The Dark Knight

The Master

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Pretty close to fact: Two-Face isn't dead.

For all that doubted me on Two Face being dead or not.

Aaron Eckhart has had a good summer. He can take credit for some of The Dark Knight's awesomeness, with his Harvey Dent/Two-Face baddie getting almost as freaky as Heath Ledger's Joker. But $500 million later, we have to ask him: Two-Face could survive that deadly fall at the construction site, right?

"No," Eckhart told E! News at the junket for Towelhead yesterday. "He is dead as a doornail. He ain't comin' back, baby. No."

The fans want him back, and the actor wants to come back, but ultimately director Christopher Nolan is the bad parent.

"I asked Chris that question. He goes, 'You're dead.' Before I could even get the question out of my mouth, 'Hey Chris, am I...' 'You're dead.' "

But death has never been a problem for comic book characters! "I'm not coming back," he said. "Unfortunately, Heath was supposed to go along."

Eckhart knows, too, that there are plenty of Batvillains waiting for spots in the sequels. He's even jealous about one rumor. "I heard Angelina Jolie was going to be Catwoman," he said. "I thought that was a great idea. I'd like to be in that one."

Oh, but sorry. Didn't you hear? You're dead.

The times people have told me I'm dead....ah memories.

Seriously, people should give a shit more about if Nolan is going to a third movie, not if Two-face is dead.

Also it was only yesterday when I watched the film again in the cinema did I notice when Rachel made her choice between Harvey and Bruce.

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Because the actor isn't signed on doesn't mean he won't be. He's still around. You'll see.

Gotham faked the death of Dent so they could have their white knight while Two-Face is locked away in Arkham.

Right Cage of death, in corner to my right-The master of Real Dread!

Desmond Reddick........Reddick...

And to my left.....The master of disaster he's prestigous he likes to have memento's, he has insomnia....and stuff.....Chris Nolan......Nolan.

Fight to death, winner decides if two-face is dead.

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Because the actor isn't signed on doesn't mean he won't be. He's still around. You'll see.

Gotham faked the death of Dent so they could have their white knight while Two-Face is locked away in Arkham.

Right Cage of death, in corner to my right-The master of Real Dread!

Desmond Reddick........Reddick...

And to my left.....The master of disaster he's prestigous he likes to have memento's, he has insomnia....and stuff.....Chris Nolan......Nolan.

Fight to death, winner decides if two-face is dead.

I could totally take Nolan...unless he has Goyer at his side. Then I'm toast.

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Although the standard commercial version of the Blu-ray release will probably have the same poster image of Batman standing in front of a building emblazoned with his logo, we've received an image of a Blu-ray cover featuring an image of Heath Ledger's Joker, and we also have a look at the insert of the Special Edition Blu-ray, which will be available at the same time.

Our source that hooked us up with these imagies told us that the Blu-ray would include "BD Live" and that there would be a 3-disc version with the 3rd disc being a digital copy for iPod or other video player.

UPDATE: We just received a few links to the covers for the standard Dark Knight Blu-ray, as well as the packaging for a 2-Disc Batpod Limited Edition:

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Although the standard commercial version of the Blu-ray release will probably have the same poster image of Batman standing in front of a building emblazoned with his logo, we've received an image of a Blu-ray cover featuring an image of Heath Ledger's Joker, and we also have a look at the insert of the Special Edition Blu-ray, which will be available at the same time.

Our source that hooked us up with these imagies told us that the Blu-ray would include "BD Live" and that there would be a 3-disc version with the 3rd disc being a digital copy for iPod or other video player.

UPDATE: We just received a few links to the covers for the standard Dark Knight Blu-ray, as well as the packaging for a 2-Disc Batpod Limited Edition:

Now lets pretend I'm too cheap to buy a HD TV and Blu Ray DVD's/PS3........

Ok no one was buying that, what the hell do I get!?

Also in the UK it's coming out on the 8th of December.

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  • 2 weeks later...
As awesome as this movie was I am watching Batman Begins right now on FX and god damn that is a great movie. I had not seen it in a while, but I think I may like Batman Begins more than TDK.

bite your damn tongue lol :D that's blasphemy Batman Begins was great but TDK is better

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  • 3 weeks later...

