Reviews

Re-Launch of Dublin’s Waldorf Barbershop

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The Waldorf Babershop on Dublin’s Westmoreland Street, which is responsible for crafting some of the city’s slickest beards and quiffs, is re-launching what it has to offer its unassumingly cool clientele, as part of RTE’s The Takeover.

The barbershop, which has been in business in the heart of the city since 1929 is offering a new beard and hair menu that merges the classic with the contemporary and last night, the staff of the Waldorf invited some of the city’s top bloggers and style commentators to join them for a fashion show to showcase its updated and revamped menus.

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Image Guests were treated to delicious whiskey cocktails and mingled amongst the chimes of old school Rockabilly tunes before some 1950’s dancers set the mood for the main event. Led by the brilliantly warm, funny and knowledgeable Catherine, models paraded down the barbershop, which served as a runway for the night, showing off a range of beards and hairstyles that played to the tastes of every type of guy. Old school Pompadour quiffs were juxtaposed amongst the more modern College Contour style, as models ranged from the mature gent to the, to quote Catherine, “baby faced” young guy. Something for everyone!

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The words ‘cool and hip’ have perhaps lost their significance as they are bandied around all too freely these days, but the Waldorf is genuinely and authentically both of these things, without even trying. For the past 85 years, it has been responsible for some of the city’s slickest hairstyles and following last night’s re-launch, I can’t see why it won’t be around for another 85!

Follow Waldorf Barber on Twitter @WaldorfBarber and check them out on Facebook right here. 

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Music, Reviews, Showbiz

My favourite awful pop songs (that are really just guilty pleasures)

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By Jamie Tuohy

I have a confession to make, this post is billing itself as my favourite AWFUL pop songs, but in reality, these are probably my favourite songs full stop. However, for the purposes of self-preservation (which now seems rather pointless in the face of my revelation) and the feigning of any proper musical taste, I’ve decided to compile a list of the best 5 pop icons flops. From Kim Kardashian to Paris Hilton, sometimes songs are so dreadful that you have to look beyond the ear-ache-inducing clamour and just accept that they are simply genius and iconic.

Jam (Turn It Up) – Kim Kardashian

Not that I am in the business of likening Kim Kardashian’s musical efforts to significant events in Irish history, but when W.B. Yeats wrote of the Irish 1916 Rising that “a terrible beauty is born”, it seems a rather fitting description of Kim Kardashian’s hilarious attempt at singing. Sorry Willy. “I’m goin’ out tonight, it’s goin’ down, headin’ straight to the front of the line”, she mutters in the most deliciously monotone and uninterested voice you’ve ever heard. Watch the above video and try not to acknowledge how monstrously glorious this song really is. Thank you so much Kimberley, this really is a gift.

Stars are Blind – Paris Hilton

Ah, Paris. I remember the day the video for Stars are Blind premiered on MTV way back in 2006. I was 12 and on holidays in Bulgaria with my family. Of course, the only thing on my mind that day was how exactly I was going to see Paris’ debut. So, cunningly, as my family lounged by the pool, I suddenly came over all dizzy and clenched my stomach for dramatic effect. When my mother suggested I go to bed back in the apartment for a few hours, I reluctantly agreed and selflessly told everyone to stay by the pool. “I’ll be fine, I’ll just sleep it off.” Muahahahaha, you fools! As soon as I glided through the door and made some popcorn, I danced forebodingly around the apartment waiting for Paris to come on and wow me with her vocals. And wow me she did. Paris, you were my guilty pleasure in 2006 and in 2013, nothing has changed.

This Groove – Victoria Beckham

2003 marked a pivotal year for the Beckhams and indeed for me. As David signed his deal with Real Madrid, Victoria decided to head back into the studio and this was the beginning of my obsession with them. It was the kind of obsession that makes Directioners and Beliebers look sane. These were the days when Victoria’s D&G obsession was at its height and diamond-encrusted Jacob & Co. watches were synonymous with Posh ‘n’ Becks. When they released their Real Beckhams DVD, detailing David’s move to Spain and Victoria’s vocal exploits, it became a type of Bible for me. The Gospel according to the Beckhams was punctuated by the chimes of Victoria and This Groove is one of my favourites. Ah, it takes me back.

