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Il Sorpasso (Italian for "the overtaking"; English: The Easy Life) is a 1962 Italian cult movie comedy film co-written and directed by Dino Risi and starring Vittorio Gassman, Jean-Louis Trintignant and Catherine Spaak.

It is considered Risi's masterpiece and one of the more famous examples of Commedia all'italiana film genre.

The film starts in a hazy, sun-baked and seemingly empty Rome on an August morning during Ferragosto holiday. A young, timid law student, Roberto (Trintignant), gazing out his window, is asked for trivial favor, a phone call, by a 40-ish man named Bruno (Gassman), who is passing on the street below at the wheel of a convertible Lancia Aurelia.

The young man tells him to come up and make the call himself. After Bruno fails to contact his friends — he is running a full hour late for his meeting with them, something he apparently doesn't find a good motive for them to have "abandoned" him— he insists on repaying Roberto's courtesy with an aperitivo. Tired of studying for the day and falling prey to Bruno's enthusiasm, the young man accepts.

Thus begins a cruise along the Via Aurelia, the Roman road that also gives the name to Bruno's beloved car. Roberto is unwilling or unable to part from this casual acquaintance despite having almost nothing in common with him. Bruno is loud, brash, risk taking, a bit coarse and a braggart, to boot. He drives recklessly, speeding and constantly attempting "il Sorpasso" — the impatient and aggressive practice of serial tailgating and honking to overtake other cars on the road. But he is also charming and likable. And Roberto, being his complete opposite, feels drawn to Bruno's impulsive, devil-may-care attitude.

Over two days of highs and lows across the coasts of Lazio and Tuscany, the two men fall into various adventures while gradually managing to learn something of each other.

When, for example, the duo spontaneously drops in on Roberto's relatives, en route, the young law student suddenly realizes that his childhood wasn't as golden as he'd always imagined. And later he finds out about Bruno's failed marriage and young daughter, revealing a life not nearly as carefree as Bruno pretends to lead.

When this free-wheeling road-trip movie crescendos to its dramatic ending, the bonding and emerging friendship between the two men is cut short. Spurred on by a seemingly transformed Roberto, Bruno speeds while attempting to overtake another car on the blind curve of a cliffside road.

This risky maneuver results in a fatal accident. The younger man goes over a rocky cliff in the car, leaving a bloodied and shocked Bruno on the curve's edge. When a motorway cop arrives and asks Bruno for Roberto's last name, the survivor realizes he does not even know it.

The movie is considered as one of the best examples of Commedia all'Italiana. Film critics frequently acknowledge that the story offers a poignant portrait of Italy in the early 1960s, when the "economic miracle" (dubbed the "boom" — using the actual English word — by the local media) was starting to transform the country from a traditionally agricultural and family-centered society into a shallower, individualistic and consumeristic one.

The Roman customizer crew Emporio Elaborazioni Meccaniche dedicated a customized bike to the movie. They named a MotoGuzzi V11 cafe racer: "Sorpasso".

DINO RISI, the Italian writer-director known here only for "Poor But Beautiful" ("Poveri Ma Belli"), shown in New York five years ago, has improved immensely to judge by "The Easy Life" ("Il Sorpasso"), which arrived at the Festival Theater yesterday.

For his examination of an aimless wastrel and his destructive effect on an idealistic youngster and others, he merely touches on his flight from responsibility in a seemingly simple and obvious, yet sensitive commentary on what certainly are universal faults.

Call this a comedy-drama in which the comedy is only a surface symptom. Basically, Mr. Risi and his scenarists are telling the story of Bruno, a youthful but middle-aged happy-go-lucky type, who adores his fast white roadster as much as he does the girls and the self-indulgent life it symbolizes.

This is also the story of Roberto, an ill-fated serious, Caspar Milquetoast-type of Roman law student who is drawn, quite casually, into Bruno's swift orbit for two days during which he loses not only his perspectives and ideals but also his life.

It starts, quite innocently, when the older man, Bruno, is invited to use Roberto's phone and he cavalierly invites the young man out for a drink. It is summer and the only care Bruno seems to have is the next turn in the road and the next girl.

The breakneck journey takes the pair from one spa to the next, with each stop proving an intellectual jolt to Roberto, who slowly discovers that his companion is a cadger, a braggart and an iconoclast who is ready to expose even the skeletons in the closets of the relatives Roberto reveres.

And our hurtling hero is exposed also by his own estranged family and his shady deals so that even he intermittently admits his faults and his gnawing loneliness.

In creating this upper middle-class "La Dolce Vita," Mr. Risi has given us a quick jaunt through the Italian Riviera, as well as his perceptive views of life among the vacationing bourgeois. The views and the girls are extremely photogenic and the headlong dash toward fun and games would appear to be obvious and somewhat pointless if they did not add up to a dramatic whole.

But Mr. Risi's fast-paced direction and, more important, the truths he underlines, give his uncluttered film meaning and poignancy as well as mere speed. He is fortunate in his principals, too. Vittorio Gassman makes a superbly brash, coarse, hail-fellow-well-met Bruno who, in one of his rare moments of honest sadness, warns Roberto away from his "easy life" because "I've never had a real friend."

As the diffident, introspective Roberto, Jean-Louis Trintignant, who has been seen here in a variety of French films, is excellent as his opposite number, an impressionable youngster whose shame and fears finally turn to admiration of his strange friend's "easy life."

Catherine Spaak is both cute and wise as Mr. Gassman's teen-age daughter. Luciana Angiolillo, as his estranged wife who long ago discovered his frailties, is both handsome and forceful. And Linda Sini and Corrado Olmi, as Mr. Trintignant's rustic relatives, add touching portraits to an impressive gallery.

The English subtitles miss quite a bit of the earthy humor and patois of the Italian dialogue, but that is a minor defect. This unpretentious focus on "The Easy Life" results in compassionate and memorable drama.

It is a preposterous idea. Untold centuries ago, when all the world was a desert of wind-whipped, blood-orange sand, and leopards lounged lazily in barren trees and arrogantly ruled all they could see, a few members of the puny race of human beings made their own accommodation with the fearsome beasts.

They sacrificed their women to them. And the leopards did not kill the women, but mated with them. From those mists of prehistory, the race they created lives even today: The Cat People.

