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Very Hot Topic (More than 25 Replies) 2011 Festival Releases (Read 14,970 times)
Zabladowski
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2011 Festival Releases
03. Sep 2011 at 04:47
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I'm running a little behind with this  Embarrassed
it's been a busy year.

This thread will once again highlight films of potential interest that I encounter while checking out various offerings at film fests worldwide. All descriptions and most of the pictures will come from the named festival's own website.

GÖTEBORG INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL



It starts out as a low key story about a father and a son spending a nice summer day in the lovely countryside. Slow conversations about life, school and how the fish won't bite. But then the cracks become apparent everything isn't as bright and simple as it seems. Oca is a deceptively simple drama about parent-child relationships, about separations and life circumstances. But also and this is what makes it a contemporary and brave film about what factors in Slovenia's economy create these circumstances. Especially what happens to men as regards their relationship to traditional notions of masculinity. Towards the end, the individuals and their fates are interestingly intertwined with society at large.

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Snap   (Ireland)

An angry mother, a teenage son, a small child and a terrible crime. Sandra, the mother, tells her version to a film crew at home in her kitchen. Through flashbacks we learn what happened when her teenage son kidnapped a baby and held it captive in his grandfather's house. But behind every story, another one is hiding, and behind that one there is yet another. The film-making is somehow tangled into the story and the different visual segments create an immediacy the viewer inevitable becomes a participant. The acting is utterly disarming and Carmen Winter's direction sends the sparks flying, she maneuvers every last angle. An innovative, edgy, naked, voyeuristic and quietly intense film sure to linger in your mind for a long time.

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12-year-old Rado disappears from home and is gone for a whole weekend. His mother is worried and reports him as missing. His father mainly gets angry. When he returns, Rado has two punk rockers in tow. The situation becomes complicated when the mother is to make lunch for this motley crew. Here different thoughts and manners are contrasted in a sometimes very comical way. We recognise the tone from several Romanian films. The script-writer is Ratzan Radulescu, who among other things wrote the festival film Tuesday, After Christmas. Shelter is an intimate family drama that addresses the generation gap in a swiftly changing society. First-time director Dragomir Sholev has succeeded in assembling a great cast for his debut.


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Angèle and Tony   (France)

Just out of prison, Angèle tries to reconnect with her son who is living with his paternal grandparents. She has to prove to the authorities that she has a stable private life, and for this practical reasons she puts in a personal ad. In the opening scene she meets fisherman Tony from one of Normandy's coastal villages, a world very different from Angèle's. The viewer gets to know the two as they, gradually and more or less unintentionally, reveal their secrets to one another. There's great chemistry between Clotilde Hesme and Grégory Gadebios as the odd couple in Alix Delaporte's feature debut. Angèle's self destructive streak and Tony's defensive attitude make for a friction turning the film into an almost physical experience of an attraction against the odds.

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Re: 2011 Festival Releases
Reply #1 - 03. Sep 2011 at 05:16
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The young intern Matilda is on a twenty-four hour leave from prison. Her eight-year-old son lives in an orphanage and now Matilda is faced with a choice; should she be a good mother and take care of her child or should she return to prison? The film follows her as she meets three central male characters in her life. First, she tries to convince her brother to take care of her son. Then she confronts her former pimp. Finally she meets her son Toma. Incredibly powerful and award-winning work in the lead role by Ana Ularu. The strength of Romanian films is often how they tell a concentrated story, like this one, focusing on a single day of agony for Matilda. The camera registers the pain in her eyes as she endures a whole lifetime in a day.

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Fire Fly   (Uganda/China)

For the director, just like the other filmmakers in this project, it was her first visit to China. That is why she chose a kind of fairytale, since for her a fairytale has universal elements that bridge cultural differences. The film is relatively improvised, occasionally using documentary techniques, yet it turns out to be a distinctive piece of fiction. The protagonist of the story is the nine-year-old boy Peng Lui Wei. He is the firefly. Luckily, this character was written for the real Peng Lui Wei, so he could play himself. The firefly was a kind of action hero who had to perform tasks and asked different people for advice. In this way, the crew could follow him to all nooks and crannies of the artist village Songzhuang, where the film was shot. The filmmaker took advantage of the opportunity to experiment with several cameras, including the much-talked about Canon 5D, but also using old-fashioned 8mm material.

