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Thread: BEST MOVIES of 2018

  1. #1
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    Jul 2002
    SF Bay Area

    BEST MOVIES of 2018

    First is my ten best list sent to Indiewire, but that's not necessarily final. Below is a working list of some of my faves. Many are foreign and some unreleased. NYAFF=New York Asian Film Festival; SFIFF=San Francisco Film Festival.

    1. BURNING
    Other favorites (listed alphabetically):
    306 Hollywood (Elan & Jonathan Bogarín)
    Alpha ( Albert Hughes 2018)
    Asako I & II (Ryûsuke Hamaguchi)
    Ash Is Purest White / 江湖儿女) (Jia Zhang-Ke)
    The Ballad of Buster Scruggs Joel, Ethan Coen)
    BlacKkKlansman (Spike Lee)
    Bohemian Rhapsody (Bryan Singer, Dexter Fletcher)
    Boom for Real (Sara Driver 2017)
    Burning (Lee Chang-Dong)
    Capernaum/Capharnaüm (dir: Nadine Labaki)
    Chef Flynn (Cameron Yates 2018)
    Cold War/Zimna wojna (Pawel Pawlikowski)
    Crazy Rich Asians (Jon M. Chu 2018)
    Daniel and the Mountain (Felipe Barbosa 2017)
    Eighth Grade (Bo Burnham)
    A Faithful Man / L’Homme fidèle (Louis Garrel)
    Foxtrot (Maoz)
    Free Solo (Jimmy Chin, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi 2018)
    Girl (Lukas Dhont)
    The Guilty (Gustav Möller)
    Isle of Dogs (Wes Anderson)
    Jane Fonda in Five Acts (Susan Field 2018)
    John McEnroe: In The Realm Of Perfection (Julien Faraut)
    Lean on Pete (Andrew Haigh 2017)
    Leave No Trace (Debra Granik)
    Let the Sun Shine In/Un beau soleil intérieur (Claire Denis)
    Mandy (Panos Cosmatos 2018) - Nicolas Cage, horror
    The Marriage (Blerta Zeqiri 2017)
    McQueen (Peter Ettedgui, Ian Bonhôte 2018)
    Never Look Away/Werk Ohne Autor (Florian von Donnersmarck)- Feb. 2019
    Non-Fiction / Doubles vies (Olivier Assayas)
    The Old Man and the Gun (David Lowery)
    A Paris Education/Mes provinciales (Jean-Paul Civeyrac 2018)
    Petit Paysan (Thomas Chaluret) RENDEZ-VOUS
    A Quiet Place (John Krasinski 2018)
    The Rider (Chloe Zhao)
    Roma (Alfoso Cuarón )
    Shoplifters/ 万引き家族 Manbiki Kazoku, (Hirokazu Kore-eda)
    Sorry to Bother You (Boots Riley 2018)
    Sunset (László Nemes)
    Support the Girls ( Andrew Bujalski 2018)
    Tea With the Dames (Roger Michell)
    Three Identical Strangers (Tim Wardle 2018)
    Transit (Christian Petzold)
    The Twinning Reaction (Lori Shinseki 2017)
    Wajib (Annemarie Jacir 2017)
    We the Animals (Jeremiah Zagar 2018)
    Wildlife (Paul Dano)
    Won't You Be My Neighbor? (Morgan Neville 2018)
    Yomeddine (A.B. Shawky)
    You Were Never Really Here (Lynne Ramsey)

    Not Released Yet in US:
    LOOK UP by Fulvio Risuleo (New Italian Cinema series)
    PURE HEARTS/CUORI PURI by Roberto De Paolis (N.I.C.)
    The Looming Storm (Doug Yue) NYAFF
    One Cut of the Dead (Shin'ichirô Ueda 2017) - NYAFF
    Sad Beauty (Bongkod Bencharongkul 2018) - NYAFF
    Respeto (Treb Monteras 2017)-NYAFF
    Crossroads (Ron Yassen 2018) - SFIFF

