Review: Movie musical puts a dark twist on Disney

BY TARA BAGHERLEEitwfrance

FEATURES EDITOR

Weaving together childhood fairy tales and the idea that every wish comes at a cost, “Into The Woods” is a completely unconventional film. Nonetheless, viewers will not be able to take their eyes off the screen, Sondheim fan or not.

The movie entwines Grimm Brothers’ fairytale characters such as Cinderella (Anna Kendrick), Little Red Riding Hood (Lilla Crawford) and the Big Bad Wolf (Johnny Depp), Jack and the Beanstalk (Daniel Huttlestone), Rapunzel (Mackenzie Mauzy), and a witch (Meryl Streep) into one story featuring a childless baker (James Corden) and his wife (Emily Blunt).

Director Rob Marshall adapted the movie for Disney based on the musical by theater maestro Stephen Sondheim and the book by James Lapine.

The original musical plays with darker themes, such as loss of innocence and it features more death, yet Marshall does a delicate job of keeping the original themes and implications while maintaining the PG rating.

Movie musicals tend to succeed only with a smaller audience of theater fans and do not transition well to the general public; not everyone is informed the movie he or she is about to see is mostly continuous singing for two-plus hours. Despite this, “Into the Woods,” and its fairy-tale appeal, although atypical, will entertain everyone, even those who walked out halfway through 2012 movie musical “Les Miserables.”

A particularly surprising performance is the Witch’s song “Stay with Me.” Streep is already known for dominating the silver screen, yet her pipes are impressive, leaving everyone to turn to his or her companion and wonder “Meryl can sing that well?”

However, the scene that truly signals the depth of the movie is the performance of “No One is Alone,” sung by Cinderella, the Baker, Little Red Riding Hood, and Jack. The song not only sounds delicate and sweet, but also gives the movie’s message vividly with the lyrics, “Witches can be right, giants can be good. You decide what’s right, you decide what’s good.”

The movie and musical both embrace the ideas of wishes with a price tag, with the movie’s tagline “Be Careful What You Wish For…” and the importance and value of children, since the movie’s main plot is based on a couple struggling to have kids. Marshall intertwines these concepts while toying with the darker themes of innocence vs. impurity.

Marshall’s adaptation of the Tony-winning 1987 musical is faithful to the original, sure to please Sondheim-ites. The cast has appeal for everyone: whether one is there for the eye candy found in Cinderella’s Prince (Chris Pine) or for the incomparable Streep.

“Into the Woods” is enchanting and somber, a juxtaposition of the magic of wishes and the consequences they can bring.

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Review: Golden Globe Awards strike comedic gold

BY RACHEL SCHONBERGER

The 72nd Golden Globes were full of pop culture jokes, shocking wins and the comedic genius of third-time hosts Amy Poehler and Tina Fey. The award show produced by the Hollywood Foreign Press Association aired live on NBC on Jan. 11.

Former SNL cast members Poehler and Fey signed a three-year hosting deal in 2013. Following the pattern of the two shows that the duo hosted being successful, the third and final show was hilarious and charming.

Poehler and Fey transitioned through the segments of the show brilliantly, using their comedic strategies to make sure the viewers were never bored.2105_1208_GG_2015_AlternateImage_AC

The Golden Globes celebrate both movies and television, uniting about 1,300 people in the venue while being watched by 2.9 million with one common interest – entertainment. Since the show is filmed in the Beverly Hilton Hotel’s Grand Ballroom instead of a theater like most other award shows, the Globes have a better, more casual and social vibe.

Forty-five celebrities ranging from Meryl Streep to Channing Tatum were up on stage to present the 26 awards given throughout the night, including George Clooney’s lifetime achievement award, given years too early considering his young age of 53.

Many awards prompted the audience to express looks of confusion, including ”Jane the Virgin” star Gina Rodriguez’s winning Best Actress in a Comedy or Musical Television Series and ”How to Train Your Dragon 2” winning Best Animated Feature Film.

Newbie Gina Rodriguez, star of the CW’s new show, took home her award over multiple veterans of television, surprising many viewers. However, Rodriguez’s acceptance speech was one of the best among her fellow winners, earning her new respect from viewers who had not heard of her before the night.