These people have had a hard time of it. They have the physical appearance of ordinary humans, except for something feline around the eyes and a certain spring in their step. They have all the mortal appetites, too, but there are complications when they make love, because in the heat of orgasm they are transformed into savage black leopards and kill their human lovers.

They should mate only with their own kind. But as our story opens, there are only two Cat People -- and, like their parents before them, they are brother and sister. This is the stuff of audacious myth, combining the perverse, the glorious, and the ridiculous. The movies were invented to tell such stories.

Paul Schrader's "Cat People" moves boldly between a slice-of-life in present-day New Orleans and the windswept deserts where the Cat People were engendered, and his movie creates a mood of doom, predestination, forbidden passion, and, to be sure, a certain silliness. It's fun in the way horror movies should be fun; it's totally unbelievable in between the times it's scaring the popcorn out of you.

Nastassja Kinski stars as the young sister, Irena. She is an orphan, reunited in New Orleans with her long-lost brother, Paul (Malcolm McDowell). She also is a virgin, afraid of sex and liquor because they might unleash the animal inside of her. (Little does she suspect that is literally what would happen.) She is tall, with a sensual mouth, wide-set green eyes, and a catlike walk.

She catches the attention of the curator at the New Orleans zoo (John Heard). He senses danger in her. He also senses that this is the creature he has been waiting for all his life -- waiting for her as the leopards in their cells wait, expecting nothing, ready for anything.

We have here, then, a most complex love triangle. Kinski fears her brother because she fears incest. She fears the curator but loves him. To love him is, eventually, to kill him.

The curator is in love with the idea of her threat, but does not realize she really will turn into a leopard and rend his flesh. There are some supporting characters: Annette O'Toole is the sensible friend who senses danger, and Ed Begley, Jr. is the lackadaisical custodian whose arm is ripped from its socket.

You shouldn't mess with leopards. Schrader tells his story in two parallel narratives. One involves the deepening relationships among the sister, the brother, and the curator. The other, stunningly photographed, takes place in an unearthly terrain straight from Frank Herbert's Dune books.

The designer, Ferdinando Scarfiotti, and the veteran special-effects artist, Albert Whitlock, have created a world that looks completely artificial, with its drifting red sands and its ritualistic tableau of humans and leopards -- and yet looks realistic in its fantasy. In other words, you know this world is made up, but you can't see the seams; it's like the snow planet in "The Empire Strikes Back."

"Cat People" moves back and forth between its mythic and realistic levels, held together primarily by the strength of Kinski's performance and John Heard's obsession. Kinski is something. She never overacts in this movie, never steps wrong, never seems ridiculous; she just steps onscreen and convincingly underplays a leopard.

Heard also is good. He never seems in the grip of an ordinary sexual passion, but possesses one of those obsessions men are willing (and often are called upon) to die for.

"Cat People" is a good movie in an old tradition, a fantasy-horror film that takes itself just seriously enough to work, has just enough fun to be entertaining, contains elements of intrinsic fascination in its magnificent black leopards, and ends in one way just when we were afraid it was going to end in another.

I had never really heard many half-snorts before. Snorts, yes, and silence. But what do you make of an audience that has no idea how to react? "Black Snake Moan" is the oddest, most peculiar movie I've seen about sex and race and redemption in the Deep South. It may be the most peculiar recent movie ever except for "Road House," but then what can you say about "Road House"? Such movies defy all categories.

The movie -- I will try to be concise -- stars Samuel L. Jackson as a broken-down blues musician and vegetable market gardener whose wife has just walked out. On the road leading to his property he finds the battered body of a young white girl, whose injuries hardly seem curable by the cough syrup he barters fresh vegetables for at the drugstore. The girl is Rae (Christina Ricci); it is no coincidence that Jackson's character is named Lazarus, and Lazarus determines to return her from near death or whooping cough, one or the other. No saint himself, he wants to redeem her from a life of sluttery.

His technique, with a refreshing directness, is to chain her to a radiator. Good thing he lives way out in the wilderness. Lazarus and Rae have no sex per se, but they do a powerful lot of slapping, cursing and chain-rattling, and the reaction of the blue-collar town on Market Day is a study. I think the point is that Lazarus and Rae somehow redeem each other through these grotesqueries, a method I always urge be used with extreme caution.

The performances are very good: Hell-bent for leather, and better than the material deserves, there is much hysteria and snot. The writer-director, Craig Brewer, made that other splendid story of prostitution and redemption, "Hustle & Flow," with its Oscar-winning song ("It's Hard Out Here for a Pimp") In fact, I pretty much enjoyed the whole movie, with some incredulity and a few half-snorts.

Both "Black Snake Moan" and "Hustle & Flow" are about neglected characters living on the fringe who find a healing in each other. Both movies use a great deal of music to illustrate the souls of their characters.

We sense that the girl has never been treated other than in a beastly manner, and that the man, having lost his wife, is determined not to allow sex to betray his instincts to do good. Yes, I think it is probably against the law to chain a drifter to a radiator, but in a sense these people exist outside the law, society and common or any kind of sense. Their society consists of the usual locals who seem clueless and remarkably unobservant, leading to remarkable non sequiturs.

There is another woman, the middle-aged pharmacist named Angela, played by the sweet S. Epatha Merkerson, to provide Lazarus an alternative to a life of sluts and tramps. But, as for Rae -- well, I gather that when compulsive nymphomania passes a certain point, you're simply lost.

After Rae says goodbye to her boyfriend Ronnie (played by pop star Justin Timberlake), who has enlisted in the service for cloudy reasons, she immediately falls to the ground and starts writhing as if under attack by fire ants. This is her way of conveying uncontrollable, orgiastic need. A girl that needy, you'd approach like Miss RoboCop.

I love the way that both Samuel Jackson and Christina Ricci take chances like this, and the way that Brewer creates characters of unbelievable forbearance, like Ronnie, who is in a more or less constant state of panic attacks and compulsion. And I like the understated way the rural Tennessee locations are used. You have never seen a movie like this before. Then again, you may not hope to. Some good blues music helps carry the day.

I heard some days after the screening that Jackson considers this his best performance. Well, maybe it is. He disappears into the role, and a good performance requires energy, daring, courage and intensity, which he supplies in abundance. Few actors could accomplish work at this level with this screenplay. As for Christina Ricci, she is the right actor for this role; she embodies this poor, mixed-up creature and lets you experience both her pain and her hope. Her work defines the boundaries of the thankless.

