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Franchescanado
Feb 23, 2013

I AM A STUPIDLY SEXY WOLFMAN



Grimey Drawer

Horoscope
1991 | dir. Richard Kern
5 minutes
for male & female nudity, overt sexuality



An attractive but rather repressed young woman (Holly Adams), checks her horoscope, shambles homeward from her dull office job and promptly falls asleep in front of the TV. Two naked young men appear in her living room and begin dancing around for her pleasure.




Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/118935366
Letterboxd: https://letterboxd.com/film/horoscope/
Kern's short films often get removed from YouTube as they censor more content. While the short films are not pornographic, a quick search will yield results that usually lead to porn hosting sites, where it is safe to see penises and vaginas.

"Richard Kern, photographer and filmmaker remains, first and foremost, a portraitist. For more than two decades Kern has sought to unravel and illuminate the complex and often darker sides of human nature. Kern makes the psychological space between the sitter, photographer and audience his subject. With his dry, matter of fact approach, he underlines the absurdity of truth and objectivity in photography while playing with our reliance upon taxonomies around sexual representation." from RichardKern.com

He first came to prominence as part of the cultural explosion in the East Village of New York City in the 1980s, with erotic and experimental films like The Right Side of My Brain and Fingered, which featured personalities of the time such as Lydia Lunch, David Wojnarowicz, Sonic Youth, Kembra Pfahler, Karen Finley and Henry Rollins. Like many of the musicians around him, Kern had a deep interest in the aesthetics of extreme sex, violence and perversion and was involved in the Cinema of Transgression movement, a term coined by Nick Zedd.

He has a total of 37 director credits, including short films, documentaries and music videos.

He is still an active photographer, and you can find his work on his website: http://www.richardkern.com/

Franchescanado fucked around with this message at 13:41 on Apr 12, 2021

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Franchescanado
Feb 23, 2013

I AM A STUPIDLY SEXY WOLFMAN



Grimey Drawer

The Music of Erich Zann
1980 | dir. John Strysik
18 minutes




Charles Dexter Ward, a young student of metaphysics, befriends Erich Zann, an elderly violinist who lives on the floor above him. Ward is fascinated by Zann’s sinister yet wonderful music, which he hears late at night drifting down from above. But he discovers more then he bargains for when he peers at what beckons beyond that strange curtained window in Zann’s room…

Inspired by the short story by H.P. Lovecraft. It is an example of the Lovecraft's interest in an "artist connected to the other side", which he explored in multiple short stories.


YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OFnSOfdsblQ (480p)
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=twrWXd4Es7k (480p)
Letterboxd

Franchescanado
Feb 23, 2013

I AM A STUPIDLY SEXY WOLFMAN



Grimey Drawer

The Robbery
2017 | dir. Jim Cummings
10 minutes

Meet Crystal. She decides to rob a liquor store. It goes pretty ok.



Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/205973976
Film Shortage: https://filmshortage.com/shorts/the-robbery/
Short of the Week: https://www.shortoftheweek.com/2017/03/02/the-robbery/
Letterboxd: https://letterboxd.com/film/the-robbery/

Franchescanado
Feb 23, 2013

I AM A STUPIDLY SEXY WOLFMAN



Grimey Drawer

Scorpio Rising
1963 | dir. Kenneth Anger
28 minutes




A gang of Nazi bikers prepares for a race as sexual, sadistic, and occult images are cut together.

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GDuu-m0-IjQ (480p)
Letterboxd: https://letterboxd.com/film/scorpio-rising/

Themes central to the film include the occult, biker subculture, homosexuality, Catholicism, and Nazism. Scorpio Rising also explores the worship of rebel icons of the era, such as James Dean and Marlon Brando (referred to by Anger as Byron's "heroes"). Like many of Anger's films, Scorpio Rising does not contain any dialogue; it instead features a prominent soundtrack consisting of 1960s pop, including songs by Ricky Nelson, the Angels, the Crystals, Bobby Vinton, Elvis Presley, and Ray Charles.

The film premiered in October 1963 at the Gramercy Arts Theater in New York City.