Let Your Head Go – Victoria Beckham *Amazing video alert, just sayin’*

Yes, I know, Victoria gets to appear twice, but I’m not going to lie; I’d fill this post up with her albums if I could. Let Your Head Go was released as a double-A side with This Groove and it’s probably one of Victoria’s best. I don’t mean to fill this paragraph with superlatives, but the video is mind-blowingly brilliant. It sees Victoria playing an exaggerated version of herself, where she tears up clothes and flowers, has nightmares where she sees her head on a crow, as she edges closer to a coveted OBE (remember David had just received one in 2003) and we get to see her being taken away by psychologists as she descends into an imagined madness. Hamlet say whaaah? If you watch one video from this post, make it Let Your Head Go. It will change your life. If you’re unwilling to watch it all (ARE YOU CRAZY??!), then skip to the end, where you can see Victoria sitting on a throne, polishing her crown. And that’s not a euphemism. How amazing is she?!

Insatiable – (KWEEN) Nadine Coyle

Okay, we all know how I feel about Nadine and I’m sure nobody thinks that I truly believe this song is awful or a guilty pleasure. I obviously adore this woman and think she’s flawlessly gifted, but I’m told this song is a dreadful flop (ugh, peasants), so it seems appropriate to include Insatiable as the final tune in this list. Nadine’s ‘exclusive retailing deal with Tesco’ failed to set the charts alight and Insatiable didn’t have the same industry impact as Cheryl’s debut song Fight for This Love did. But, bless, you have to love Nadine for trying. Apparently she recorded most of this song in her bathroom because ‘theeee acooosticks wur beytur’ and surprisingly you can’t even hear the sound of a toilet flushing in the background. Hair flicking, dodgy accents and mediocre marketing: it’s all perfection. Love you long time Nadine.

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Reviews, Showbiz, Television

Review: Mr Selfridge | Jamie Tuohy

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It is already being hailed as the new Downton Abbey, but ITV’s new costume drama, Mr Selfridge hasn’t quite reached such levels yet. As the show tells the story of Harry Gordon Selfridge, the founder of retail giant Selfridges, the first episode which was screened last night felt more like a pilot episode or a prologue in anticipation of the main action. The cast is strong and the storyline is good, but superlative exclamations of praise are being reserved until the series plays out.

A lavish costume drama with a good-looking cast has proved very successful for ITV, so it’s not surprising that critics are already predicting Mr Selfridge to replace Downton as ITV’s new flagship prime-time drama. Written by Andrew Davies and starring Jeremy Piven as the titular character, the first episode served as a nice prelude for what is to come. The fast pace of the first episode means that there is a lot of drama to be expanded upon in the coming weeks, most notably Harry’s relationship with his wife and his hinted-at affection for other women. It will be interesting to see how Katherine Kelly’s character, the socialite and financier Lady Mae’s character expects recompense for her investment. Likewise, the “essence” of Selfridges – show-girl Ellen Love, played by Zoe Tapper proved herself to be a coquettish, yet likeable go-getter whose advances towards Harry were less than subtle. Expect fireworks and most likely, lots of sex.

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Piven plays Selfridge excellently. As the man who wanted to make shopping a thrilling experience, Piven’s Selfridge is brilliantly extravagant and theatrical, but never over-done. He brings the unending American ambition that will undoubtedly come to be his hamartia as well as his most endearing attribute. It’s clear that the “spectacle” and the show is just as important, and maybe more so than the more pragmatic side to running a business and Piven plays Selfridge as a charismatic and bursting-to-succeed entrepreneur. You get the sense that he is about to be mischievous and perhaps unfaithful to his wife, but because of Piven’s portrayal, you want to love him.

Katherine Kelly shone as the temptress Lady Mae and proving she has come a long way from the cobbles of Coronation Street as Becky Granger, she may well be Mr Selfridge’s answer to Maggie Smith’s Violet Crawley. Mr Selfridge definitely has both style and substance and let’s hope the former doesn’t overshadow the latter as the series progresses. We wait with high hopes.