Black Snake Moan's Faux Provocation. It has been a clarifying year for young auteurs. Smokin' Aces showed Joe Carnahan as a flailing vaudevillian, Breach reinforced Billy Ray as a stolid analyst of true-life enigmas, now Black Snake Moan establishes Craig Brewer as a faux-provocateur and resolute wigger cineaste. His follow-up to Hustle & Flow continues the white-guy infatuation with the South as a heated canvas of music and black bravado, consistent not just thematically but stylistically: The low-angled camera which gave an upskirt view of Taryn Manning in Hustle has been expanded into a full tour of Christina Ricci's undies.

Brewer kicks off with Ricci and beau Justin Timberlake in a feverish bout of goodbye-sex as he's about to head over to the Army, he vomits in a toilet before leaving and she drops to her knees as his van pulls away; elsewhere in the same Tennessee burg, Samuel L. Jackson experiences a harsh parting of his own, losing his religion after being dumped by a two-timing wife. The fucking, the puking, the squabbling, everything is slathered with vivid, Elia Kazan-type physicality, one of Brewer's strengths --

Jackson pins his cuckolding brother on a pool table with a cracked beer bottle and wipes the blood from his hand on his white beard, while Ricci marches her itchy cooch into town, gets smashed at a beer keg party, and collapses out of the frame as the whole screen is drenched blue. The meeting of the two wounded creatures is arranged when Ricci is left battered and half-naked in a ditch near Jackson's place; he breaks her fever and, since she's a nympho who can't keep from diddling herself, chains her --

I literally mean chains her-- to his radiator, "I aim to cure you of yo wickedness." "Ain't no cure for the blues like some good pussy," some barfly intones, and for a patch Black Snake Moan snaps and crackles with comic verve. The serpentine chain wrapped around Ricci's waist is a brazen joke that feeds on intimations of bondage, slavery, and kinky sex, richly flaunted in the confrontational poster; Jackson yanks the scrawny bobcat in heat into the living room, Ricci yanks back after stretching just enough to reveal the skin underneath her Dixie-adorned tanktop.

Had the atmosphere -- fraught with the tension of power plays and the still-taboo possibility of interracial sex -- been pushed further, the picture might have burned like Larry Cohen's Bone or Jane Campion's Holy Smoke, vehement comedies of cultural anxiety brought to the surface. But Brewer's provocation is hollow, so he hides unearthed raw nerves behind humdrum humanism, with any real danger safely circumscribed for viewers: The town slut just needs a bit of exorcism from a churchy father figure, the embittered blues singer just needs to tend to some wounds before being able to pick up his guitar again:

"Git yo shit together," the chaste healing is clinched as Jackson rasps out the title song with Ricci hugging his leg, Miss Daisy lives! (About Brewer's use of the blues -- footage of the legendary Son House opens the picture, but anybody who lets "Stagolee" be ad-libbed with mother fuckers" has about as soulful an understanding of the music's raunchy force as John Landis in The Blues Brothers.) The gal who at the outset flipped off the tractor looming behind her is "cured" into docility, and passed from one man to another, climactically. It's not so hard out here for a pimp, not in Hollywood.

The Black Snake Moan poster might be a tough sell in Hicksville, but the one for 300 should play like gangbusters -- an ecstatically sunburst vision of bodies being pushed off a cliff, "Prepare for glory" as ad copy. It's fascinating to watch the two back to back. An aestheticized massacre will always be less threatening than miscegenation in a society where violence is still more acceptable than sexuality, yet both pictures are equally neck-deep in racial and sexual tensions; the difference is that Snake flashes them like the floozy at the ballroom while 300 keeps them leashed like the athlete prior to the big game, or like the rifleman who inexorably goes postal.

South of Hell is a 2015 American supernatural horror drama television series starring Mena Suvari. The series was ordered by WE tv with a straight eight episode pick up, with seven episodes airing back-to-back on November 27, 2015.

In Charleston, South Carolina, Maria and David Abascal are demon hunters for hire. In Maria's body resides a demon called Abigail, who feeds off the evil that Maria exorcises of others. As Maria does her job of vanquishing evil, she must find a way to exorcise Abigail out of her body. But getting rid of Abigail is not an easy task, as she finds it immensely appealing to reside deep within a conflicted soul such as Maria's.

Ti West, Rachel Talalay, Jennifer Lynch and Jeremiah Chechik have been tapped to direct individual episodes. The show's opening credits theme song is "Wild Side" by the band Cross My Heart Hope To Die.

Mena Suvari in an Eli Roth-produced demonic drama that's being dumped on Black Friday? It's gotta be good! It takes neither a TV critic nor a fortune teller to read the tea leaves on WEtv's South of Hell.

If you're a network with minimal experience in the scripted space and you give a splashy straight-to-series order for a supernatural horror drama from a prolific genre producer (Jason Blum) and an established genre director (Eli Roth) with a recognizable star (Mena Suvari), deciding to release all of the series at once — trimmed to only seven episodes — on the day after Thanksgiving counts as a vote of minimal confidence.

Based on two episodes, it's easy to see why WEtv had no particular clue what to do with South of Hell. Whatever WEtv's brand is, this isn't it, nor is it likely to open the network up to a future niche.

It isn't scary. It looks comically cheap at times. The performances range from inconsistent to fairly awful. And unless the Emmys open up a category for Outstanding Use of Multi-Colored Contact Lenses, it's unlikely to get any real respect.

But as a representative of a subgenre already prone to overflowing hokum draped in Spanish moss, smothered in grits and delivered with Southern accents learned from a "Hooked on Keanu Reeves" tape series, South of Hell at least gets credit for some so-bad-it's-funny silliness to go with a premise which really could have been shaped into something better.

The hook is tasty: Maria (Suvari) makes her money reading tarot cards and selling fake mystical trinkets at a Charleston flea market, but she's really a demon-hunter with a unique qualification: Maria is harboring a green-eyed demon named Abigail who enjoys nothing so much as munching on the souls of other demons.

Maria can barely control Abigail, which is where brother David (Zachary Booth) comes in. David is able to keep Maria's demon under control, but he can't control his own drug addiction. See how this works? It's a metaphor drowned in metaphorical gravy and then deep-fried in metaphorically scalding oil.

Created by Matt Lambert, South of Hell also features Bill Irwin as Maria and David's crazed cult-leader father, Lamman Rucker as a priest with a personal interest in helping Maria and Dexter veteran Lauren Velez as a mystery woman presumably hiding demons, metaphorical or otherwise, of her own.