    I Am Waiting to See:
    Dogman (Matteo Garrone)
    If Beale Street Could Talk (Barry Jenkins) - reviewed Dec. 2018
    In My Room (Ulrich Köhler)
    Happy as Lazzaro (Alice Rohrwacher) - reviewed 27 Dec. 2018
    Loro (Paolo Sorrentino)
    Peterloo (Mike Leigh ) April 2019
    Under the Silver Lake (David Robert Mitchell)
    The Wild Pear Tree (Nuri Bilge Ceylan)

    These Mean More to Other People:
    Black Panther (Ryan Coogler)
    First Reformed (Paul Schrader)
    The Favourite (Yourgos Lanthimos)
    Private Life (Tamara Jenkins)
    A Star Is Born (Bradley Cooper)
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 01-02-2019 at 10:36 PM.

  2. #2
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    Jul 2002
    SF Bay Area
    Best Actress (my Indiewire poll)
    1. Zhao Tao - Ash Is Purest Whilte
    2. Carey Mulligan - Wildlife
    3. Dlizebeth Debicki - Widows
    4. Lady Gaga - A Star Is Born
    5. Juliette Binoche - Let the Sun Shine In

    Best Actor
    1. Yoo Ah-in - Burning
    2. Charlie Plummer - Lean on Pete
    5. Brady Jhandreau - The Rider

    Best Documentaries (There are lots more).

  3. #3
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    Jul 2002
    SF Bay Area
    The NYTimes: Manohla Dargis and A. O. Scott's lists. For their discussions of their choices go HERE.


    1. “Roma” (Alfonso Cuarón)
    2.“Burning” (Lee Chang-dong)
    3. “Shoplifters” (Hirokazu Kore-eda)
    4. “Zama” (Lucrecia Martel)
    5. “Happy as Lazzaro” (Alice Rohrwacher)
    6. “BlacKkKlansman” (Spike Lee)
    7. “First Reformed” (Paul Schrader)
    8. “The Death of Stalin” (Armando Iannucci)
    9. “Monrovia, Indiana” (Frederick Wiseman)
    10. “Colophon (for the Arboretum Cycle)” (Nathaniel Dorsky)

    1. “Monrovia, Indiana” (Frederick Wiseman); “Bisbee ’17” (Robert Greene); “Hale County This Morning, This Evening” (RaMell Ross); “Minding the Gap” (Bing Liu)
    2. “Happy as Lazzaro” (Alice Rohrwacher)
    3. “First Reformed” (Paul Schrader)
    4. “Private Life” (Tamara Jenkins)
    5. “Roma” (Alfonso Cuarón)
    6. “Let the Sunshine In” (Claire Denis)
    7. “Can You Ever Forgive Me?” (Marielle Heller)
    8. “BlacKkKlansman” (Spike Lee)
    9. “Capernaum” (Nadine Labaki)
    10. “The Favourite” (Yorgos Lanthimos)
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 12-07-2018 at 08:13 PM.

  4. #4
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    Jul 2002
    SF Bay Area
    FILM COMMENT'S lists for 2018.

    Most of the first list have been reported on in Filmleaf from the NYFF or other FSLC presentations. Of the second list, I've only seen #4.