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Two orphaned brothers try to survive in Saddam Hussein's Iraq in the early 1990s. Whatever they do, they are either beaten or chased off. One day they catch a glimpse of the new Superman movie, kindling the hope of a different life.

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Viktlös   (Sweden)
Weightless

Felix is on the beach with his mom. He is yearning for the pier and the swimming youths, she wants to sit in the shade by the old people. A battle of wills where you need to know your limitations and abilities, not those of others.

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Re: 2011 Festival Releases
Reply #2 - 03. Sep 2011 at 05:30
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It's Christmas Eve. Jocke and Jessie are unwrapping their presents, but in the background their arguing parents are threatening to ruin the spirit of the season. In an attempt to fix the unexplicable problem, they head off on a quest which brings them into a symbol-laden, Zelda inspired fantasy world.

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Änglavakt   (Sweden)
Among Us

Ernst and Cecilia enjoy a happy family life in suburbia. When their nine-year-old son Alexander has an accident, their lives are turned upside down and their relationship is put under a lot of strain. Then they meet Walter, a mysterious French-speaking stranger, with an offer of help.

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Re: 2011 Festival Releases
Reply #3 - 03. Sep 2011 at 16:12
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Now on to the SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL



In this beautiful creation evoking haunting qualities of memory and mystery, two iconic figures—Jess, an adolescent girl, and Moss, a younger boy—seem to occupy the center of a slowly unfolding narrative. They languish in a rural home and the farmlands nearby, play-act scenes of domesticity, and chat about whatever comes into their heads (age, death, sex.) However, emotionally charged moments replace sustained dramatic action as our understanding (and fascination) develops by accretion, observing interactions both tender and violent.
Director Clay Jeter delicately imposes a complex assemblage of ways of looking and listening; planes of focus, select pieces of music, and expert sound engineering call attention to cryptic, but suggestive, details as interludes displaying natural phenomena (leaves, rainfall, even microorganisms) underline the children’s role as agents of nature’s power. The film creates a world whose mundane elements swell to bursting and demonstrates the power of cinema to turn the inside out.


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The Legend of Beaver Dam   (USA)

When a ghost story around the campfire awakens an evil monster, it's up to nerdy Danny Zigwitz to be the hero and save his fellow campers.

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A man and a boy, traveling to an unknown destination, find respite in a motel swimming pool. On the surface all seems normal, but nothing is quite what it seems to be.

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Win Win   (USA)

Struggling attorney Mike Flaherty, who volunteers as a high-school wrestling coach, takes on the guardianship of an elderly client in a desperate attempt to keep his practice afloat. When the client’s teenage grandson runs away from home and shows up on his grandfather’s doorstep, Mike’s life is turned upside down as his win-win proposition turns into something much more complicated than he ever bargained for.
Maybe because director Tom McCarthy is also a skilled actor, he has an innate ability to mine his material for those nuances that expose the delicate human conflicts that drive his characters. They struggle to be good as their almost-understandable flaws put them to the test. You get the distinct feeling that his actors love working for him because they do their jobs so well. Win Win could refer to the old adage about how we play the game, but more simply, it just means that doing right brings out the best in all of us.


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Re: 2011 Festival Releases
Reply #4 - 03. Sep 2011 at 21:20
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Wow  Wink and I know you are just getting started. Somehow i get the impression that you are a bit busier than I am. (having noted your voluminous activity on the database for the past couple weeks. You had me worried for a while).

Not surprisingly (for me) the one that looks the weirdest is the one that jumped out at me--

THE STRANGE ONES
  
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Re: 2011 Festival Releases
Reply #5 - 04. Sep 2011 at 17:01
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Thanks Zab. I look forward to reading your festival release post every year like Christmas Smiley.  Thanks for the update. There are some interesting releases this year. Hope they become available outside the festival circle soon.
  