In addition to Velez, the Dexter connection on South of Hell includes showrunner James Manos, Jr. and a voiceover that you badly want to slap across its disembodied face.

See, the reason the Dexter voiceover worked was that it came from the perspective of a perpetually ironic character who was always questioning his humanity. Dexter could utter cliches and they'd sound wry and reflective coming from Michael C. Hall.

Booth, however, cannot find any way to sell voiceover such as "The world's a hard place to face alone and old habits die hard, like a tune you just can't get out of your head" in any way that doesn't just sound like bad writing.

I get the desire, in a show this extreme, to have the POV be an unremarkable character, but there's a difference between unremarkable and a character who is too bland to respond to anything in an interesting way.

South of Hell's writers and directors — Eli Roth and Rachel Talalay in the episodes I've seen, with Jennifer Lynch, Jeremiah Chechik and Ti West to come — share a general lack of interest in the non-supernatural elements and characters in the series, and Booth and his performance are only the most

Rucker's in-the-know reverend is a wooden bore, Lydia Hearst is amusingly uncomfortable as an alluring belle and Maria's trailer-park neighbor (Drew Moerlein) snoozes through playing a character whose name probably should just be Beefcake instead of Dusty.

While the prospect of playing both Maria and demonic invader Abigail seems like it ought to be enticing for Suvari, her more general interpretation appears to be closer to miserable discomfort, which may be related to either those contact lenses or the strangeness of playing a possessed version of someone bringing a human version of themself to orgasm while sharing a couch. Yes, South of Hell is that kind of show.

It's also the kind of program that has a possessed child, again encumbered by wacky contact lenses, informing an adversary, "Bitch, I eat souls for breakfast!" which surely would be one of the most quoted TV lines of 2015, except nobody is going to watch South of Hell. And while he may or may not be incubating a malingering spirit of his own, Irwin's character gives the Tony-winning actor the chance to be hammy at a level that exceeds his oft-hammy career norms.

South of Hell only comes to life in the exorcism or demon-related scenes, which steal from William Friedkin's genre-defining classic with abandon and seem to rely heavily on people wrestling on walls or ceilings while simultaneously wrestling with their contact lenses. More advanced effects like a soaring horde-of-insects cam and something where demons seem to speak through prisoners as static are more rudimentary, but there's a chance they could be spruced up for air.

Even at moments of peak lunacy, South of Hell falls well short of what Ash vs Evil Dead is doing on a weekly basis on Starz. Presumably WEtv is dumping South of Hell post-Thanksgiving rather than the more justifiable post-Halloween to get distance from that Sam Raimi-produced success, as if this will be the perfect time for fans of Marriage Boot Camp, Braxton Family Values and Tamar & Vince to switch from unscripted to badly scripted horror.

Suspiria: Movie Review Release Date: February 1, 1977 Sub-Genre: Supernatural Country of Origin: Italy Budget: $13,000,000

Box Office:$1,800,000 (US/ Canada), ITL 1,430,000,000 (Italy) Running Time: 98 minutes
Director: Dario Argento Producer: Claudio Argento, Salvatore Argento

Screenplay: Dario Argento, Daria Nicolodi Based on Suspiria de Profundis by Thomas De Quincey Special Effects: Germano Natali Cinematography: Luciano Tovoli Score: Goblin, Dario Argento

Editing: Franco Fraticelli Production Design: Giuseppe Bassan Studio: Seda Spettacoli Distributors: EMI (UK), Anchor Bay Entertainment (DVD), Blue Underground (UK), Magnum Entertainment (VHS), Nouveaux Pictures (Blu-Ray)

Stars: Jessica Harper, Stefania Casini, Flavio Bucci, Miguel Bosé, Barbara Magnolfi, Susanna Javicoli, Eva Axén, Rudolf Schündler, Udo Kier, Alida Valli, Joan Bennett, Margherita Horowitz, Jacopo Mariani, Fulvio Mingozzi Narrator: Dario Argento (uncredited) Suggested Audio Candy:

“Broken Mirrors, Broken Minds” How does a ten-year-old boy even attempt to process a film such as Suspiria? That was precisely my age when I received my formal introduction to Dario Argento’s surreal nightmare. Did I understand what was playing out before my eyes?

I certainly had a vague idea but, as the end credits rolled and I shuffled off to my bed for further reflection, I don’t think I yet realized the magnitude of my undertaking. It wasn’t the first horror film I had watched but it was perhaps the first to throw up far more questions than it was willing to provide the answers for.

I may have been too wet behind the ears to reach inside and grasp it by its beating heart, but I certainly couldn’t shake its shadow from the darkest recess of my room as I laid my head down. If Argento’s movie taught me one thing then that was the immense power of avant garde cinema.

Thirty years down the line and still I struggle to think of a film quite as effortlessly macabre and cerebral. I’m used to movies getting under my skin and, at thirty-one, have had more than enough experience of the grotesque.

However, few pieces of art are quite as individual as Suspiria, and the only other example I can think of is Inferno, which also happens to be the second in his Mother of Tears trilogy. As fantastic as that film is, and as monumental as its underwater ballroom scene is, it’s not the ballet school.

I never much cared for ballet and would imagine that has something to do with the fact that Argento paid my nightmare tuition fees and I turned up there every night like clockwork until the age of fifteen. To be fair to Dario, Goblin are just as culpable.

Again, how does a ten-year-old boy even attempt to process their nightmarish renditions?
Just the name Dario Argento is enough to strike fear into most mortal hearts. Over the past forty years, this man has been a true innovator in his chosen field; inside of whom is a great artist and tortured soul both frantic to get out.

This is the man who harbors a peculiar obsession with his own daughter, the stunning Asia, to the point that he casts her unclothed in many of his works. Clearly this man has some unresolved childhood traumas wired in there with that embarrassing wealth of twisted raw talent and therein lies the key to his eminence.

You see, few can channel their anguish in quite such an exclusive manner and, while his later work may lack a certain artistic flair evident in his most prolific period, he is still dedicated to expressing himself deep into his seventies.

In many ways, he’s like horror’s own Woody Allen. If that is so, then Suspiria would be his Annie Hall. Dario was not content with helping to pioneer the Italian horror insurgency, not to mention weighing in with some classic giallo heavyweights and spearheading the charge for their very own cinematic progeny.