    Film Comment’s Top 20 Films Released in 2018:
    1. Zama Lucrecia Martel, Argentina/Brazil/Spain
    2. Burning Lee Chang-dong, South Korea
    3. First Reformed Paul Schrader, USA
    4. ROMA Alfonso Cuarón, Mexico
    5. Western Valeska Grisebach, Germany/Bulgaria
    6. Shoplifters Hirokazu Kore-eda, Japan
    7. Let the Sunshine In Claire Denis, France
    8. The Other Side of the Wind Orson Welles, USA
    9. Happy as Lazzaro Alice Rohrwacher, Italy
    10. Hale County This Morning, This Evening RaMell Ross, USA
    11. Sorry to Bother You Boots Riley, USA
    12. If Beale Street Could Talk Barry Jenkins, USA
    13. The Rider Chloé Zhao, USA
    14. The Ballad of Buster Scruggs Joel & Ethan Coen, USA
    15. Support the Girls Andrew Bujalski, USA
    16. You Were Never Really Here Lynne Ramsay, UK/France/USA
    17. Monrovia, Indiana Frederick Wiseman, USA
    18. Personal Problems Bill Gunn, USA
    19. The Favourite Yorgos Lanthimos, Ireland/UK/USA
    20. BlacKkKlansman Spike Lee, USA
    Film Comment’s Top 20 Unreleased Films of 2018:
    1. What You Gonna Do When the World’s on Fire? Roberto Minervini, Italy/USA/France
    2. La Flor Mariano Llinás, Argentina
    3. Black Mother Khalik Allah, USA
    4. A Family Tour Ying Liang, Taiwan/Hong Kong/Singapore/Malaysia
    5. Feast of the Epiphany Michael Koresky, Jeff Reichert & Farihah Zaman, USA
    6. América Claus Drexel, France
    7. Donbass Sergei Loznitsa, Germany/Ukraine/France/Netherlands/Romania
    8. The Grand Bizarre Jodie Mack, USA
    9. Your Face Tsai Ming-liang, Taiwan
    10. Casanova Gene Luise Donschen, Germany
    11. Shakedown Leilah Weinraub, USA
    12. The Task Leigh Ledare, USA
    13. Sophia Antipolis Virgil Vernier, France
    14. Second Time Around Dora García, Belgium/Norway
    15. Manta Ray Phuttiphong Aroonpheng, Thailand/France/China
    16. Flight of a Bullet Beata Bubenets, Russia/Latvia
    17. Our Time Carlos Reygadas, Mexico/France/Germany/Denmark/Sweden
    18. Reason Anand Patwardhan, India
    19. Season of the Devil Lav Diaz, Philippines
    20. A Wild Stream Nuria Ibáñez Castañeda, Mexico
    The complete list of films and participants can be found on
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 12-12-2018 at 10:27 AM.

  5. #5
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    Jul 2002
    SF Bay Area
    Golden Globe nominations.

    Best Motion Picture - Drama
    A Star Is Born
    Black Panther
    Bohemian Rhapsody
    If Beale Street Could Talk

    Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Drama
    Glenn Close (“The Wife”)
    Lady Gaga (“A Star Is Born”)
    Nicole Kidman (“Destroyer”)
    Melissa McCarthy (“Can You Ever Forgive Me?”)
    Rosamund Pike (“A Private War”)

    Best Actor in a Motion Picture – Drama
    Bradley Cooper (“A Star Is Born”)
    Willem Dafoe (“At Eternity’s Gate”)
    Lucas Hedges (“Boy Erased”)
    Rami Malek (“Bohemian Rhapsody”)
    John David Washington (“BlacKkKlansman”)

    Best Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
    “Crazy Rich Asians”
    “The Favourite”
    “Green Book”
    “Mary Poppins Returns”

    Best Actress in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy
    Emily Blunt (“Mary Poppins Returns”)
    Olivia Colman (“The Favourite”)
    Elsie Fisher (“Eighth Grade”)
    Charlize Theron (“Tully”)
    Constance Wu (“Crazy Rich Asians”)

  6. #6
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    Jul 2002
    SF Bay Area
    Favorite short trailer of the year:

    This belongs in a supplemental Best List for the year, which I am working on.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    SF Bay Area
    The Indiewire Poll
    is completed. You can find it all HERE

    ROMA(1,086 points, 26% of first-place votes)
    FIRST REFORMED (599, 6.7%)
    BURNING (548, 7.1%)
    THE FAVOURITE (520, 2.9%)
    COLD WAR (493, 2.9%)
    SHOPLIFTERS (401, 1%)
    BLACKKKLANSMAN (391, 2.9%)
    ZAMA (333, 4.2%)
    (316, 1.7%%)

    Note: “First Reformed” ultimately placed higher in this ranking, even though it received fewer first place votes than “Burning,” because it had more second, third, fourth, and fifth place votes. The same math applies to why “Zama” received more first-place votes than “The Favourite,” “Cold War,” “Shoplifters” and “BlacKkKlansman.”
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 01-02-2019 at 10:37 PM.