“This award is so much more than myself,” said Rodriguez, the only Latino nominee this year. “It represents a culture that wants to see themselves as heroes.”

The 2014 blockbuster “Birdman” led the charts with seven nominations, although it only received Globes for Best Actor for a Comedy/Musical (Michael Keaton) and Best Screenplay for a Motion Picture by the end of the night. “Boyhood,” the 12-years-in-the-making film, deservedly led the night with three wins for Best Motion Picture Drama, Best Director, and Best Supporting Actress.

On the television spectrum, “Fargo,” “Transparent,” and “The Affair” were nominated for three categories, and all three series ended up with two Globes each. These wins, however, were less unexpected since all three have attracted a large fan base this past year of television.

The show was also quite controversial with jokes about Bill Cosby and “The Interview,” Seth Rogen and James Franco’s movie about killing North Korean leader, Kim Jong-un. The show went as far as to have comedienne Margaret Cho on stage portraying a North Korean general, sharing her opinion on the year’s movies and TV shows.

Although these pieces could have been regarded as offensive, it exponentially increased the comedic element of the show, with the sole intent of causing laughter.

While the show did contain some inappropriate moments, the overall event was undeniably memorable. Poehler and Fey hosted the Golden Globes with the perfect amount of comedy, accompanied by the presenters’ commentary and the tear-jerking winners’ speeches.

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Review: Life In Color keeps reputation as the “World’s Biggest Paint Party”

BY TAYLOR FELLMAN

The ninth annual Life in Color (LIC) event was an amazing two days filled with electronic dance music (EDM), paint, spectacular light shows, and energetic ravers. Also known as “The World’s Largest Paint Party,” Life in Color features unique aerial acts, contortionists, stilt walkers, the world’s biggest DJ’s, and of course, an extreme paint war.

This year’s event featured Borgore, Carnage, Kaskade, Nervo, Diplo, Adventure Club, Bro Safari and Chainsmokers, some of the most popular DJ’s in the world. These artists made the lineup that much better.179749a

The event was held on Dec. 26-27 in the parking lot of Sunlife Stadium in Miami and the gates to the park opened up just before 4 p.m. Many ravers chose to come earlier, as there were huge lines to get past security.

With two stages, Downtown and Paint Factory, ravers could jump from stage to stage picking their favorite artists to listen to. With Borgore closing on the Downtown stage Friday night and Kaskade and Nervo closing Saturday, the Downtown stage was overall the better stage. The fire explosions and paint blasts really made the performances so great.

The Paint Factory stage didn’t have many good DJ’s other than Bro Safari, Adventure Club and Diplo. Diplo closed Saturday evening, and their performance was the most memorable one of the whole event because of their outstanding music and the atmosphere their music created. Crowds of people filled the stage, shuffling, dancing, and feeling the music. Nervo was also one of the best performances of the whole event, releasing a brand new song and that was performed for the very first time in Miami.

Paint was shot throughout the whole night, starting at 7:10 p.m. with a “5 minute paint blast.” During this time, ravers were sprayed with the ultimate amount of paint, with contortionists and acrobats spraying ravers in in blue, pink, and green Crayola paint.

The paint was the best part, as no other music festival in the world offers that experience. Being in the crowd gets you covered in paint, but being in the front row or even close up to the front will get anyone soaked in paint through the night. However, being in the front row for over four hours can cause the paint to start burning.

Getting buckets of paint poured on while front row photographers captured the moment was an incredible experience. This rave is one like no other and is truly an unforgettable experience that will leave ravers with mind-blowing memories.

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Review: Jingle Ball rocks the BB&T center

BY STEPHANIE STONE IMG_1831

The iHeartRadio Jingle Ball Tour rocked the BB&T center on Dec. 21 to new heights. This highly anticipated annual concert brought Nick Jonas and other smoking hot national music stars to South Florida. Hometown favorite and Cypress Bay alumnus of the Class of 2011, Jake Miller added a local flavor. The soldout event had the audience up on its feet singing and dancing all night long, especially with the unforgettable DJ Calvin Harris.