He wasn’t satisfied with being known for this alone and decided he wanted to probe deeper into the vaults of people’s deepest dread and insecurity. Not only this but it was clear to him that his knack for staging terrifying floor shows and striking broad bloody strokes across his canvas, was wasted unless he explored more unearthly inspirations.

He had to go deep and Profondo Rosso revealed a man already teetering over his own worst imaginings but for Suspiria he finally took that leap and squared up to his demons. For any freshmen, Suspiria is a blood-drenched fairy tale of a coven of witches masquerading as a prestigious German dance academy.

Argento’s stimulation come from fables told by the grandmother of fellow screenwriter Daria Nicolodi, who allegedly fled from a German music academy herself because necromancy was being surreptitiously practiced there.

American student Suzy Bannion (Jessica Harper) arrives in the dead of night and torrential rain looking to enroll in one of the most magnificent opening scenes from the entire annals of horror. Shadows whisper, the incessant rain appears to be conferring too

and all the while Goblin are tapping at the doors of our mind, laughing grimly as they do. Their score was played at full volume on-set to needle the cast and extract truly fearful performances from them. It’s a truly hellish piece of music.

One of the factors which Suspiria is celebrated for is its exquisite production design and lurid coloration. Argento uses striking primary tones, red in particular, to filter the fear through and cinematographer Luciano Tovoli works with his vision beautifully to create an insular hell hole unlike any other.

Tovoli was advised to watch Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs beforehand and to then remodel the color scheme. In addition, it was the first Italian film to make use of Steadicam, so it is visible just how invested he was to creating something truly commemorative.

His passion bleeds through the deep reds and his own cold terror dances around the somber blues also providing a banquet for the retinas. Naturally, it also features beautiful women, another ever-present and, to be fair, not totally exclusive with this particular Italian stallion.

A population of highly sexed alpha-males demanded no less than a quota of at least one siren-like beauty to accompany their linguine and Dario gleefully obliges. Harper had impressed him so much with her turn as Phoenix in Brian De Palma’s Phantom of The Paradise that he snapped her up on the quick and those large peepers captivate between every blink.

Every time she sleeps, Argento’s roving lens goes walkabout and we are given advanced warning as to what kind of hideous acts play out each night while her aching body heals. The rest of the time we’re Suzy’s spotters and she conveys her horror magnanimously throughout.

Argento also pushes the envelope here in terms of the beautiful bright red stuff. Profondo Rosso had already ruffled a few feathers and the censors were starting to sit up and take notice. His solid giallo Tenebrae was destined to land him in the dock for its notorious arm dismemberment

but just how any censor could dare touch this man’s scientific art is a concept I will never be comfortable with. Suspiria has a suitably atmospheric and grisly opening. Actually, I feel that this is doing it an injustice. The opening drips ominous darkness like a leaky faucet.

His use of audio, silence as much as score-driven, instantaneously whisks us away into a small corner of his splendidly deranged psyche and pins us down, forcing us all to take in the sublime beauty in his beast.

It doesn’t stop there though…oh no! Dario hasn’t finished with us yet. Suspiria features many distressing instances throughout its duration and, for each, he uses a different shade in his wide palette to apply that distorted genius.

The witches are hinted at rather than shown for the main part and this benefits the experience substantially. Without always looking toward visceral shocks and cheap jump tactics to achieve his desired effect, he is enabled to focus on taking that scene further into his own mind, where the limitations are considerably reduced.

One particular standout scene featuring a vortex of barbed wire, set against a striking blue backdrop, draws out the tension for a number of minutes and you feel your insides tangling up like our onscreen fly in her proverbial web.

A popular saying has always been that “you are your own worst enemy” thus, should you feed your brain ninety minutes of his phantasm, then said mind may well play cruel tricks on you for weeks afterwards. Both haunting and beautiful in equal measures, Suspiria has become known, not for its wayward narrative but for the delightfully composed set-pieces, brimming with vivid coloration

and accompanied by strings of torment. Currently Luca Guadagnino is set to attempt the long-rumored remake intended for release in 2017. Should this actually come to fruition, then he may just be the bravest man on the planet, and I wish him well with such an unenviable task.

After all these years and so many subsequent views, there still isn’t any other film that I’m aware of that is quite like it. For The Grue-Guzzlers: The wonderfully horrific opening features plenty of Argento’s delicious deep red alongside some truly affecting imagery.

However, Dario’s gory set-pieces are drip fed and so stunningly composed that it becomes hard to refer to it as actual grue. My fascination for sanguine fluids actually stemmed from watching Suspiria for the first of many times.

Goddamn, I owe this man a mochaccino. If that’s what it takes to get a shot at Asia.

Marc Levie's THE PRAYING MANTIS (LE FESTIN DE LA MANTE) begins with the reminder that "for the praying mantis, killing the mate is part of survival." As Sylvia, a human praying mantis, actress Lou Broclain gives the best erotic performance as a non-human since Nastassja Kinski in CAT PEOPLE. But when she's not naked, it's the movie rather than her mate that's dead. This sensuous fairy tale for adults involves Sylvia and her two prey, Julien (Yann Chely), her cellist boyfriend, and Patrick (Sacha Kollich), the daredevil who pursues her like a wild animal only to find himself as the catch.

When Sylvia feels the devil -- or whatever it is -- coming over her, she banishes Julien from her bed. Trying to be the original alpha male, Patrick quickly takes his place. At first he thinks he has died and gone to heaven. He is having great sex with a gorgeous woman in her beautiful estate. What more could he ask? Safe sex would be one.

Sylvia is very physical in bed, biting lips, using her nails like ten sharp knives and choking her guys until they turn blue. THE PRAYING MANTIS has a lot in common with snuff films with the chief distinction being the high level of the production values. THE PRAYING MANTIS is sumptuously set and filmed. It's too bad that they couldn't have found more interesting things to say or do when not running around naked.

THE PRAYING MANTIS runs a long 1:36. The film is in French with English subtitles. It is not rated but would be R for sex, nudity and violence and would be acceptable for older teenagers. The film was shown as part of San Jose's Cinequest Film Festival (www.Cinequest.org), which ran March 3-14, 2004

While driving through the south of Belgium, the violoncellist Julien meets the mysterious and gorgeous Sylvia on the road and he immediately has a crush on her. They move together to his huge house and Julien builds a greenhouse for Sylvia in the field of his real state, where becomes her favorite place. One day, Sylvia has a strange behavior with Julien and asks him to stay alone at home.