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Re: 2011 Festival Releases
Reply #6 - 05. Sep 2011 at 04:20
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Thanks for the encouragement, guys....  Smiley
YA things are good right now but have been very busy since Easter. I have some free time and am trying to make the most of it.

Zhizhi you need only look at the 2010 Festival release thread to see how many more of these films are becoming available...not all of them mind you, but certainly more than in the past. This is good news for me because personally I have only been able to attend one festival this year so far......

Now onto Portland Oregon for their offerings.....



This year’s Korean submission for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, based on a true story, is a feel-good family film that will delight anyone who loves soccer. Kim Won-Kang, a former player for Korea’s national soccer team, hits the skids after he’s too old to play. Traveling through Southeast Asia, he lurches from one get-rich-quick scheme to another until he lands in war-torn East Timor. There, he finds children playing soccer in bare feet because their families don’t have money for shoes, and in their devotion to the game, he finally finds purpose. Kim Tae-Kyun dwells on the excitement of the game rather than the melodrama of the situation, and the action is hard and fast.

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Chekhov for Children   (USA)

Chekhov for Children tells the inspiring, charming story of the 1979 Broadway staging of “Uncle Vanya,” a heartbreaking play about middle-aged longing—by New York City fifth and sixth graders, under the direction of celebrated New York writer Phillip Lopate. Using a wealth of often amusing student-made films and videos from the time, mixed with contemporary interviews with some of the now middle-aged participants, Freyer, himself one of the students, explores the interplay between art and life for a dozen friends across three decades. “It is childhood which animates our adult lives, and it is through the arts that we all connect to this living childhood within us.”

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Arbeláez takes the perspective of children to contrast a world of their innocent playfulness with the absurd, violent world of adults. Manuel and Julian, best friends who live in a small community in the Colombian mountains, accidentally kick their prized soccer ball into a minefield. Their effort to get their precious ball back, an essential part of their everyday lives and dreams, becomes a symbol of colliding worlds, as purity clashes with harshness. Arbaláez cast non-professional actors from the Antioquia region where the film was shot, lending the film a charming authenticity. “Moving, funny, poignant, and insightful...a powerful debut!”—Screen International....

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Illegal   (Belgium)

Tania, a Russian immigrant residing illegally in Belgium with her teenage son, lives in constant terror. Willing to do whatever it takes to survive and prevent their deportation, the fear of being caught becomes reality when she’s stopped in a routine police check, arrested, and sent to a detention center. Unable to be with her still free son and witness to the persecutions of other illegals from many countries struggling to stay in Belgium, things soon spiral out of control when she claims a false name and finds herself in the limbo of complex deportation policies. This year’s Belgian submission for the Best Foreign Language Film Oscar, Illegal focuses on the human rather than political, telling a universal experience faced by immigrants seeking a better life for their families throughout the world.

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Re: 2011 Festival Releases
Reply #7 - 05. Sep 2011 at 04:30
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One more from Portland before we head to south to San Jose and the Cinequest Film Festival.

Katalin Varga   (Hungary)

When her husband discovers that their 11-year-old son Orbán is not his, he banishes his wife Katalin and the boy, sending them to Katalin’s home village in Transylvania, intent on wreaking vengeance on the real father. Equal parts road movie, character drama, and revenge thriller, Strickland’s film is ultimately a rumination on the nature of forgiveness and justice. Though contemporary in setting, the primitive, seemingly medieval conditions in the country, combined with Katalin’s single-minded pursuit of revenge, imbue the story with a timeless, mythic quality.

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A Little Help   (USA)

Laura enjoys a few too many beers each day while dealing with her life.  She’s got a lackluster job as a dental hygienist, a distant son with a workaholic husband, and an overbearing sister and mother.  Things get worse when her husband dies of arrhythmia during a reconciliatory “sex act.”  To top it all off, her son changes schools and tells everyone that his father died as a firefighter in 9/11 because that’s “way cooler” than dying of a heart attack.