Nolan interview


'Dark Knight' director says he isn't sure he will make a third Bat-film. Why? He says: "I have to ask the question: How many good third movies in a franchise can people name?"

This is the first of a three-part interview with Christopher Nolan, the director of the astoundingly successful summer film “The Dark Knight,” which has pulled in $528 million in the U.S. alone (a total second only to “Titanic”) and has worldwide grosses that are now approaching the $1 billion mark.

The 38-year-old London native has just returned home to Los Angeles (where he attended the Spike TV Scream 2008 Awards, pictured above) after a monthlong stay at Anna Maria Island on the west coast of Florida where, along with playing on the beach with his children, he contemplated the commercial success of his grim superhero epic — as well as the industry buzz about the film’s chances during the upcoming Oscar season. In today's installment, he talks about the perceived politics of the movie, his plans for the future and that staggering box-office total.

GB: Welcome back to L.A. So I'm curious, tell me one of the surprises you've had during the journey of this film after its release on July 18.

NOLAN: It’s funny, I’ve been asked a lot about the politics of the film. I dismiss all such analogies [laughs]. It really isn’t something we think about as we put the story together, myself, David Goyer and Jonathan [Nolan, brother of the director]. But I would point to the interrogation scene with Batman and the Joker — not that there is a specific political point, per se — but that I was interested in getting the actors to explore a paradox: How do you fight somebody who essentially thrives on aggression?

GB: I winced when I read a lot of the political messaging that people said they detected in your film. I think a lot of that says more about my industry than it does yours.

NOLAN: [Laughs] "Yes, you may be right."

GB: It seems to me that, more often than not in a genre such as the one you’re working in, most of the political messaging has more to do with the viewer than the filmmaker. It’s inferred, not implied.

NOLAN: I agree completely. Especially if you do it right. If you’re working in a genre that is heightened reality. I like to talk about these films as having an operatic quality or being on a grand scale and a bit removed from the rhythms of real life, no matter how realistic we try to make the scenes themselves. In this scene, for instance, we went for the gritty realism in the textures of it, but it is a heightened reality. We’re trying to work on a more universal scale. If you get that right, people are going to be able to bring a wide variety of interpretations to it depending on who they are. It’s allowing the characters to be a conduit to the audience. Allowing an audience to sit there and relate to Batman and his dilemma whether they are Republican or Democrat or whatever. ...

GB: "The Dark Knight" is closing in on $1 billion. How do you get your arms around that kind of success?

NOLAN: I can’t get my arms around it, to be quite frank. It’s mystifying. It’s terrific but at the same time it’s a little abstract, the numbers are so big. The biggest thrill for me would be, with the number of people who have gone to see the film, how "The Dark Knight" stood on the shoulders of the first film, how we were able to build the audience up and build the story up from the first film. That was really exciting to see. We were all pretty happy with the performance of the first film but so we really didn’t know, "Where does it go from there?" For it to become such a phenomenon is extraordinarily gratifying. I mean, I’ve spent now like six years or something working on Batman films. It becomes an important part of your life; you become very obsessive about it, and it's pretty fun when there are other people sharing your obsession and going to see the film a dozen times or whatever.

Wrapping your arms around the scale of the success, as you ask, I don’t find that possible really. There’s something liberating in knowing that my next film, whatever it is, isn’t going to make as much money [laughter]. I don’t have to try for years.

GB: As far as a follow-up, have you considered "Batman and the Mystery of the Titanic"?

NOLAN: I think you may be right, that might be the way to go.

GB: Watching "The Dark Knight," it’s very easy to imagine the Joker returning to Gotham, the way his fate remains unresolved. When you were writing the film, did you anticipate that the Joker would be back in the third film?

NOLAN: No, really and in truth, I only deal with one film at a time. I find myself sort of protesting this issue a lot. We’ve never attempted to save anything for a sequel or set up anything for a sequel. That seems improbable to some people because, particularly with "Batman Begins," the film ended with a particular hook [with Jim Gordon showing Batman a Joker playing card announcing the arrival of a new villain in town]. But for me that was just about the excitement of people leaving the theater with the sense that now we have the character up and running. I wanted people to walk away with that sense in their head. You know, that he’s become the Batman in the movie. That’s why we had the title come up at the end, because it was "Batman Begins," and it was all very specific to that.