When Julien leaves the house, she goes to a construction nearby her property and brings to her house the daredevil biker Patrick that is working in the building, playing erotic games with him. When Julien returns home, he surprises the couple having sex and the upset Julien leaves the place, going to the house of his friend and also musician Jean. But Julien is consumed by his passion for Sylvia, and when she tells him that she loves him, he understands her predatory need of life force of her mate.

Title: Le Festin De La Mante
Release Date: March 10, 2004
Runtime: 96 mins
Genre: Romance
All Genres: Romance, Sci-Fi, Thriller
Languages: French
Country: Belgium

Marc Levie
Lou Broclain ...Sylvia
yann Chely ...Julien
Sasa Nikolic ...Patrick (as Sacha Kollich)
Adele Jacques ...Claudine
Hugues Hausman ...Alain
Michel de Warzee ...Georges
Serge Swysen ...Jean
Renaud Boucquey ...L'homme du cimetiere
Samuel Lemaire ...L'homme a la caleche
Stephane Shoukroun ...L'homosexuel (as Stephane Schoukroun)
Felix Verbist ...Le cure
Ulysse Waterlot ...Le chef d'orchestre

Frederic Chanteux
Marc Levie
Marc Levie
Erik Vandebosch
Laurent Mersch
Ulysse Waterlot

'At the end of the copulation, the praying mantis eats its partner.' By Jean-Henri Fabre, 1823-1915 this fantasy film of love, sacrifice and the hunt tells the story of a beautiful woman who is cursed with the instinct of a praying mantis. The growing force inside her compels her to go on the hunt for a man to consume. Although terrified, she will do anything to keep the man she loves from death including searching for a young man willing to give his life for her.

Julien’s intensely romantic relationship with the mysterious Sylvia unravels when she senses the instinct of a praying mantis growing inside her. Terrified and unwilling to harm the man she loves, Sylvia searches for another lover, and the result is an engaging exploration of the connection between eroticism and self-sacrifice.

Director Marc Levie tempers fantastic images with familiar psychological insights. Sylvia’s lovers represent opposing sides of the masculine psyche: the faithful and sensitive Julien set against the risk-taking womanizer Patrick.

Similarly, Sylvia, who moves effortlessly between tenderness and cruelty, illustrates the extremes of the feminine personality. A perfect blend of the ordinary with the extraordinary adds incredible depth to this.

The supporting cast and the principle actors - Lou Broclain (Sylvia), Yann Chely (Julien), and Sacha Kollich (Patrick) - give moving performances, making each moment true to life, despite the story’s mythic narrative.

These performances combined with the poetic vision of Marc Levie and Michel Van Laer’s lush renderings of the French landscape make The Praying Mantis an unforgettable experience.

A rather off-beat delight from Belgium, Praying Mantis seemingly starts in a merely quirky manner before fully morphing into a somewhat chaotic supernatural story. Admittedly I didn't realize there were supernatural themes before seeing the movie but having them come as a surprise probably added to the story which is, at face value, simple enough: a man meets a strange woman on the side of the road, takes her home and they start a relationship of sorts.

But she is not what she seems and despite an obvious affection for him rebuffs his sexual advances only to accept a rogue into her 'bed' instead. But who is the real predator here? Well of course SHE is.

Although the film fails to make a lot of things clear and leaves a number of questions unanswered, the overall storyline is quite compelling as it really is an exploration of people's emotions and their reactions to their desires and love.

From the besotted 'hero' willing to give up everything even once he discovers the truth, to the poor girlfriend of the local daredevil who will sleep with anything and anyone, it's an interesting emotional montage.

However probably my favourite part of this flick is the simply delightful initial sex scene where the director flexes his creative muscles to emphasise not only the predatory nature of his femme fatale but the similarities between human mating and the mating dances of animals.

A seemingly playful blindfolded foreplay descends into a choreographed dance that is part animal, part graceful ballet. You almost forget the nudity it's so well done.

It's a theme that is later repeated in the background in one of the more surreal cinematic moments of all-time: where we have our hero playing the cello in the snow (during a heatwave) while his love cavorts ballet-style naked with her lover in a greenhouse in the background. Very impressive.

Overall this was an intriguing and enjoyable experience.

So much so that you're willing to overlook the lack of explanation of a few key elements such as her background (probably not necessary in truth), the hero's discovery of his own corpse, and the seeming discordant chronology with our woodnymph/siren/succubus.

  「就在交配完的尚,雌螳螂就把牠的配偶抓住,按照習慣先啃食頸部,然後一小口一小口有條不紊吃得只剩下翅膀。」—法布爾(1823-1915)•法 國昆蟲學家。


Motion pictures are an illusion. They aren't really made
of moving images at all, just a series of stills projected
at 24 frames per second. The motion is a trick created
with the help of shutters, lenses, a little sprocket device
known as the Maltese cross -- and the human brain,
through a phenomenon known as persistence of vision.

Jean-Luc Godard famously claimed that cinema is the
truth 24 times per second; Brian De Palma countered
that it's really 24 lies per second; and Pablo Picasso
offered the cosmic perspective that art is a lie that tells
the truth. All of these things -- tricks of the eye, mech
anical illusions, artistic skills, suspension of disbelief,
philosophical principles, metaphysical questions -- are
at the mysterious, romantic heart of "The Illusionist,"
written and directed by Neil Burger, and based on the
story "Eisenheim the Illusionist" by Steven Millhauser.

Like "F for Fake," the delightful meditation on art and
deception by Orson Welles, "The Illusionist" places the
very film you're watching at the center of the illusion.
There's an irony inherent in making a movie about magic,
since the photographic medium is discontinuous and sub
ject to post-production manipulations beyond those that
can be created before a live audience. But it also focuses
your attention elsewhere, on the illusory properties of
movies and storytelling, and how much we love to be
dazzled by illusions in art, politics, religion, and other

This coolly entertaining turn-of-the-century fable, told
mostly in flashback by Vienna's Chief Inspector Uhl
(Paul Giamatti), concerns the political and philosop
hical duel between Eisenheim the Illusionist (Edward
Norton) and Crown Prince Leopold (Rufus Sewell).
Poised between them is the enchanting Sophie von
Teschen (Jessica Biel), furtive childhood soul mate
of Eisenheim and possible future princess of the
Austro-Hungarian Empire.