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Meet Jo Idstad: age 13. He’s about to meet his dream girl.
Not one to take risks, Jo survives his school days with his wits. He’s convinced danger lurks everywhere and avoids any perceived “death-traps,” like the school bully, sports or girls — and prefers the safety of math equations and collecting football cards (especially the elusive Liverpool Goalie card). Enter new girl in school, Mari — gifted at both football AND math…plus, she is really cute and sends Jo’s world into a tailspin. And let’s be honest, Jo really didn’t need this kind of trouble in his life right now.

Filled with humor and imaginative storytelling, The Liverpool Goalie examines the joys of love, friendship and youth, along with their challenges. Asle van der Hagen personifies the young Jo effortlessly, depicting a perfect combination of awkwardness and innocence. If you're looking for a feel good movie, you’ve found it.


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Re: 2011 Festival Releases
Reply #8 - 05. Sep 2011 at 05:01
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Staying in California, here are three more from the Tiburon International Film Festival



From the producers of award-winning The Eclipse, My Brothers is a beautiful and heartwarming road movie set during the Halloween weekend of 1987. The eldest of three boys, 17-year-old Noel has always been the reserved, serious, and responsible one. When he accidentally breaks his dying father's wristwatch that he won from an arcade in the town of Ballybunion, he "borrows" his boss' bread van with his two younger brothers—11-year-old Paudie and seven-year-old Scwally—in tow.
Paudie is a bit cocky and not so bright but dreams of playing for the Liverpool soccer team. Scwally has never seen Star Wars but is obsessed with it. On the trip, brotherly differences—and similarities—turn the journey into more than what they expected.


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Tired of life, Ettore, 65 years old, everyday tries to find the courage to drive himself and his old three wheeler down a country ditch. When Luca, his 10 year old nephew, finds out about his grandfather's intentions, he decides to furtively follow him.

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"David and Kamal" is a story about two 9-year-old boys who grow up in different surroundings.
David, a Jewish American, comes over to Jerusalem to meet his father that he has not seen for many years. His parents are divorced, and he lives with his mother in America.
Kamal, an Arab boy, lives in an Arab district in Jerusalem with his mother, sisters and very strict grandfather. He and his grandfather have to support the family because they have no father.
The day after his arrival, David comes to the Old City and accidentally meets Kamal in the worst possible way. Kamal steals David’s porch full of old coins that David has been collecting. David chases after Kamal to get back his coins, but he loses sight of him. When he is trudging down an alley, a teenage Arab gang spots him and picks a quarrel with him. David starts running from them like hell but they pursue him. It is Kamal that saves David from this crisis.


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Re: 2011 Festival Releases
Reply #9 - 05. Sep 2011 at 16:10
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Next stop Dallas Texas for the AFI Dallas Film Festival



A story about a group of neighborhood kids, led by 11-year-old Cooper, who help out a longtime resident and friend, Mr. Wilson, by helping him find a prized possession in Castle Hills. With only a handful of hours to complete the quest, Cooper must search every corner of the community, outsmart his sister and overcome his own pride to save the day.

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Katrina's Son   (USA)

When a young boy loses his grandmother during Hurricane Katrina, he travels to San Antonio, Texas, in search of the mother who abandoned him years earlier.

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My First Claire   (USA)

11-year-old Teddy is confused as his parents are getting divorced and his friends are discovering girls. But when his new babysitter arrives, the beautiful and carefree Claire, he sets out to learn a thing or two about the opposite sex.

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Pioneer   (USA)

A father tells his little boy the most epic bedtime story ever.

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Protect the Nation   (Germany/South Africa)

When faced with the unexpected kindness of a stranger, a young boy begins to question himself. Does he have the courage to do what's right.

