ve said elsewhere that I see parts of TP:TR (particulary the Mr. C and Blue Rose scenes) as a loving riff on Lost and the subsequent cottage industry of puzzle-box shows, the same way the original show both engaged with and subverted soap opera conventions. I imagine Mark (a professed Mr. Robot and Westworld fan) is much more responsible for this than David — who knows what DKL is thinking a lot of the time? But the first half of Part 17 does feel very much like a spoof of a traditional season/series finale on a show like Lost, True Detective, Stranger Things — even Walking Dead and Game of Thrones. As you noted, the part opens with a dry, verbose, colossal mythology dump (which typically ends up being massively disappointing to fans, either affirming information fans had long ago guessed via crowd-sourcing or introducing headache-inducing retcon material as Gordon does here), uses lame deus ex machina devices which were introduced a couple of episodes earlier to wrap things up quickly (the “heart of the Island” on Lost, green glove), and then moves on to the inevitable “epic final battle” between good and evil (which frequently makes formerly terrifying villains a lot less scary, e.g., Lost reducing the smoke monster to a whiny human image of John Locke fighting Jack with a knife, or Bob to a goofy volleyball spouting his old catch phrases).

The Lost finale is actually an awful lot like Parts 17/18, in terms of structure. After it gets past the requisite mythology/mystery/story resolutions, which felt rather stagnant and obligatory, it then moved into some truly beautiful character/relationship resolutions that were a lot more satisfying and obviously interested/inspired the writers a lot more. (Sorry for the sidebar, but I do wonder if this ever crossed Mark’s mind.)

And actually, I really enjoy Lucy shooting DoppelCoop. The fact that Lucy and a late-game new arrival do the heavy lifting in the “climactic” battle is actually probably more satisfying to me than a “Cooper vs. Cooper” battle; I appreciate that act of narrative subversion. It’s just that “superpowered green glove vs. campy floating orb in the sunny sheriff’s station” is not the way I would have chosen for it to go down.

But, hey — this is the exact work L/F wanted it to be, and that’s all I asked for going in. I wouldn’t want it any other way!
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Re: TP:TR. Full 18-hour experience

Postby IcedOver » Sun Jan 14, 2018 7:13 pm

Still not having rewatched the final two episodes, what irritates me thinking back on the sheriff station stuff is less that Lucy killed Mr. C or the silly glove battle, and more that we really never got to know Mr. C. It would have taken so little effort to flesh out this character and his motivations, whether that came from him meeting original formula Coop or, say, a conversation with his son in the drive to the rock. As it is, he shows up at the station with motivation we don't know, talks with boring Frank whom we also don't know, then is killed off.
I DON'T FEEL GOOD!!!!!
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Re: TP:TR. Full 18-hour experience

Postby Gabriel » Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:13 pm

I half suspect that at the end of season eight David Lynch will be revealed as the dreamer and Cooper, Carrie and Diane will emerge from the curtains now named Kyle, Sheryl and Laura and drunk cocktails with DKL and Mark Frost!!
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Re: TP:TR. Full 18-hour experience

Postby Gabriel » Mon Jan 15, 2018 2:29 pm

Mr. Reindeer wrote:And actually, I really enjoy Lucy shooting DoppelCoop. The fact that Lucy and a late-game new arrival do the heavy lifting in the “climactic” battle is actually probably more satisfying to me than a “Cooper vs. Cooper” battle

Its interesting that the more ‘simple’ characters are the most impactful in terms of plot: Cooper was a straightforward hero with an ‘Uncle Ben’ drive to pursue justice à la Spider-Man, but has become more complex and is this sidelined from the action, Andy is a slightly dopey – but unflinchingly loyal – local policeman, Lucy’s a sweet, naively innocent receptionist and Green Glove Guy a down-to-earth ‘London Town’ geezer stereotype. It reminds me of the saying ‘the meek shall inherit the earth.’ David Lynch often portrays that ‘nice guy’ simplicity about himself.

It reminds me of the phrase ‘the meek shall inherit the earth.’
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Re: TP:TR. Full 18-hour experience

Postby Robin Davies » Tue Jan 16, 2018 12:23 pm

Gabriel wrote:‘the meek shall inherit the earth.’
"Er, if that's alright with the rest of you..."
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Re: TP:TR. Full 18-hour experience

Postby Gabriel » Tue Jan 16, 2018 2:03 pm

Robin Davies wrote:
Gabriel wrote:‘the meek shall inherit the earth.’
"Er, if that's alright with the rest of you..."

:lol:

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