Calvin Harris, the world class DJ, was the highlight of the night when he put on a laser light show that made almost night into day all around the stadium. It began to look like a rave as everyone was jumping out of their seats as the lasers cut across the songs. To conclude his performance, Calvin Harris released tons on confetti all over the stadium. For a brief moment, the audience could almost believe it was snowing!

The night started out when Charli XCX warmed up the crowd with her hit, “Boom Clap,” as all of her fans joined her in belting the well-known lyrics. The audience was then ready for an exciting night. Fifteen incredibly talented musicians were still to perform.

IMG_1830Other notable performances throughout the night kept the audience engaged. Fans were more than “Happy” by Pharrell’s performance of his megahit. Some from the audience were even selected to go on stage while he performed his catchy songs. While on stage, fans took selfies and sang along with Pharrell. This singer/song-writer also sang the controversial song he wrote for Robin Thicke, “Blurred Lines.”

Jason Derulo, another product of South Florida, tore up the dance floor as he “wiggled” to his own beat. He moved and grooved while singing a mix of his old and new songs that included “Whatcha Say” and “Talk Dirty To Me.” He even took his shirt off to display his well-toned abs to some very appreciative female audience members.

Host Nick Jonas did not disappoint. He added holiday spirit to the show with his own unique version of the famous “Feliz Navidad.” The fans could not get enough and he seemed to love talking to them.
Everyone left with ringing ears and tired feet, but still never wanting it to end. This memorable night exceeded even the highest expectations.

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Online shopping becomes a popular alternative

BY ALEXIS SOBEL

Like many teenagers, sophomore Gianna Jackintelle likes to update her wardrobe as fashion changes.

She said she finds it extremely overwhelming to shop in the mall because it is always packed with customers, and there is not as wide of a variety of options compared to online.

“I don’t like to go to the mall often because I don’t like having the same clothes as everyone,” Jackintelle said. “It is very convenient to shop online because there is so much to choose from in color and size.”

Sari Summers, a buyer for Macy’s in New York City, discussed the online shopping trends in an email interview with The Circuit.

“Many people prefer to shop online due to free online returns, the exclusive online things, and big items, like furniture,” Ms. Summers said. “Another huge benefit is that you can see if items are available in the store and pick them up two hours later.”

Because it is the holiday season, sales have increased tremendously.

“Most people do about 35 percent of their shopping at this time of the year, and it is very important for us,” she said. “We hope that there are no hurricanes, snowstorms, or natural disasters.”

Online sales, also referred to as .com sales, did better than the in-store sales last year at Macy’s.

“Online shopping has unfortunately made in-store sales go down and down, but at the end of the day, having online shopping available to customers benefits the store,” Ms. Summers said.

Online shopping has become a popular trend, when shopping for clothing, shoes, accessories, and electronics. Especially with the holiday season coming, many people find it easier to shop online, rather than going to the store to purchase their presents.

“Shopping online is just more convenient because my parents work a lot,” freshman Jesse Linevsky said. “I have a lot of after school activities, and that’s when the malls are usually open.”

Time is a huge variable that can come into play when trying to access a store; therefore, online shopping becomes a popular option for many.

“I think that online shopping is extremely advantageous because since I’m a teacher and a cheerleading coach, it can become a challenge to get to a mall,” said Melissa Pimentel Reyes, a biology teacher and cheerleading coach.

Because it can be difficult to find a mall that has every store one may want to go to, online shopping gives shoppers an opportunity to access every store of their choice.

“I love the flexibility of shopping online, and having access to a ton of things at my fingertips,” Ms. Pimentel-Reyes said.

While some believe online shopping is ideal, others believe that products presented online give a false representation of the actual item.

“The biggest problem is the pictures given online,” sophomore Longchang Li said. “It does not show all the details, and it causes confusion.”

Li just moved from China, and she used to shop on T-mall.com, a popular online shopping site in China.

“The only thing my family likes to buy online is electronics because we have an idea about what the product is going to be like,” Li said. “However, for clothing, we feel that online shopping sites do not project the item correctly and in the right proportions.”