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Re: 2011 Festival Releases
Reply #10 - 05. Sep 2011 at 17:01
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Now on to the Hong Kong International Film Festival



The arid Central Asian steppe. Ali and his son collect dead sheep. The boy misses his mother who has been out of touch since leaving for a better life in Moscow. They decide to find her. The big city offers them the fate of the gastarbeiter: occasional income and a hand-to-mouth existence. Ali speaks to the police, contacts the Uzbek community, and tirelessly makes the rounds from kiosk to hospital to market. And he patiently bears all insults. The film unfolds journalistically, documenting without bias the lifestyle and livelihood of a man on the edge, in foreign surroundings that essentially force him to communicate intuitively. Just as he fails to notice dramatic world events reported on the television news, the outside world doesn't notice his internal drama. He's merely goods on the work market, likened to trees cut down by an ingenious machine that removes the branches and bark, and then cuts up the bare trunks into preset lengths. And the chips fly....

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Fu mu xin   (Hong Kong - 1955)
Parents' Hearts

Parents’ Hearts is one of the best Hong Kong films, ever! Like Story of Father and Son (1954), it’s the tale of a modern nuclear family, struggling to find a better future for its children. The social conditions in this film are even harsher, as the father finds himself unemployed when his opera troupe is forced to close due to the bad economy and the dwindling popularity of Cantonese opera. Director Chun Kim’s tender animation of mise-en-scene is perfectly complemented by opera superstar Ma Sitsang’s heartfelt performance.

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Han jia   (China)
Winter Vacation

Locarno Golden Leopard winner Winter Vacation perfects Li Hongqi’s unique brand of droll ultra-deadpan, with the director adding sumptuous hi-def cinematography, close-up shots and effective casting to his signature static long takes. The film plumbs the depths of socialist ennui to deliver a statement about the Chinese youth of today. Ineffectual teens mull around as they wait for their winter vacation to end, while a precocious young tyke, in a battle of wills against his grandfather, longs to be an orphan.

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Fu yu zi   (Hong Kong - 1954)
Story of Father and Son

A heart-wrenching tale of a father trying desperately to make a future for his son.

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A woman's consuming love forces her to bear the clone of her dead beloved. From his infancy to manhood, she faces the unavoidable complexities of her controversial decision.

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Re: 2011 Festival Releases
Reply #11 - 05. Sep 2011 at 17:47
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Zabladowski wrote on 05. Sep 2011 at 04:20:
Illegal   (Belgium)



I watched "Illegal" on DVD not too long ago. Unfortunately the focus of the movie is not with the teenage son, therefore his screen time is pretty short.


You are right it's definitely an encouraging sign that more festival movies are released in theaters or on dvds.  There are many movies in this post that look really promising.  One I will defnitely buy and own is "Womb"  I have seen some vidcaps and they are gorgeous. Not to mention that the story is intriquing.
  
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Re: 2011 Festival Releases
Reply #12 - 06. Sep 2011 at 05:38
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Thanks for these posts Zab. Great work as always!

It's wonderful to see what new movies there are out there... my only regret is that many of these will never be seen by many people. I do wish these would be released instead of just limited cinematic appearances!
I have looked around for many of your 2010 festival items, but most have been totally unavailable to buy anywhere Sad

Thanks Zab, your work is exemplary as always!  Smiley
Regards,
Cap`tkirk
  
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Re: 2011 Festival Releases
Reply #13 - 10. Sep 2011 at 04:35
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zhizhi wrote on 05. Sep 2011 at 17:47:
I watched "Illegal" on DVD not too long ago. Unfortunately the focus of the movie is not with the teenage son, therefore his screen time is pretty short.

One I will defnitely buy and own is "Womb"  I have seen some vidcaps and they are gorgeous. Not to mention that the story is intriquing.


Thanks for the info on Illegal. Netflix carries it so I'm liable to watch it anyway. I have seen some good movies on the topic that didn't feature boy actors, hopefully this will be one of them.

I'm sure I'll get to Womb eventually as well. The story reminds me of Birth, which I didn't care for. Hoping for better results with this one.
  
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Re: 2011 Festival Releases
Reply #14 - 10. Sep 2011 at 04:38
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Captkirk wrote on 06. Sep 2011 at 05:38:
I have looked around for many of your 2010 festival items, but most have been totally unavailable to buy anywhere Sad


You're welcome, Capt. Always nice to have one of my threads graced with your presence.  Smiley
If you are looking for a particular movie or movies from the 2010 thread, PM me. I might be able to help out.
  
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