Then I got excited about seeing where that character would go. It was planned in advance, but it followed in that way. But we tried our hardest to really do everything in this movie that we would want to see the Joker do and to get that in the fabric of the story as much as possible. We wanted the Joker’s final taunt to Batman to be that they are locked in an ongoing struggle because of Batman’s rules. There’s a paradox there. Batman won’t kill. And the Joker is not interested in completely defeating Batman because he’s fascinated by him and he enjoys sparring with him. It’s trapped both of them. That was really the meaning of it. Of course what happened is Heath created the most extraordinary character that you would love to see 10 movies about. That’s the bittersweet thing. It was incredible characterization. It is a bittersweet thing for all of us.

GB: After the massive, military-level operation of making "Dark Knight," is there part of you leaning toward a smaller, more nimble sort of production next?

NOLAN: On one hand, yeah, there is a certain feeling to do that. After "Batman Begins," I certainly felt like taking on something smaller, but one of the things I got such a thrill from on "The Dark Knight" was shooting on Imax and creating that massive scale and achieving that larger-than-life quality. So that’s a lot of fun. I’m drawn in both directions now. So maybe what I need to do next is a very intimate, small story that happens to be photographed on a ridiculously large scale. Or vice versa [laughs].

GB: I’m not sure I even know what that means.

NOLAN: Yes, I don’t know what it means either [laughter]. But really what I know is that it’s about story at the end of the day. ... But I do feel there is this tug to do big scale and small scale, so I don’t know. ...

GB: Maybe you need to make a small story in a huge place. "My Dinner With Andre" at the top of Mt. Everest.

NOLAN: Or in outer space. That might work.

GB: Could you see actually yourself not making the third Batman film?

NOLAN: Well ... let me think how to put this. There are two things to be said. One is the emphasis on story. What’s the story? Is there a story that’s going to keep me emotionally invested for the couple of years that it will take to make another one? That’s the overriding question. On a more superficial level, I have to ask the question: How many good third movies in a franchise can people name? [Laughs.] At the same time, in taking on the second one, we had the challenge of trying to make a great second movie, and there haven't been too many of those either. It’s all about the story really. If the story is there, everything is possible. I hope that was a suitably slippery answer.

-- Geoff Boucher


The "Dark Knight" director gives a deep dissection of his single favorite scene in the movie -- the gripping interrogation sequence, which (with no special effects and only bare-bones lighting) would become "the fulcrum on which the whole movie turns."

This is the second of a three-part interview with Christopher Nolan, the director of "The Dark Knight," which was released in mid-July and is now approaching $1 billion in worldwide box office. The numbers are astounding, but even more startling is the fact that the 38-year-old filmmaker captured that kind of global audience with a movie that is relentlessly dark and finds its axis in the performance of Heath Ledger as the nihilistic and sadistic Joker.

I asked the London native to pick one scene in the film that he would circle as the essential moment in the movie, either in its service to the overall story or the film's texture. He answered quickly.

Nolan: To be honest, it’s pretty easy for me. The scene that is so important and so central to me is the interrogation scene between Batman and the Joker in the film. When we were writing the script, that was always one of the central set pieces that we wanted to crack.

GB: At what point in the production schedule did you shoot it?

Nolan: On the set, we shot it fairly early on. It was actually one of the first things that Heath had to do as the Joker. He told me he was actually pretty excited to tear off a big chunk early on, really get one of the Joker’s key scenes up in the first three weeks of a seven-month shoot. He and I both liked the idea of just diving in, as did Christian [bale, who portrayed Batman]. We had rehearsed the scene a tiny bit. We had just ripped through it a couple of times in pre-production just to get some slight feel of how it was going to work. Neither of them wanted to go too far with it in rehearsal. They had to rehearse some of the fight choreography, but even with that, we tried to keep it loose and improvisational. They wanted to save it all. We were all pretty excited to get on with a big chunk of dialogue and this big intense scene between these two iconic characters. It was quite bizarre to see Batman across the table across from the Joker [laughs]. I'm glad you asked this. You know, I could actually talk about this scene for hours.