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Indulgence, Lifestyle, Ramblings, Reviews, Showbiz, Television

My favourite things from 2012 | Jamie Tuohy

As 2012 draws to an end, I felt it was appropriate to round up the year with a look at some of my favourite things from the last 12 months. An exercise in self-indulgence, if truth be told. (The only exercise I ever do).

MY FAVOURITE PERSON

CHEZBOMB

Was there ever a doubt? It has to be Cheryl. After meeting her, could it be anyone else? Like a pint-sized Aphrodite with her adorable dimples and flowing, tousled brown locks, Cheryl was a vision to behold when I met her back in October. The obsession will never die. 2012 was a great year for Cheryl, with her first solo arena tour, the release of her third album and autobiography and of course, the much-anticipated reunion with Girls Aloud. All hail Queen Cheryl.

MY FAVOURITE SONG

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Call My Name by Cheryl. Obviously. After a short sabbatical, Cheryl returned with her impossibly-catchy, fist-pumping collaboration with Calvin Harris which resulted in Call My Name becoming No. 1.

MY FAVOURITE BOOK

the dinner

The Dinner by Herman Koch. The plotline is easily explained. Two couples meet in an Amsterdam restaurant and skirt around the fact that their sons have committed a grievous crime. The book details each course and as the evening progresses, the barriers break down and it’s revealed each couple isn’t as different as the guilty son they are trying to protect. Paul and Serge Lohman, together with their respective wives Claire and Babette must confront their own consciences in this beguiling tale of biased morality and personal loyalty.

MY FAVOURITE TV SHOW

REVENGE

Without a doubt, it has to be Revenge. Emily Thorne’s quest for filial vengeance against the Graysons is set in the Hamptons and makes for fascinating and unpredictable drama. Mike Kelley has created one of the best shows in years and the retributive offerings and antics of Emily Thorne was most certainly a 2012 TV highlight.

MY FAVOURITE MOVIE

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The Perks of Being a Wallflower. A coming-of-age drama about an awkward teenager who struggles with self-confidence before finally being accepted into an eccentric circle of friends sounds like a typically clichéd teenage movie. However, The Perks of Being a Wallflower far exceeds its general outline, just as its central character’s timorous disposition transcends the realms of everyday teenage angst. The Perks of Being a Wallflower is the movie adaptation of Stephen Chbosky’s first novel of the same name and while I initially went to see the movie solely to see how Emma Watson was ‘coming along’ since Harry Potter, the flick co-starring Logan Lerman and Ezra Miller became my favourite film of the year. Check out my review here.

MY FAVOURITE TWEETER

IRISH

@irishmammies – every time. Colm O’Regan is the genius behind this motherly account which relays all the hilarious witticisms of the Irish Mammy everyone loves. From sayings like “will you have it in bowl or a wafer?” and “there’s a fierce draught”, @irishmammies has become my favourite Twitter account, offering a sense of familiarity and hilarity in the vast cyber sphere. The book it has spawned Isn’t it well for ye? The Book  of Irish Mammies is also well worth the read.

MY FAVOURITE GADGET

MY IPAD

I got an iPad as a Christmas present and it has swiftly become my favourite gadget. LIKE, EVER. I can see why it is Oprah’s all-time favourite invention. I can’t fathom how I lived without it. Je l’adore.

MY FAVOURITE PURCHASE

mass jump

There have been a few, but this Massimo Dutti jumper comes out on top. A gorgeous blend of wool and cashmere, I’m treasuring it forever, and wearing it incessantly. Sorry to all the aviator jackets that didn’t make the cut – especially to my denim one, you little beaut.

MY FAVOURITE QUOTE

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Beating Macbeth, is my housemate Jim Murphy, with his hilarious aphorisms. On seeing hot French people in a queue for a club, Jim noted,

“I LOVE French people. These French rides were like “bonjour” and I was like “BON-FUCKING-JOUR!” (Please note, this is most effective when said in a strong Cork accent. Sheer brilliance!)