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    SF Bay Area
    Those people are dutiful or, I don't know what, but Guy Lodge started a list on Twitter of worst or most unsatisfactory "prestige" films of the year and it included for some, ROMA, Shoplifters, BlackKKlansman and Zama. I can understand these, though I admired them, and liked BKKK too. Some question about what is or insn't a "prestige" film. Widows, Beautiful Boy included.

    See the Twitter feed HERE.

    VICE was frequently mentioned, which is ominous. I'm waiting to see it.
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 12-23-2018 at 02:08 PM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jul 2002
    SF Bay Area

    Barack Obama has published his fourth annual set of personal best lists including books, film, and music (see the Guardian article). Here is his (alphabetical) best movie list. It's a good and very savvy list, including four of the key African-American-related titles, BlacKKKlansman, Black Panther, Blindspotting and If Beale Street Could Talk - but omitting the most politically radical of those, Sorry to Bother You. He includes my favorite, Lee Chang-dong's Burning.

    Black Panther
    The Death of Stalin
    Eighth Grade
    If Beale Street Could Talk
    Leave No Trace
    Minding the Gap
    The Rider
    Support the Girls
    Won’t You Be My Neighbor?
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 01-02-2019 at 10:38 PM.

  10. #10
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    Jul 2002
    SF Bay Area
    Mark Kermode's best of 2018 (veteran Guardian film critic)
    (Some films come out earlier or later in England than the USA.)
    The 10 best films of 2018

    1. Leave No Trace
    Debra Granik’s low-key gem is a textbook example of show-don’t-tell film-making; perfect.

    2. The Breadwinner
    A young girl battles the Taliban in Nora Twomey’s superb animated adaptation of Deborah Ellis’s bestseller.

    3. Widows
    Davis heads up an ensemble cast to die for in Steve McQueen’s ultra-stylish update of Lynda La Plante’s 80s TV thriller.

    4. Cold War
    Paweł Pawlikowski’s tale of star-crossed lovers falling together and apart through the iron curtain of postwar Europe.

    5. You Were Never Really Here
    Lynne Ramsay’s psychological anti-thriller, starring Joaquin Phoenix, reconfirms her position as a unique visual poet.

    6. A Fantastic Woman
    Daniela Vega shines in Sebastián Lelio’s deserving winner of the Oscar for foreign language film.

    7. The Shape of Water
    Splash meets Creature from the Black Lagoon in Guillermo del Toro’s magical fantasy.

    8. Jeune Femme
    One of the real surprise treats of the year – an invigorating and unvarnished character study from Léonor Serraille.

    9. BlacKkKlansman
    Spike Lee’s stranger-than-fiction tale may be set in the 1970s but it felt urgently relevant and contemporary in 2018.

    10. They Shall Not Grow Old
    Peter Jackson breathes new life into 100-year-old footage of the first world war with awe-inspiring results.

    Show Dogs
    The most misjudged comedy of the year. Remember: no dogs is better than Show Dogs!
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 01-05-2019 at 03:34 AM.

  11. #11
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    Jul 2002
    SF Bay Area
    The Guardian's Peter Bradshaw's 2018 Movie Best Lists.

    Tireless at festivals, he's thorough in his list-making.
    Remember, these are UK 2018 releases.

    Best film
    Roma (dir Alfonso Cuarón)
    A Star Is Born (dir Bradley Cooper)
    Cold War (dir Paweł Pawlikowski)
    Leave No Trace (dir Debra Granik)
    Western (dir Valeska Grisebach)
    Zama (dir Lucrecia Martel)
    Hereditary (dir Ari Aster)
    Coco (dirs Lee Unkrich, Adrian Molina)
    Widows (dir Steve McQueen)
    Phantom Thread (dir. Paul Thomas Anderson)