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Review: Apple’s newest endeavor is successful

Review: Apple’s newest endeavor is successful

BY DANNY GONZALEZ

People have been using credit cards to pay for restaurants, mall purchases, and taxi rides for over half a century. However, Apple is doing a good job in making this practice obsolete with its easy to use new Apple Pay feature.

Apple Pay is a new way of paying for everyday expenses by allowing people to save their credit cards on their Apple devices and use their Touch ID technology (which reads fingerprints) to make payments. Apple Pay comes free with the iPhone 6, along with the Apple Watch, which is set to release in 2015.

Apple Pay uses NFC (near-field communication) chips that allow the iPhone to send payments wirelessly by holding the iPhone over a special receiver. Apple has been able to get companies like Starbucks, Walgreens, McDonalds, and Macys to purchase these receivers and use Apple Pay.DSC04223

The app is helpful in little ways, giving an alert for the most recent payment, and having the payment option automatically show up on the phone when close to a receiver. Apple has done a good job in making this app capable of keeping up with a fast-paced lifestyle.

Financial corporations such as American Express, Bank of America, and Chase are partnered with Apple to allow their credit cards to be stored on the devices. Reward cards that are used at participating stores are also available to be paid with Apple Pay.

Setting up Apple Pay is a user-friendly experience, as all it takes is a few minutes to input credit card information, and it is ready to go.

However, there are complaints that the Touch ID form of payment often stalls on users, as the phone is unable to read fingerprints after a few uses. This could cause people to revert back to using regular credit cards, since users do not have time to constantly clean their fingerprint sensors.

By using people’s fingerprints to pay, the app opens up a new standard of security, as it makes it much more difficult for criminals to steal identities since there is no record kept of past transactions left on the iPhone.

People no longer have to show cashiers their names, card number, or security code.

Apple Pay is trying and succeeding in eliminating the days of searching through a packed wallet for credit cards.

 

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Holly jolly holiday movies: The Circuit’s staff review popular movies for the holidays

The Circuit’s staff review popular movies for the holidays.

Read our December print edition of the Circuit to see more holiday movie reviews.

 

12-Dates-of-Christmas-Poster12 Dates of Christmas

BY KATHERINE GIBSON

Though the 2011 ABC Family movie “12 Dates of Christmas” is not a holiday classic, it sure deserves more credit than it’s given. This romantic comedy puts a spin on the holiday song of the same name by turning the idea into a suspenseful yet hilarious love story. Kate Stanton (Amy Smart), a divorced and stressed out advertiser, goes on a blind date on Christmas Eve with Miles Dufine (Mark-Paul Goselaar), based on her stepmother’s suggestion. Due to frustrating complications in her date that night and her life in general, Kate longs for a second chance. With a bit of Christmas magic, Kate is transported back in time to the beginning of the night, and is given 12 chances at the perfect redo. The movie can get repetitive at times, but for the most part, each of the occasions on which she starts Christmas Eve over again result in a new ironic twist presented. This movie will have viewers crying and clapping along with Kate on all of her dates as she learns more about herself and the true meaning of Christmas and love. Just like the song, viewing this catchy family movie is bound to become a Christmas tradition for years to come.

 

 

 

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BY CAROLINA BOU

ONLINE ARTS AND ENTERTAINMENT EDITOR

“The best way to spread Christmas cheer is singing loud for all to hear.” This quote accurately depicts the story of “Elf,” a whole-hearted, hilarious Christmas classic, which came out in 2003. Buddy the Elf (Will Ferrell) learns that he is not an elf, despite growing up as one throughout his life by living in the North Pole and helping Santa Claus. Now grown up, he goes to New York City in search of his father Walter (James Caan). While with his family, Buddy learns to appreciate family values and helps spread the true meaning of Christmas in New York, with hilarious twists and turns along the way. On his first day in New York, he arrives at Gimbels, a department store, and meets Jovie (Zooey Deschanel), and immediately falls in love with her. This turns out to be a smaller storyline throughout the movie, which will eventually come together with the main story by the end. Ferrell’s acting in this movie is simply incredible, with comedy being his strong suit. He fully immerses himself into the role of Buddy, even singing and being giddy when necessary. “Elf” is easily one of the best holiday movies, with a perfect mix of love, laughter, and true Christmas spirit.