When the film was screened at an art theater in Los Angeles, it was protested by the American Nazi Party on the basis that it insulted their flag. The police were ultimately called to the site and arrested the theater manager for public obscenity and canceled the film's run. The case went to the California Supreme Court, where the case was settled in Anger's favor. Anger explained in an interview:

When Scorpio Rising was – we've forgotten, in a sense, that it was a groundbreaker, legally. Because there are only a few flashes of nudity, genitalia, whatever in the film, I mean, they're very, very short and, if you blink, you won't even see them. At any rate, when it was shown, at the Cinema – it was called the Cinema on Western Avenue in Hollywood – the premiere run, someone denounced it to the Hollywood vice squad and they raided the theater and took the print. And the case had to go to the California Supreme Court to be freed and then it became, like, a landmark case of redeeming social merit. That was the phrase that was used to justify that it wasn't pornography. And, indeed, there's nothing pornographic about it. Somebody had to break the ice and have that kind of case at that time to establish the freedom, because, before then, the police could seize anything they wanted to. What I was doing on the West Coast, Jack Smith was doing on the East Coast with Flaming Creatures. The two films happened at about the same time."

"Oddly enough, the references to the nineteen-fifties, which seemed dated and rather ponderous in 1965, don't make the film appear old-fashioned now. Admittedly, one then saw it in an unfortunate context – draped in the mystique of the underground, when a number of inferior films employed some similar imagery, such as the juxtaposition of Christ and hipsters, or close-ups of all-purpose skulls. But after a decade's education in put-ons, one can savor the impudent freshness of "Scorpio" today." -Nora Sayre, New York Times

Directors Gaspar Noé and Nicolas Winding Refn cited the film as an influence on their filmmaking.

Further Reading: Kenneth Anger & Scorpio Rising: Iconography, Identity & Hollywood Folklore

Debbie Does Dagon
Jul 8, 2005





That was a fantastic write-up, Fran! I definitely need to explore more of Anger's work. I love the almost fetishistic way he lingers upon his subjects, and here you can definitely see the birth of so many iconic images that made things like Querelle and Cry Baby so memorable.

Franchescanado
Feb 23, 2013

I AM A STUPIDLY SEXY WOLFMAN



Grimey Drawer

Kenneth Anger posted:

...What I was doing on the West Coast [with Scorpio Rising], Jack Smith was doing on the East Coast with Flaming Creatures. The two films happened at about the same time."

Flaming Creatures
1963 | dir. Jack Smith
45 minutes
for nudity

Filmmaker and artist Jack Smith described his own film as a “comedy set in a haunted movie studio.”





Flaming Creatures begins humorously enough with several men and women, mostly of indeterminate gender, vamping it up in front of the camera and participating in a mock advertisement for an indelible, heart-shaped brand of lipstick. However, things take a dark, nightmarish turn when a transvestite chases, catches and begins molesting a woman. Soon, all of the titular “creatures” participate in a (mostly clothed) orgy that causes a massive earthquake. After the creatures are killed in the resulting chaos, a vampire dressed like an old Hollywood starlet rises from her coffin to resurrect the dead. All ends happily enough when the now undead creatures dance with each other, even though another orgy and earthquake loom over the end title card.

Most of the film's characters are sexually ambiguous, including transvestites, intersex, and drag performers. Flaming Creatures is largely non-narrative, and its action is often interrupted by cutaways to close-ups of body parts




YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iI8SBXiX-1Q (480p)
Archive.org: https://archive.org/details/aronaamora_yahoo_Fcr
Letterboxd: https://letterboxd.com/film/flaming-creatures/

A note on quality: Because of the film stock used (see below), controversial history, and maybe for a myriad of other reasons, there isn't a pristine copy readily available outside of screenings.


Praise & Criticism

Susan Sontag praised the film in a 1966 essay as a "rare modern work of art: it is about joy and innocence."

Jonathan Rosenbaum called the film "one of the greatest and most pleasurable avant-garde movies ever made". (1998)

P. Adams Sitney described Flaming Creatures as "a myth of recovered innocence" in which Smith "utterly transforms his sources and uncovers a mythic center from which they had been closed off." (2001)

"... faggoty stag-reel ... defiling at once both sex and cinema." -Arthur Knight in his review "New American Cinema?" for The Saturday Review in 1963.