    Best director
    Alfonso Cuarón for Roma
    Bradley Cooper for A Star Is Born
    Mike Leigh for Peterloo
    Bart Layton for American Animals
    Andrey Zvyagintsev for Loveless
    Greta Gerwig for Lady Bird
    Ryan Coogler for Black Panther
    Nuri Bilge Ceylan for The Wild Pear Tree
    Hirokazu Kore-eda for Shoplifters
    Chloé Zhao for The Rider

    Best actor
    Rupert Everett for The Happy Prince (dir Rupert Everett)
    Marcello Fonte for Dogman (dir Matteo Garrone)
    Justin Salinger for Crowhurst (dir Simon Rumley)
    Daniel Day Lewis for Phantom Thread (dir Paul Thomas Anderson)
    Joaquin Phoenix for You Were Never Really Here (dir Lynne Ramsay)
    Ethan Hawke for First Reformed (dir Paul Schrader)
    John David Washington for BlacKkKlansman (dir Spike Lee)
    Lakeith Stanfield for Sorry to Bother You (dir Boots Riley)
    Steve Coogan for Stan & Ollie (dir Jon S Baird)
    John C Reilly for Stan & Ollie (dir Jon S Baird)
    Tim Blake Nelson as the title character in The Ballad of Buster Scruggs.

    Best supporting actor
    Tim Blake Nelson for The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (dirs Joel Coen, Ethan Coen)
    Nahuel Pérez Biscayart for BPM: 120 Beats Per Minute (dir Robin Campillo)
    Sam Elliott for A Star Is Born (dir Bradley Cooper)
    Craig Robinson for An Evening With Beverly Luff Lin (dir Jim Hosking)
    Brian Tyree Henry for Widows (dir Steve McQueen)
    Daniel Kaluuya for Widows (dir Steve McQueen)
    Gérard Depardieu for Let the Sunshine In (dir Claire Denis)
    Jonathan Pryce for The Wife (dir Björn Runge)
    Paul Bettany for Journey’s End (dir Saul Dibb)
    Benicio Del Toro for Sicario 2: Soldado (dir Stefano Sollima)

    Best actress
    Yalitza Aparicio for Roma (dir Alfonso Cuarón)
    Toni Collette for Hereditary (dir Ari Aster)
    Glenn Close for The Wife (dir Björn Junge)
    Lady Gaga for A Star Is Born (dir Bradley Cooper)
    Viola Davis for Widows (dir Steve McQueen)
    Carey Mulligan for Wildlife (dir Paul Dano)
    Daniela Vega for A Fantastic Woman (dir Sebastián Lelio)
    Joanna Scanlan for Pin Cushion (dir Deborah Haywood)
    Frances McDormand for Three Billboards Outside Ebbing, Missouri (dir Martin McDonagh)
    Juliette Binoche for Let the Sunshine In (dir Claire Denis)
    Michelle Yeoh in Crazy Rich Asians.

    Best supporting actress
    Cynthia Erivo for Widows (dir Steve McQueen) and Bad Times at the El Royale (dir. Drew Goddard)
    Allison Janney for I, Tonya (dir Craig Gillespie)
    Elisabeth Moss for The Square (dir Ruben Östlund)
    Michelle Yeoh for Crazy Rich Asians (dir Jon M Chu)
    Siobhan Finneran for Apostasy (dir Daniel Kokotajlo)
    Michelle Pfeiffer for Ant-Man and the Wasp (dir Peyton Reed)
    Ana Ivanova for The Heiresses (dir Marcelo Martinessi)
    Kirin Kiki for Shoplifters (dir Hirokazu Kore-eda)
    Adele Haenel for BPM: 120 Beats Per Minute (dir Robin Campillo)
    Zoe Kazan for The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (dirs Joel Coen, Ethan Coen)

    Best screenplay
    Joel Coen and Ethan Coen for The Ballad of Buster Scruggs (dirs Joel Coen, Ethan Coen)
    Hirokazu Kore-eda for Shoplifters (dir Hirokazu Kore-eda)
    Nick Park, Mark Burton and James Higginson for Early Man (dir Nick Park)
    Brian Kehoe and Jim Kehoe for Blockers (dir Kay Cannon)
    Liz Hannah for The Post (dir Steven Spielberg)
    Carla Simón for Summer 1993 (dir Carla Simón)
    Lucinda Coxon for The Little Stranger (dir Lenny Abrahamson)
    Lucrecia Martel for Zama (dir Lucrecia Martel)
    Jim Hosking and David Wike for An Evening With Beverly Luff Lin (dir Jim Hosking)
    Greta Gerwig for Lady Bird (dir Greta Gerwig)