We had a lot of time to shoot it too, because it was so early on. Quite often, as you get behind on other things and you run toward the end of the shoot, things can get very squeezed. But you tend to schedule the first few weeks very generously to give the crew and the actors and myself time to find our feet and find our pace. So we had a couple of days to do it.

GB: Can you give me a snapshot memory from those days shooting the scene?

Nolan: It was a great set built into a location. It had all of the advantages of feeling that we were in a real place. Nathan Crowley, the production designer, built these great mirrors and this long, tiled room that I really loved the look of; it had the feeling almost of an abattoir or something. That all fed into the brutality of the scene. We wanted to be very edgy, very brutal. We wanted it to be the point at which Batman is truly tested by the Joker and you see that the Joker is truly capable of getting under everybody’s skin. I’m realizing this now about that scene — I haven’t thought this through before — the synthesis of all the different elements that I’m most interested in within filmmaking all come in that scene.

Nolan: The scene starts between Gary Oldman [as James Gordon] and Heath with the lights out, and [director of photography] Wally Pfister literally just lit the scene with the desk lamp, the table lamp, and nothing else. And then when the lights come on, Batman is revealed, and the rest of the scene plays out with a massive overexposure. He overexposed like five stops, I want to say, and then printed it down to bring some of the color back in. But it’s this incredibly intense overhead light which let us move in any direction. We had a handheld camera and shot however we wanted, be very spontaneous.

For me creatively, that had been about inverting the expectation. We’ve all seen so many of these dark movie interrogation scenes where somebody is being given the third degree. We just wanted to completely flip that on its head. And have the bright, harsh, bleak light sort show you the Joker’s make-up and its decay. The Batsuit was redesigned for this film. And unlike the suit that we had in "Batman Begins," it’s capable of really being shown in incredible detail and still hold up to that kind of scrutiny under that bright light. The suit looked much more real and more like a functional thing this time. The whole scene was about showing something real and brutal and getting this real harshness.

GB: There’s remarkable physicality of the actors in that scene. They are such different presences in the room: Christian is all dark mass and bottled fury and Heath has this spindly weirdness. ...

Nolan: Yes, and I think you start to see it even at the beginning of the scene where everything is in closer. There are tight close-ups with just a little drift to the camera. We start in a very controlled way, but even within that frame, the way Heath is bobbing in and out —and he’s actually bobbing in and out of the focal plane because, you know, it's very hard to follow someone whose leaning toward camera the whole time. It actually really adds something. We’re continually trying to catch him with the focus. You really see his movement back and forth. That way, even in a tight frame, you have this sense of strangeness. On the other hand, you have Batman sitting there just very, very controlled, restrained as you say. Then there’s a point where it spills over into real physicality and he drags the Joker across the table. We go handheld at that point and shot the rest of the scene with handheld to be very spontaneous in its movement. They had rehearsed the stunts and the fight stuff very specifically, but we really let the actors work within that. I had never seen anybody sell a punch the way Heath was able to with Christian. I got the violence I wanted. What I felt was really important creatively for the scene was that we show Batman going too far. We show him effectively torturing someone for information because it’s become personal.

Christian and I had talked a lot on "Batman Begins" about finding a moment in that film where you actually worry that Batman will go too far. A moment where his rage might spill over and he would break his rules. We never found that moment. It just wasn’t there in that story. There was a lot of strength and aggression in the way he played the part, but I don’t think the story provided that element of losing control. What the Joker provides in the second film is the fact that his entire motivation is to push people’s buttons and find their rules set and it turn it on itself. And Batman of course places such importance on his rules, his morals. It’s what distinguishes him, in his mind, from a common vigilante. The Joker is able to twist him around and make him question his own approach and his own actions.

GB: In the first film, the Batman’s most memorable moments of intense aggression feel more like theater — he’s doing it in a calculated show to scare people. The first movie seems to be about Batman’s fear; the second one is about his rage.