Amos Vogel likened it to a film noir that "despite flashes of brilliance and moments of perverse, tortured beauty" was full of "limp genitalia and limp art." (His review for The Village Voice in 1964)

"The film's distinctive beauty is due largely to Smith's nimble use of the handheld camera. His unexpected framings yield dense images of fabrics, body parts, and heavily made-up faces." -1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die

Guy Maddin says his 2009 film The Little White Cloud That Cried is a tribute to Flaming Creatures.





A Brief History on the Production of the Film

Jack Smith published The Beautiful Book, a photography series made in collaboration with Marian Zazeela, made while they shared an apartment together in the early 1960's. The aesthetics from this project germinated into the idea for a film with Zazeela as the star. Zazeela began working with composer La Monte Young and moved out. Jack Smith found a new roommate, Tony Conrad, and found a new collaborator for the film, Sheila Black.

The film's working title was Pasty Thighs and Moldy Midriffs; Smith also considered using Flaking Moldy Almond Petals, Moldy Rapture, or Horora Femina.

Smith made Flaming Creatures as a way to film "all the funniest stuff he could think of" and depict "different ideas of glamour."

He filmed Flaming Creatures in mid to late 1962. He held shoots during weekends on the roof of the Windsor Theatre, at 412 Grand Street in the Bronx. Dick Preston offered his loft above the theatre for use as a prop department and dressing room.Smith had observed the effects of using out-of-date film working on Ken Jacobs' Star Spangled to Death and decided to use the technique after seeing Ron Rice's The Flower Thief. He used stolen Army surplus Kodak Plus-X reversal film. The reels were out-of-date, giving parts of the film a foggy or high-contrast texture.

He produced the film on a budget of $300.

Smith's roommate Tony Conradproduced the film's soundtrack. The two lived in a building on the Lower East Side, where Angus MacLise lived and René Rivera (later known as Mario Montez) moved. They held informal group sessions during the evening which Conrad recorded. The soundtrack incorporates "Siboney" by Ernesto Lecuona, "Amapola" by Joseph Lacalle, and various pasodobles.

Smith began screening unfinished versions of Flaming Creatures to friends. Piero Heliczer held a benefit for the film at painter Jerry Joffen's loft. Jonas Mekas discussed a private screening of the film through his column in The Village Voice, and Conrad produced a second version of the soundtrack for the film's theatrical premiere.




A History of the Premiere

At midnight on April 29, 1963, the movie screen at New York’s Bleecker Street Cinema lit up with visions of men and women in makeup and dresses; draped white fabric and a tall vase filled with feathery blooms; and disjointed shots of lips, eyes, tangled limbs, and genitalia. These images were a part of Flaming Creatures, an experimental film by Jack Smith, which premiered that night. The police were called, and they seized the film. Soon after, it was banned in 22 U.S. states and four countries. Eventually, it came to the attention of Congress and the Supreme Court, as a part of a censorship battle then being fought in America. Detractors and champions took their sides. And Smith, the pioneering performance artist, actor, filmmaker, and photographer who was largely unknown outside of New York’s underground art scene, suddenly became famous.

Smith’s unconventional approach to his films was inspired by the melodrama and excessive glamour of Hollywood and B movies, and by such flamboyant forms of performance as burlesque. In Flaming Creatures, as in all of his works, there is no fixed narrative, the sets and special effects are low-tech and homemade, and non-professional actors populate the cast. Shot from above or from odd angles at close range, Flaming Creatures is composed of loosely connected vignettes full of humor, eroticism, and violence. We see men applying lipstick to their puckering mouths, the set appear to crumble in an earthquake, and a vampire in a blond wig suck the blood of an unconscious victim. Shots of bared body parts and fluttering eyes punctuate these scenes, set to a soundtrack of vintage music. Because of such scenes, and Smith’s DIY, freeform approach to making Flaming Creatures, the film went against the norms of both society and filmmaking—ultimately setting a radical new example that inspired other artists and filmmakers. Adding to its significance is the fact that it foregrounded the fluidity of gender, sexuality, and identity and celebrated their free expression, at a time when they were seen in more rigid terms. -MoMA Learning


Flaming Creatures premiered April 29, 1963 as part of a double feature with Blonde Cobra at the Bleecker Street Cinema in Manhattan, New York. Later screenings were held at the Gramercy Theatre. Because the film had not been submitted for licensing, the shows were free and audiences were asked to donate to the "Love and Kisses for Censors Film Society".