Leopold sees himself as a man of reason, certain that
Eisenheim (rhymes with "Eisenstein") is a fraud. But
the enigmatic Eisenheim may be an even better politi
cian than the volatile Machiavellian prince: He lets his
illusions speak for themselves, making no overt super
natural assertions but letting his audience interpret for
themselves -- a tactic that only enhances his mystical
renown, and his sway over the enraptured Viennese

Uhl, a narrator whose perspective is limited by what
he thinks he has pieced together about Eisenheim and
his shrouded past, is, like Sophie, caught up in the ten
sion between the magician and the monarch. He's not
an omniscient story teller -- like any detective, he just
fills in any gaps in the case with his instincts and

The movie sets up a fascinating parable about art,
religion and politics, and the misty boundaries
between them. Leopold sees Eisenheim's popularity
as a political threat to his plans to become king, and
Eisenheim repeatedly challenges the prince's authority
in his act, through indirection. Religious leaders seize
upon Eisenheim's apparent conjuring of spirits as both
a blow against empirical science and absolute proof of
the immortality of the soul -- as if the soul could ever
be validated through corporeal measures, or magic tricks.

A critic for a Viennese newspaper raves that the Eisenheim's
work transcends mere sleight-of-hand and approaches the
realm of art. So it does not seem like mere hyperbole when
the magician's manager introduces him by invoking "the
forces of the universe" -- life and death, space and time,
fate and chance. Those are, indeed, the stuff that dreams
-- and art, and illusions -- are made of. If "The Illusionist"
approaches the realm of art, its spell is heightened by a subtly
mesmerizing Philip Glass score and cinematographer Dick
Pope's flickering, sepia-tinted visuals, evoking early motion
pictures and 19th century daguerreotypes. In the (imagined)
scenes from Eisenheim's childhood, the edges of the frame
blur into shadows, surrounding the picture with mystery.

And as the movie peels back layers of its core conundrum,
the images and their colors become clearer and brighter.
In the early days of movies, the novelty of photographic
illusions wore off as audiences became accustomed to the
conventions of the new medium. Filmmakers soon discovered
perhaps the greatest cinematic special effect ever invented: the
movie star. The human face, if it's the right human face, can be
the most spellbinding of subjects, the actors' splendid faces are
at the heart of the dazzling illusions in "The Illusionist" -- the
mirrors in which the real magic is reflected. The screenplay and
direction aren't particularly strong (I would have loved to have
seen what Werner Herzog could have made with this material),
so it wouldn't be half as entertaining without the right actors.

As Sophie, Biel is beguiling but not ephemeral; she refuses to
conform to Victorian images of women as benign reflections of
men's desires. Sophie is a woman whose heart, mind and flesh
are her own. Sewell's mustachioed Leopold is at once formidable
and ridiculous, fearsome and pathetic. Edward Norton is an actor
of fierce intelligence, and with the lower half of his face masked
behind an impenetrable Van Dyke, and the rest framed by a sleek
black mane, his dark, penetrating irises conjure some of the film's
best effects. When he tells a volunteer from the audience to look
into his eyes and nowhere else, it's almost an in-joke. Where else
would you possibly look?

Faceless (film) 1987
Directed by Jesús Franco
Produced by René Chateau
Written by René Chateau
Jesus Franco
Michel Lebrun
Jean Mazarin
Pierre Ripert

Starring Helmut Berger
Brigitte Lahaie
Telly Savalas
Christopher Mitchum
Stéphane Audran
Music by Romano Musumarra
Cinematography Jean-Jacques Bouhon
Maurice Fellous

Edited by Christine Pansu
Release date
22 June 1988
Running time
98 minutes
Country France
Language English

Faceless is a 1988 French slasher film directed by Jesús Franco. The
film is about Dr. Flamand (Helmut Berger) and his assistant Nathalie
(Brigitte Lahaie) who lure unsuspecting victims to use their skin to
perform plastic surgery on the doctor's disfigured sister - a plot
reminiscent of Franco's first film, Gritos en la noche (1961). Hallen
(Telly Savalas) is a New York businessman who hires private detective

Sam Morgan (Chris Mitchum) to find his missing fashion model daughter
Barbara (Caroline Munro). Other elements of the story include a Nazi
doctor (Anton Diffring) and a chainsaw/power tool tormentor who are
called in by Dr. Flamand. Plot: A former patient of Dr. Frank Flamand
(Helmut Berger), a disfigured Mrs. Francoisis (Tilda Thamar) seeks revenge
for a botched operation by throwing acid at him but she misses and catches
his sister, Ingrid (Christiane Jean), full in the face, resulting in severe burns.

At a photo shoot in Paris, the doctor's assistant Nathalie (Brigitte
Lahaie) drugs and kidnaps Barbara Hallen (Caroline Munro) and
locks her in a room in the basement of Flamand's clinic. Whilst
checking on other kidnapped girls, a scuffle starts with Natalie
and Gordon (Gerard Zalcberg), who lives in the basement chops
off the girl's arms.

In New York City, Barbara's father Terry Hallen (Telly Savalas) is
desperately awaiting a news of his daughter and hires a private
detective, Sam Morgan (Chris Mitchum), to go and find her. Once
in Paris, Morgan visits a morgue with Brian Wallace (Daniel Grimm)
of the Paris police to see a decapitated body, but knows it is not
Barbara due to a missing mole.

Flamand and Nathalie go to see a surgeon Dr. Orloff (Howard Vernon)
about an operation to amputate Barbara's face and attach it to his
sister's Ingrid's face. Orloff tells them to track down Nazi doctor Karl
Heinz Moser (Anton Diffring). They return to find Barbara's face has
been badly cut by Gordon. Morgan interviews Barbara's photo
director Maxence (Marcel Philippot) and gets some information
through intimidation before Maxence's bouncer, Doudo (Tony Awak),
forces Morgan to flee.

Meanwhile, Flamand has kidnapped another woman, Melissa, to use
for the face transplant. Morgan updates Terry with information on
Barbara - that she was a prostitute and that she left with a gold watch.
Moser arrives for the operation, but destroys Melissa's donor face due
to complications and Flamand and Nathalie seek a replacement. At a
club they find an actress (Florence Guerin), trick her into going to the
clinic, drug her and hide her body.