Nolan: Exactly. That’s why we never found that moment of danger, the one we had talked about, where there’s this danger that Batman will just lose it and go too far. That rage is very much a central part of the story in ‘The Dark Knight,’ and that interrogation scene is the fulcrum on which the whole movie turns. I think Batman finds out — and Bruce Wayne finds out — a lot about himself in that scene. I was just delighted to get to see Christian show that rage. And it’s wonderfully balanced with Gary’s control as well. Even though everyone remembers the scene as being the Joker and Batman, Gordon played a very important part to setting it up and allowing this interrogation to happen. And then as he is watching from the sideline, he sees the exact point where this is going too far. He knows Batman well enough to observe this, to recognize it. He tries to get in, but Batman has locked the door. And what we get to lead to, by the end of the scene, when he’s just pounding on the Joker, I think Heath managed to find the exact essence of the threat of the Joker and who he is: He’s being pounded in the face and he’s laughing and loving it. There’s nothing you can do. As he tells Batman, "You have nothing to do with all of your strength." There’s this sort of impudence of the strong and the armored and the very muscular Batman; he's very powerful, but there’s no useful way for this power to be exercised in this scene. He has to confront that.

Originally, at the end of that scene, once the Joker reveals his information, Christian dropped him and then, almost as an afterthought, he kicked him in the head as he walked out of the room. We wound up removing that bit. It seemed a little too petulant for Batman in a way. And really, more than that, what it was is that I liked how Christian played it: When he drops the Joker, he has realized the futility of what he’s done. You see it in his eyes. How do you fight someone who thrives on conflict? It’s a very loose end to be left with.

-- Geoff Boucher

The director of "The Dark Knight" talks about the problems with teaming up Batman with other superheroes and also discusses the potential for an Oscar nomination for the late Heath Ledger.

This is the final installment of a three-part interview with Christopher Nolan, director of "The Dark Knight," the second-highest-grossing film in history and, by many accounts, the best superhero adaptation ever. But the London native has also shown a flair for intricate and sophisticated thrillers ("Memento," "The Prestige" and "Insomnia"), and in today's interview he makes it clear that he sees his Batman character as being separate and apart from the crowded superhero cinema of today.

GB: Chris, this summer, "Iron Man" and "The Incredible Hulk" signaled the true start of the "crossover era" in comic-book films with Marvel Studios putting an emphasis on the fact that their heroes coexist in the same world. DC and Warner Bros. may embrace a similar strategy, especially if the Justice League film project is revived. Does that concern you? Your Gotham doesn't seem suited to that.

Nolan: I don’t think our Batman, our Gotham, lends itself to that kind of cross-fertilization. It goes back to one of the first things we wrangled with when we first started putting the story together: Is this a world in which comic books already exist? Is this a world in which superheroes already exist? If you think of "Batman Begins" and you think of the philosophy of this character trying to reinvent himself as a symbol, we took the position -- we didn’t address it directly in the film, but we did take the position philosophically -- that superheroes simply don’t exist. If they did, if Bruce knew of Superman or even of comic books, then that’s a completely different decision that he’s making when he puts on a costume in an attempt to become a symbol. It’s a paradox and a conundrum, but what we did is go back to the very original concept and idea of the character. In his first appearances, he invents himself as a totally original creation.

GB: That doesn't lend itselt to having him swing on a rope across the Metropolis skyline.

Nolan: No, correct, it’s a different universe. It’s a different way of looking at it. Now, it's been done successfully, very successfully, in the comics so I don’t dispute it as an approach. It just isn’t the approach we took. We had to make a decision for "Batman Begins."

GB: A different path...

Nolan: Yes, completely different. It would have given a very, very different meaning to what Bruce Wayne was leaving home to do and coming back home to do and putting on the costume for and all the rest. We dealt with on its own terms: What does Batman mean to Bruce Wayne, what is he trying to achieve? He has not been influenced by other superheroes. Of course, you see what we’re able to do with Joker in this film is that he is able to be quite theatrical because we set up Batman as an example of intense theatricality in Gotham. It starts to grow outward from Batman. But the premise we began with is that Batman was creating a wholly original thing. To be honest, we went even further than the comics on this point. I can’t remember at what point in the comics history the idea came about that he was a fan of Zorro as a kid. I haven’t researched that, but I don’t believe it goes back terribly far.”