For more of these hilarious one liners, check out the Facebook page dedicated to all of the Jimisms here. Give it a live – you really won’t regret it.

MY FAVOURITE IRISH CELEBRITY

rosanna

Rosanna Davison. 2012 was definitely Rosanna’s year and she got the nation talking back in September by becoming the first Irishwoman to pose on the cover of German Playboy. The sizzling shoot undoubtedly earned Rosanna a whole new army of fans, but equally the cynics were out in force. What’s so admirable about Rosanna is the way she handled the whole situation – proving herself to be an intelligent and articulate woman who is in control of her own career. Rosanna showed how the shoot was about female empowerment as much as it was about looking gorgeous. 2013 is looking bright!

MY FAVOURITE SURPRISE

GHETTO BABY

Cheryl really treated me in 2012. When she released the raunchy new video for the Lana Del Rey-penned track Ghetto Baby it made her soldiers’ Christmas. Nobody expected it and it was a welcomed treat. Plus it’s her steamiest and hottest one yet, with lots of Trezza action. Watch it here.

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Movies, Reviews, Showbiz

Movie Preview: Seven Psychopaths Review | Jamie Tuohy

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Wednesday night (November 28th) saw the Dublin premiere of Colin Farrell’s latest movie Seven Psychopaths and while the Irish actor didn’t make it to his hometown’s premiere, Sam Rockwell brought a touch of Hollywood to Dublin’s Savoy cinema. As the theatre filled with Irish celebs, including mega-star, Brendan Gleeson, I sat down to preview this film, which proved to be both a hard-hitting crime drama and a satirical comedy that poked fun at its own genre…

Written and directed by Martin McDonagh and starring Colin Farrell, Woody Harrelson, Sam Rockwell, Christopher Walken and Tom Waits, Seven Psychopaths immediately sounds like a stellar movie with a superlative cast of Hollywood heavyweights. Then you learn that the movie is complex tale about a borderline (read as Irish) alcoholic screenwriter, Marty (Farrell, obviously) who is suffering from writer’s block, as he tries to pen his next screenplay. Enter stage left: some dog kidnappers, Hans and Billy (Walken and Rockwell, respectively). Then throw Woody Harrelson into the mix, as a pseudo-Mafia don-type nutcase, named Charlie. Oh and don’t forget his dog named Bonnie who gets kidnapped by Hans and Billy. Then get Farrell mixed up in the action. Keeping up? It all sounds very messy and very inaccessible. And this is something which, on paper, shouldn’t work, but in truth, it all comes together very smoothly and effectively. And it’s all very metatheatrical, darling. Like a camp Tarantino flick. Let me explain the sheer brilliance.

The reason this movie works so well is because of its postmodern take on the classic crime genre. While it pays homage to the necessary gruesome gore of traditional crime flicks, what gives Seven Psychopaths its edge is its almost-blitzing satirical take on its own genre. The violence and psychopathy is closely accompanied by comedy and hilarity, not only offering momentary relief, but lampooning old clichés – most notably the crime genre itself.

Set in Los Angeles, the movie centres on Farrell’s character, Marty, a screenwriter, who is struggling to write his next screenplay, managing only to come up with the movie’s title – Seven Psychopaths. He dreams of finishing the script, but lacks both the drive and focus to complete his work. While Farrell may be the movie’s main character, he is rather bland and underdeveloped and acts more as a plot function to portray the story of the film’s other characters. But this is no accident, as the movie becomes inescapably Meta and self-referential. It’s not Marty’s story, he is the screenwriter and rather appropriately, he tries to takes a backseat as the movie’s action unfolds.

Marty’s best friend, Billy (Rockwell), alongside Hans (Walken) runs a mildly successful dog kidnapping business, whereby they steal people’s dogs, only to return them days later for a cash reward. It’s all very innocent, until they steal the beloved Shi Tzu, Bonnie, of crime-boss, Charlie (Harrelson). As Farrell searches for inspiration for his latest screenplay, he not only meets with a real-life psychopath, Zachariah (Waits), but becomes involved in Billy and Hans’ gruesome scheme and his search for seven psychopaths to fill his movie roles appears to be a lot closer to home than he would like to believe.