Morgan traces a credit card belonging to Barbara Hallen to the Paris
suburb of Saint-Cloud, and to Flamand's clinic. At the clinic Morgan
sees a watch Natalie is wearing and later sees this in pictures at his
hotel as belonging to Barbara and decides to return to the clinic.

A nurse at the clinic enters the basement and finds all the girls locked
up. She is caught and killed by Gordon. At this moment Moser,
Flamand and Nathalie remove the actress's face and show it to Ingrid.

Morgan returns to the clinic and is attacked by Gordon but manages
to impale him on some hooks. Morgan finds keys and locates the girls
and Barbara but is locked in Barbara's cell with her by Natalie. Flamand,
Moser and Nathalie then brick up the cell. Barbara and Sam find them
selves trapped and gasping for air. Sam though has sent Terry a message
saying Terry, I traced Barbara to this clinic in Paris.

I'm going in tonight to look for her. If I don't leave a message in 12 hours,
send in the marines, Merry Christmas. Terry says to his office executive
Jenny, get me on the first flight to Paris!, in hopes to rescue the two.
Alternate ending: The original ending of the film involved Sam success
fully rescuing Barbara, and arresting Flamand, Nathalie, Moser, and
Ingrid, with Terry going to Paris to pick them up.

Jess Franco wanted a slightly different touch to make it different, so
while switching the ending around, this time it is mentioned that Terry
Hallen is going to Paris to the clinic, but it is left open, if he gets there
in time to save them or not.

Brad Pitt as Joe Black
Anthony Hopkins as William Parrish
Claire Forlani as Susan Parrish
Jake Weber as Drew
Marcia Gay Harden as Allison
Jeffrey Tambor as Quince
Directed by
Martin Brest

Written by
Ron Osborn
Jeff Reno
Kevin Wade
Bo Goldman
Drama, Fantasy, Mystery,
Science Fiction
Rated PG-13
174 minutes

Billionaire media mogul William Parrish is considering a
merger between his company and another media giant,
and is about to celebrate his 65th birthday with an elabor
ate party planned by his eldest daughter, Allison.

He begins to hear mysterious voices, which he tries with
increasing difficulty to ignore. His youngest daughter,
Susan, a resident in internal medicine, is in a relationship
with one of Parrish's board members, Drew.

She is considering marriage, but Parrish can tell she's not
passionately in love.

When she asks for the short version of his impassioned
speech, he simply says, "Stay open. Who knows?
Lightning could strike!"

Susan meets a vibrant young man at a coffee shop.

She is instantly enamored but fails to even get his name.

Minutes after their encounter (but unbeknownst to her),
the man is struck by multiple cars in what appears to be
a fatal motor vehicle accident.

Death arrives at Parrish's home in the uninjured body of
the young man, explaining that Parrish's impassioned
speech has piqued his interest.

Given Parrish's "competence, experience, and wisdom",
Death says that for as long as Will will be his guide on
Earth, Parrish will not have to die.

Making up a name on the spot, Death is introduced to the
family as "Joe Black".

Parrish's best efforts to navigate the next few days, knowing
them now to be his last, fail to keep events from going
rapidly out of his control.

Drew is secretly conspiring with a man bidding for Parrish

He capitalizes on Parrish's strange behavior and unexplained
reliance on Joe to convince the board of directors to vote
Parrish out as Chairman,

using information given to him inadvertently by Parrish's
son -in-law, Quince, to push through approval for the merger
which Parrish had decided to oppose. Quince is devastated.

Susan is confused by the appearance of Joe, believing him
to be the young man from the coffee shop, but eventually falls
deeply in love with him.

Joe is now under the influence of human desires and be
comes attracted to her as well.

After they make love, Joe asks Susan, "What do we do now?"
She replies, "It'll come to us."

Parrish angrily confronts him about his relationship with his
daughter, but Joe declares his intention to take Susan with
him for his own.

As his last birthday arrives, Parrish appeals
to Joe to recognize the meaning of true love
and all it encompasses, especially honesty
and sacrifice.

Joe comes to understand that he must set
aside his own desire and allow Susan to
live her life. He also helps Parrish regain
control of his company, exposing Drew's
underhanded business dealings to the
board by claiming to be an agent of the
Internal Revenue Service and threatening
to put Drew in jail.

The party is in full swing, with jazz music, cake and speech
by Parrish. He makes his peace with his daughters. Susan
tells Joe that she has loved him ever since that day in the
coffee shop.

Joe realises that Susan loves the unknown man, not him,
and the realization crushes him slightly. Even mastering
his emotions powerfully he balks at telling Susan who he
really is, although she seems to intuit his true identity.

(it is slightly hinted that she experienced a similar state of
feeling as the old lady from the hospital when Joe was
trying to "take away her pain").

She mentions feeling like taking off before realizing something
was off (that state of feeling Joe emanates).

Struggling to comprehend the
enormity of the situation, Susan
can not label Joe as Death. She
says finally, "You're . . . you're Joe".

He promises her "you will
always have what you found
in the coffee shop." On a hil
lock in the grounds above the
party in full swing below,
Parrish expresses trepidation:

"Should I be afraid?" Joe replies "Not a man like you",
showing his respect for Parrish. Fireworks begin to pop
in the distance; Susan watches Joe and her father walk
out of view. She is stunned as "Joe" reappears alone,
bewildered, this time as the young man from the coffee

He is uninjured and cannot account for how he
got there. Susan accepts that her father is gone,
and rekindles the romantic spark she had shared
with the young man. "What do we do now?" she
asks. "It'll come to us," Joe replies, as the two of
them descend towards the twinkling lights of the

Displaying 8 out of 1568 comments
05/24/2018 06:56:22

La amistad verdadera, es algo que no se puede pesar... Pero nada pesa en la vida mas que un  buen amigo....

Feliz día...Muchos besitos

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05/24/2018 06:37:29

05/24/2018 06:34:47

Have a great thursday dear friend!!with love Anna

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05/24/2018 05:46:19

Excellent Thursday for you dear friend!!
I wish you the best with love and peace!!
Affectionate greetings and blessings!!

05/24/2018 05:11:29

enjoy your thirsty thursday.much love...pandora

05/24/2018 04:37:26

I will be AWAY till next week due to several shows to give !

An Ocean of Sunny Vibes on your Thursday my Shiny Friend...;) 

See you soon, take care, you are loved !

05/24/2018 04:07:13






05/24/2018 01:15:14


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