GB: I remember the movie-theater marquee with a Zorro film in Frank Miller’s “The Dark Knight Returns” in 1986. ...

Nolan: It definitely goes back before that. I’m pretty sure. I’ll have to ask [DC Comics President] Paul Levitz about it, but my sense is that it does go back further ... but either way, we changed it. We didn’t have young Bruce going to see Zorro because a character in a movie watching a movie is very different than a character in a comic book watching a movie. A comic-book character reading a comic book is more analogous to a character in a movie watching a movie. It creates a deconstructionist thing that we were trying to avoid. That was one reason. But another reason was to remove Zorro as a role model. We wanted nothing that would undermine the idea that Bruce came up with this crazy plan of putting on a mask all by himself. That allowed us to treat it on our own terms. So we replaced the Zorro idea with the bats to cement that idea of fear and symbolism associated with bats.

GB: Which you did by putting Bruce and his parents in the opera house watching "Die Fledermaus," which also gave you an opportunity to enhance the operatic feel of the film.

Nolan: Precisely. That took us into that very realm that seemed to work on screen.

GB: You've said you aren't sure what you next project will be. But clearly Warner Bros. looks at Batman as a core part of their movie business, perhaps now more than ever, and there are marketplace pressures on them to schedule the next installment of the franchise. Are you getting a lot of pressure to make a decision?

Nolan: They’re being extremely gracious. I have a very good relationship with the studio. They know that I really needed to go on holiday and take some time to figure what I want to do next. They’ve been very respectful of that, which is terrific and one of the reasons I enjoy working with Warner Bros.

GB: The nominations for the 81st Academy Awards will be announced in January. How meaningful would it be for the cast and crew of "The Dark Knight" if the late Heath Ledger is nominated for best supporting actor?

Nolan: I think the thing that has always been important to me in light of Heath’s death is the responsibility I’ve felt to his work. The responsibility of crafting the film in such a way that his performance came across the way he intended. Clearly, that has been the case. That’s one of the reasons I take such pride in the film.

I felt a great wave of relief, really, as people first started to see the performance and it was clear that they were getting the performance. It’s easy to forget with everything that’s happened what an enormous challenge it was for Heath to take on this iconic role. He rose to that challenge so admirably that any expression of people being excited or moved by his performance is a wonderful thing. Whatever form that takes. People coming to see his performance and getting it. It's been extremely satisfying for all of us already. Anything that adds to that would be wonderful.

-- Geoff Boucher

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High points


"Fop-Bruce" (who acts no different than Patrick Bateman from American Psycho)

Heath (only one who lived up to the hype)

Absence of Katie Holmes

Major flaws


Batman's surfer grunt

A Gotham without decadence

Batman being so brightly lit and soft and mushy in general

This movie was much better than Begins, but I still prefer the mysterious Batman, which unfortunately, did not exist here.

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Yeah Indy was the only one I thought of as well.....

Skyle, I kinda liked the brightness of the film; in that it made it more real, especially as part of the Joker, you know that he is crazy 24/7 not just at night. The surfer grunt I'll give you though......

As for hype, was there hype about any other actors apart from Heath?

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  • 2 weeks later...

Taker's act in WWE limits him from doing much in hollywood. And he never gives interviews to anyone as far as I know

Kane would be better for Bane especially when bane juices himself up with the vemon

other then that there aren't too many WWE superstars that could pull it off. and besides that would ruin the nolan films

if they can't do it right they shouldn't do it in my opinion

I know I'm gonna get flack for this but:

they could get the guy they'd had in Batman & Robin :D

at least that was an ok live action Bane

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The only way they could do Bane right is if they had a wrestler under the mask, and an actor to dub in his lines. The only two actors with the size and the acting chops to pull of both are Michael Clark Duncan or Ving Rhames, and Bane is a white guy.

So's Kingpin and Duncan did a fine job. Best part of that movie.

Edit: Bane's actually Hispanic.

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