 

 

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BY ELANNA HEDA

OPINION COPY EDITOR

“Home Alone” is a cute holiday movie for all viewers, whether they grew up with it or not. The movie tells the tale of underappreciated 8-year-old Kevin McCallister (Macaulay Culkin) who is accidentally left behind while his family goes to Paris for Christmas. Meanwhile, two burglars try to steal from the McCallister house, but Kevin is crafty and set on stopping them. The film has everything a person could want from a holiday movie: a wise and spunky kid, kind strangers, classic physical comedy, a snowy setting and multiple Christmas songs. Of course, it also comes with a happy ending. And it has not one but two major themes: looks can be deceiving and forgiveness is the cure to regret. The film is light-hearted and humorous, making it perfect to end a day and watch while curled up on a couch with friends, family and a mug of hot chocolate. “Home Alone” has just the right level of cheesiness to make it a great pick for the holiday season.

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Review: Argentine restaurant popular in Weston

BY IGNACIA ARAYAphoto

SPORTS PHOTO EDITOR

Weston, being so rich with cultures from all over the world, especially Latin America, has made a delicious addition to its vast range of Hispanic restaurants. Graziano’s, an Argentine restaurant, opened up in late 2013 in Weston’s Town Center, and just recently completed expansion in early November by opening up a bigger dining section and bakery, and a new market.

Located just in the center of this Weston hotspot, this restaurant offers a wide variety of categories of ethnic foods from Argentina.

From fresh meats to sweet pastries, this restaurant has it all. The expansion gives customers the opportunity to purchase well-known wines, foods in the market, and meats to take home. The new market offers Argentine foods made at Graziano’s, ranging from dulce de leche to chimichurri.

The different types of meats that the restaurant is known for include both chicken and steaks. Both can be accompanied with a plate of fries, a house salad, or rice for less than $10. Although this may sound simple, these sides make the dish versatile and filling.

To order the food, however, one must walk up to the cashier in the front of the restaurant. Although this can be a hassle when placing a large order for a big family, it order still gets placed in a speedy manner. Foods like empanadas and tequeños can be taken to-go, as well. Empanadas available to-go range from the typical cheese empanada to some that are a little different, containing fillings like chicken and even tuna, for less than $5 each.

Graziano’s does not disappoint with the desserts either. The pastry section of the restaurant offers a wide variety of different Argentine sweets and also gives customers the opportunity to enjoy warm drinks like coffee or tea. The desserts, ranging from pastries to cakes, are fresh and handmade.

Graziano’s is a great place for families, as well as friends, to sit down and enjoy Argentine foods, both salty and sweet.

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Chorus attends annual Candlelight event

BY ZOE BIRGERDSC_0078

One hundred and fifty Chorus students traveled to Disney’s Epcot for the annual Candlelight Processional event Nov. 30 Dec. 1. Candlelight is an event telling a Christmas tale with a live choir, orchestra, and celebrity narrator, this year’s being Neil Patrick Harris.

“It was the best trip because we got to sing in front of 2,000 people,” junior Katherine Miller said. “It was so much fun because of the Christmas feel.”DSC_0077

Miller was also pleased with this year’s celebrity.

“A lot of the time celebrities are mean people in person, but Neil Patrick Harris was the most hilarious person I’ve ever seen,” she said.

Schools from all over the country come to participate in the event.

“I got to meet so many awesome people,” junior Edward Moreno said. “Not everyone is like Weston kids, so it was cool to meet new people.”

This wasn’t the first Candlelight trip for some chorus students. This year’s juniors have been attending since they were freshmen.

“Every year it’s a different experience,” Moreno said. “Every year I go with different people, meet different people, and it’s a whole new story and songs.”

 

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Junior divides time between AMT and Color Guard

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BY MARISSA BABITZ

Acting and dancing can be described as an artistic facet of self-expression, and junior Jordanne Cantrill has turned it into her passion.