    Best documentary
    The Shall Not Grow Old (dir Peter Jackson)
    Faces Places (dirs Agnès Varda, JR)
    Bombshell: The Hedy Lamarr Story (dir Alexandra Dean)
    The Rape of Recy Taylor (dir Nancy Buirski)
    The Eyes of Orson Welles (dir Mark Cousins)
    A Northern Soul (dir Sean McAllister)
    Nothing Like a Dame (dir Roger Michell)
    That Summer (dir Göran Hugo Olsson)
    Arcadia (dir. Paul Wright)
    Voyageuse (dir May Miles Thomas)

    Best cinematography
    Alfonso Cuarón for Roma (dir Alfonso Cuarón)
    Benjamin Loeb for Mandy (dir. Panos Cosmatos)
    Benoît Debie for Climax (dir Gaspar Noé)
    Laurie Rose for The Escape (dir Dominic Savage) and Journey’s End (dir Saul Dibb)
    Rachel Morrison for Black Panther (dir. Ryan Coogler)
    Agnès Godard for Let the Sunshine In (dir. Claire Denis)
    Charlotte Bruus Christensen for A Quiet Place (dir John Krasinski)
    Linus Sandgren for First Man (dir Damien Chazelle)
    Rui Poças for Zama (dir Lucrecia Martel)
    Andrew Dunn for The Children Act (dir Richard Eyre)

    Best directorial debut
    Paul Dano for Wildlife
    Nelson Carlo De Los Santos Arias for Cocote
    Marcelo Martinessi for The Heiresses
    Michael Pearce for Beast
    John Trengove for The Wound
    Coralie Fargeat for Revenge
    Léonor Serraille for Jeune Femme
    Carla Simón for Summer 1993
    Daniel Kokotajlo for Apostasy
    Kogonada for Columbus

    Special Braddie award
    … for the quirky film overlooked by the complacent MSM gatekeeper-establishment which might be a future cult classic:
    Every Day (dir Michael Sucsy)
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 01-01-2019 at 12:57 AM.

  12. #12
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    Jul 2002
    SF Bay Area
    Best Documentary Features - 2019 Oscar contenders

    The 2019 documentary Oscar shortlist is now being presented (as the short films and animations are) in around 15 urban areas nation-wide. Previous Filmleaf reviews of 9 of the 15 are linked below. Several were omitted earlier in this tread because they weren't really theatrical releases, and some, which are unlinked, have not been seen by yours truly. (Jan. 4, 2019):

    CHARM CITY - Marilyn Ness [about Baltimore's three recent most violent years]

    COMMUNION/KOMOUNIA - Anna Zamecka [children taking on adult family burdens, in Poland]

    CRIME + PUNISHMENT - Stephen Maing [NYPD cops reveal illegal quota practices]

    DARK MONEY - Kimberly Read

    THE DISTANT BARKING OF DOGS - Simon Lereng Wilmont (SFIFF)

    FREE SOLO - (Jimmy Chin, Elizabeth Chai Vasarhelyi



    OF FATHERS AND SONS/KINDER DES KALIFATS (2017) - Talal Derki [Following a radical Islamist family in Syria]

    ON HER SHOULDERS - Alexandra Bombach

    RBG - Julie Cohn, Betsy West

    SHIRKERS - Sandi Tan - [Available on Netflix] [A lost feature film found]

    THE SILENCE OF OTHERS/EL SILENCIO DE OTROS/ Almudena Carracedo, Robert Bahar [About the Franco regime in Spain]


    WON'T YOU BE MY NEIGHBOR - Morgan Neville
    Last edited by Chris Knipp; 01-05-2019 at 10:31 AM.


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