Film Culture voted in December 1963 to award Smith its Independent Film Award for the film. It rented the Tivoli Theatre, known for showing sexploitation films, and planned a screening of Flaming Creatures, excerpts from Jack Smith's Normal Love, and Andy Warhol's Newsreel.

The theatre canceled the event due to the obscene content in Flaming Creatures.

Several hundred people gathered at the theatre, and Smith was given his award in an impromptu ceremony. A crowd of several hundred people led by Barbara Rubin occupied the Tivoli until police could clear the building.

At the third Knokke Experimental Film Festival, the selection committee rejected Flaming Creatures out of concern that it broke Belgium's obscenity laws. In protest, filmmaker Jonas Mekas resigned from the festival jury, and several American filmmakers threatened to withdraw their films. Mekas smuggled in the film in a canister for Stan Brakhage's Dog Star Man and held continuous private screenings out of his hotel.

On New Year's Eve, Mekas, Barbara Rubin, and P. Adams Sitney forced their way into a projection booth and screened a portion of the film.





Arrest & Confiscation & History of Censorship, Especially With Public Showings

In February 1964, the Film-Makers' Cinematheque successfully showed the films from the Tivoli program at the New Bowery Theater, as a program titled "Our Infamous Surprise Program". During the program's third showing on March 3, police stopped the event while Flaming Creatures was being screened. They arrested Jonas Mekas, Ken Jacobs, Florence Karpf, and Jerry Sims and seized the film reels and projection equipment. (As an aside, Andy Warhol's film about the making of "Normal Love" was confiscated and has never been recovered.) Jonas Mekas held a benefit screening of Un chant d'amour to raise money for a legal defense fund but was arrested again.

Civil rights lawyer Emile Zola Berman accepted the case, believing it would potentially reach the U.S. Supreme Court.

Jerry Sims, who had been taking tickets, managed to avoid prosecution by claiming he had not seen what was on the screen.

On June 12, 1964, People of the State of New York v. Kenneth Jacobs, Florence Karpf and Jonas Mekas was heard. As part of the defense, expert testimony came from filmmaker Shirley Clarke, poet Allen Ginsberg, writer Susan Sontag, filmmaker Willard Van Dyke and film historian Herman G. Weinberger. The defendants were convicted but given suspended sentences. They appealed on the grounds that the trial had excluded the expert testimony provided. The New York Supreme Court heard the appeal and reversed the convictions. It stated in its opinion that "whatever view this Court might hold as to the obscenity of 'Flaming Creatures,' it is manifest that the appellants herein believe in good faith that the film is not obscene."

Following the seizure of the film, Randy Wicker, the director of the Homosexual League of New York called Flaming Creatures "long, disturbing and psychologically unpleasant".

In April 1965, an off-campus screening by students of the University of New Mexico was raided by police, who seized the print.

In November 1966, a screening by the UT Austin chapter of Students for a Democratic Society was broken up.

A January 1967 screening at the University of Michigan resulted in the confiscation of the film and the arrest of four students, triggering protests and a sit-in by students.

In 1968, Abe Fortas was nominated to be Chief Justice of the United States. Fortas had supported reversing the original convictions for screening Flaming Creatures, so Senator James Eastland, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, requested that the print seized at the University of Michigan be sent to Washington.[41] James Clancy, representing Citizens for Decent Literature, showed the film among other material, inviting senators to view what Fortas had held in several decisions did not constitute obscenity. Nixon adviser Pat Buchanan credited the effort with ruining Fortas' nomination.