She discovered her love for theater about five years ago when she decided to get involved in school productions at Falcon Cove Middle School and started dancing in high school when she joined the Cypress Bay color guard.

“The first play I was in was ‘Thoroughly Modern Millie’ in sixth grade, and I fell in love with acting,” Cantrill said.

Acting in that musical inspired her to continue theater in high school and join the American Musical Theatre (AMT) program her freshman year by recommendation of her middle school drama teacher.

Cantrill said acting in her first AMT show “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat” as a freshman set the foundation for her entire high school career. She also discovered a love for dance when she earned a spot on the JV Color Guard team.

“Color guard opened me up to a whole new kind of performance,” she said. “I fell in love with dancing and I use some of what I learned from guard in AMT as well.”

Cantrill said her sophomore year was even more important because she learned that for a good performance, a great cast can make or break a show.

“‘Les Miserables’ was another great show because it gave me an opportunity to play multiple diverse characters,” she said.

Throughout her sophomore year, Cantrill assisted in choreographing numbers in “Les Miserables,” putting together publicity ideas, and won multiple awards for the productions she was cast in.

“The experience was incredible because I learned so much about choreographing and having all of that responsibility,” she said. “Being recognized for my hard work by winning awards is like the icing on the cake.”

[caption id="attachment_5947" align="alignright" width="482"]Junior Jordanne Cantrill Junior Jordanne Cantrill[/caption]

Cantrill won an overall superior rating at the Districts One Act Thespians Festival for her solo piece in ‘Admissions.’

“It was such a fantastic year as far as Thespians Festival was concerned, and I was able to go to Tampa that year as an observer for the States Thespians festival,” she said. “It was great to go and not perform because it allowed me more time to go to workshops and see other actors’ pieces.”

Cantrill said acting in “Admissions” as Evelyn was her favorite role of her high school career.

“She was an older woman who had died and gone to a sort of afterlife that was in the form of a waiting room, more like an interview,” she said. “The woman giving the interview, unknown to my character, was God and she leads Evelyn through this process to analyze her life.”

At the Districts One Act Thespians Festival she was awarded All-Star Cast Members and “Admissions” was one of only four shows that got a superior rating.

“I loved it so much because it really tested my limits in a new way since the character I was playing was 54 and dead but also alive at the same time, so it had to be spot on in order to be believable,” she said.

Cantrill’s sophomore year in drama was also greatly influenced by her membership in the varsity color guard team. It was a completely different kind of performing that not only made her a better dancer but also gave her the most incredible opportunities.

After weeks on end of competitions and performances, in the end Cantrill and the rest of her team were rewarded with the opportunity to compete in Ohio at a worldwide WGI (Winter Guard International) competition.

“I cannot even describe how grateful I am to have learned from the experiences of that entire season,” she said.

Cantrill is currently in her junior year and is the Drama Club historian, co-coordinator of the advertising committee, and is in charge of organizing the Lip Sinc show that will be held during the second semester.

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She will be acting with the Drama Club playing a primary character, Luann, in the competing one act this year called ‘After Hours’ and she’ll also be playing a challenging role as Nina, a lead character, in the production ‘In The Heights’ on March 13.

AMT director Cynthia Lutwin said she has seen Cantrill grow into an incredible young woman over the past three years.

“Over the past years she has taken every role and made it her own,” she said. “Her voice is wonderful, her dancing is sensational, and her acting is real and believable.  I adore her on and off the stage.”

Mrs. Lutwin said Cantrill makes everything she performs in memorable.

“She always gives her all in every role she earns and she has developed more confidence and personality on stage,” she said.

Cantrill said the best thing about being involved with acting in AMT and dancing in color guard at Cypress is that she has been given exceptional opportunities while still feeling relatively in her comfort zone.

“Basically, we have programs with such potential and competitiveness but we also support each other and everything is relaxed,” she said. “I met almost all of my best friends through AMT and color guard. Even when we disagree and want to scream and cry we always end up pulling everything together and having an amazing shows in both programs.”

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