A screening at the University of Notre Dame at its Pornography and Censorship Conference in 1969 was canceled. When students attempted to screen prohibited films, police interrupted the event, leading to the school's first known violent conflict between police and students.

Eventually Jack Smith and Jonas Mekas had a falling out when Smith accused Mekas of stealing the original print of Flaming Creatures for the Anthology Film Archives. Smith did not believe in a final form for his films, and continued to re-edit them. The original print was lost until 1978, when Jerry Tartaglia found it in a pile of scrap and returned it to Jack Smith.

After Jerry Smith's death in 1989, larger institutions started screening Flaming Creatures.

Fifty years after the initial seizure and trial, the prosecutor for the case issued an apology to Jonas Mekas, writing, "Although my appreciation of free expression and aversion to censorship developed more fully as I matured, I should have sooner acted more courageously."


Most of this information was compiled and edited from Wikipedia and various reviews, so I really can't take much credit for it, other than streamlining the information to make an linear narrative.

Franchescanado
Feb 23, 2013

I AM A STUPIDLY SEXY WOLFMAN



Grimey Drawer

Debbie Does Dagon posted:

That was a fantastic write-up, Fran! I definitely need to explore more of Anger's work. I love the almost fetishistic way he lingers upon his subjects, and here you can definitely see the birth of so many iconic images that made things like Querelle and Cry Baby so memorable.

Thank you! I can't take too much credit for it. I mostly compiled information and edited it for clarity.

Franchescanado
Feb 23, 2013

I AM A STUPIDLY SEXY WOLFMAN



Grimey Drawer

Yearbook
2014 | dir. Bernardo Britto
5 min.




A man is hired to compile the definitive history of human existence before the planet is blown up by aliens.


Criterion Channel: https://www.criterionchannel.com/yearbook
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YTV7gNpECW0
ShortoftheWeek: https://www.shortoftheweek.com/2014/12/31/yearbook/
Letterboxd: https://letterboxd.com/film/yearbook-2014/

It has won seven awards.

Franchescanado fucked around with this message at 13:34 on Apr 13, 2021

Franchescanado
Feb 23, 2013

I AM A STUPIDLY SEXY WOLFMAN



Grimey Drawer

An Extensive But Incomplete Collection of Short Films by Tom Rubnitz

Pickle Surprise
1989 | dr. Tom Rubnitz
2 minutes

A cooking mantra.



YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N733Ofj2cVQ
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3GhN7v5SoGs (60fps version)
Letterboxd: https://letterboxd.com/film/pickle-surprise/


Chicken Elaine
1983 | dir. Tom Rubnitz
2 minutes

A chicken casserole recipe from the kitchen of Elaine Clearfield




YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUx2dhlNcgk
Letterboxd: https://letterboxd.com/film/chicken-elaine/


Made For TV
1984 | dir. Tom Rubnitz
15 minutes

Ann Magnuson impersonates the array of female types seen on TV in a typical broadcast day. From glitzy to drab, from friendly housewife to desperate evangelist, Magnuson is a one-woman universe appearing on every channel, the star of every program.



YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EWqwqss7Yto
Letterboxd: https://letterboxd.com/film/made-for-tv/


Hustle With My Muscle
1986 | dir. Tom Rubnitz
5 minutes

A music video for a song by John Sex.



YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kG29ASXCksI
Letterboxd: https://letterboxd.com/film/hustle-with-my-muscle/


Drag Queen Marathon
1986 | dir. Tom Rubnitz
5 minutes

A day in the life of a score of drag queens on the lookout for photo opportunities at Lincoln Center, the Guggenheim Museum, Tiffany’s, and in SoHo.



YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FBdnp3arYpo
Letterboxd: https://letterboxd.com/film/drag-queen-marathon/
Sorry for the poor quality, this is one of the harder ones to find.


Wigstock: The Movie
1987 | dir. Tom Rubnitz
20 minutes

The original documentary on the Wigstock festival, back in the day when it was a much smaller affair in Thompkins Square Park. A full day of peace, love, and wigs…



YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=10S4vc4ZIng
Letterboxd: https://letterboxd.com/film/wigstock-the-movie-1987/


Undercover Me!
1988 | dir. Tom Rubnitz
1 minute

A movie trailer for a non-existent Bond-style spy thriller.



YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PWfWo7hJHVE
Letterboxd: https://letterboxd.com/film/undercover-me/


The Fairies
1989 | dr. Tom Rubnitz
5 minutes

Based on a tale by Charles Perrault, Tom Rubnitz’s The Fairies comes complete with frogs, princes, kind fairies, and evil stepsisters



YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1wDd_Z-pSqk
Letterboxd: https://letterboxd.com/film/the-fairies/


The Mother Show
1991 | dir. Tom Rubnitz
4 min.

A tribute to mothers everywhere.



YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iCRdgP_G2BE
Letterboxd: https://letterboxd.com/film/the-mother-show/


Summer of Love
1990 | dir. Tom Rubnitz
1 minutes



Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/92092402
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Sg8srLKCD8I
Letterboxd: https://letterboxd.com/film/summer-of-love-1990/


Strawberry Shortcut
1991 | dr. Tom Rubnitz
1 minute

A secret recipe.



YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WEv5ZqkaS54 (60fps)
Letterboxd: https://letterboxd.com/film/strawberry-shortcut/



Thomas Block Rubnitz (April 2, 1956 – August 12, 1992) was an American video artist most often associated with the New York City East Village drag queen scene of the late 1980s. His video tapes were mainly inspired by pop culture and Las Vegas-style shows. A number of his works featured RuPaul and members of The B-52s. He also worked closely with East Village-associated artists like Club 57 founder Ann Magnuson, David Wojnarowicz, Lady Bunny, Hapi Phace, and John Sex.

Rubnitz worked with The B-52s in 1987 to produce a "public service announcement" for the Art Against AIDS organization's "Summer of Love" project, which visually referenced the cover of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band by The Beatles in tableau vivant form, featured the B-52s, Willi Ninja, Allen Ginsberg, Nam Jun Paik, Quentin Crisp, Lady Bunny, David Byrne, and others.

He was openly gay. He died at the Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center of an AIDS-related illness in August 1992 at the age of 36.


Photo by Barbara Lipp.

Franchescanado
Feb 23, 2013

I AM A STUPIDLY SEXY WOLFMAN



Grimey Drawer

Hackers: Wizards of the Electronic Age
1984 | dir. Fabrice Florin
26 minutes

A long weekend at a 1984 hacker conference by the Whole Earth Catalog editors Stewart Brand and Kevin Kelley in Sausalito, California. The hacker conference was inspired by Steven Levy’s classic book “Hackers – Heroes of the Computer Revolution”.






YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zOP1LNr70aU


Includes footage of a hacker conference, and interviews with some of the programmers that created the personal computer revolution, including Bill Atkinson, Bill Budge, Doug Carlston, John Draper, Andrew Fluegelman, Lee Felsenstein, Richard Greenblatt, Andy Hertzfeld, David Hughes, Susan Kare, Richard Stallman, Bob Wallace, Robert Woodhead, Steve Wozniak, and others.

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Franchescanado
Feb 23, 2013

I AM A STUPIDLY SEXY WOLFMAN



Grimey Drawer

The Steamroller and the Violin
1961 | dir. Andrei Tarkovsky
46 minutes

Seven year old Sasha practices violin every day to satisfy the ambition of his parents. Already withdrawn as a result of his routines, Sasha quickly regains confidence when he accidentally meets and befriends worker Sergei, who works on a steamroller in their upscale Moscow neighborhood.





YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XyLwv33zhTg
Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/432002354
Criterion Channel: https://www.criterionchannel.com/the-steamroller-and-the-violin
Letterboxd: https://letterboxd.com/film/the-steamroller-and-the-violin/

The film was Tarkovsky's diploma film at the State Institute of Cinematography. Tarkovsky earned the grade of excellent (Russian: отличный), the highest possible distinction.

Franchescanado fucked around with this message at 19:53 on Apr 20, 2021

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