When Billy, Hans and Marty read the inscription on Bonnie’s collar ““Return to Charles Castello or you will fucking die”, it becomes clear that this time, they have stolen the wrong dog and they do what anyone would do in a similar situation – escape to the desert, with the dog, to help Marty finish his movie and ultimately anticipate a Wild Western-style final shootout.

McDonagh has written and directed an incredibly clever film, which gets funnier and funnier as it gets more bloody and tragic. Heads explode, cars blow up, people are set on fire and Rockwell delivers a hilarious leprechaun-style Irish voice, mimicking Marty’s Irish brogue, as he eats marshmallows by the campfire, while firing out ideas for his friend’s screenplay. It sounds inexplicably random and sometimes it is, but it flows so seamlessly and effortlessly, which is largely down to McDonagh’s impeccable script and direction, but also down to the hilarious deliveries of Rockwell and Walken.

If Rockwell is the movie’s shining comedic star, then Walken is its too cool for school, loveable tough guy. Of course, McDonagh writes him as a devout Christian and this apparent dichotomy or duality within his character simply becomes a mirror of the plot’s split genre – a tie between crime and comedic satire.

When it becomes an existentialist moral film about heaven and hell, it’s reigned back in, as Seven Pscyhopaths offers us dark humour, bloody hilarity and superb timing and as Marty says in the film, “do you know what that is? It’s just fucking great. Fucking great.”

Seven Psychopaths hits Irish cinemas on December 5th – GO AND SEE IT!

5/5

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the sapphires poster
Movies, Reviews, Showbiz

“The Sapphires” Irish Premiere | Jamie Tuohy

On Tuesday night (Oct. 16), I headed along to the Savoy cinema for the Irish premiere of Chris O’Dowd’s latest movie, The Sapphires. The man himself was in attendance and appeared on the appropriately-hued blue carpet alongside his gorgeous wife, TV presenter Dawn Porter.

Joining O’Dowd for the Irish premiere were his co-stars in the movie, Jessica Mauboy, Deborah Mailman, Miranda Tapsell and Shari Shebbens. Brian O’Driscoll and Amy Huberman also made an appearance and Mauboy treated the waiting public to a selection of songs from the film’s soundtrack and O’Dowd joined in for some suspicious singing and good-humoured finger clicking.

The Sapphires, which is a true story and set in 1968, tells the story of how four Aboriginal girls overcame the prejudices held against them and seized the opportunity to perform for the troops fighting in Vietnam.

At a local singing competition, the talent of three sisters, Gail, Julie and Cynthia is recognised by Dave (O’Dowd) and after recruiting their reluctant cousin Kay; they subsequently form a band called The Sapphires, which O’Dowd manages.

As Australia’s answer to The Supremes, the girls’ first gig is to entertain the soldiers fighting in the Vietnam War and each sister’s personal journey is told beautifully and poignantly in this wonderful film.

O’Dowd shines as the cheeky Irish chancer with a heart, but Miranda Tapsell, who plays the part of Cynthia, steals the show with her humorous and blindingly positive outlook on life, despite being in the middle of a warzone. One particular profanity-ridden line had the theatre in convulsions last night, as her hilarity punctuates the film and serves as a nice counterbalance to The Sapphires’ more tender and emotionally evocative moments.

O’Dowd described the movie as “similar to The Commitments in that there is singing in it”, but explained that “it’s not as funny, and deliberately so. There is much darker stuff going on.”

The Sapphires is released on 7th November and it’s a definite must-see! 

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Books, Movies, Reviews, Showbiz

The Perks of Being a Wallflower: Movie Review | Jamie Tuohy

A coming-of-age drama about an awkward teenager who struggles with self-confidence before finally being accepted into an eccentric circle of friends sounds like a typically clichéd teenage movie. However, The Perks of Being a Wallflower far exceeds its general outline, just as its central character’s timorous disposition transcends the realms of everyday teenage angst.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower is the movie adaptation of Stephen Chbosky’s first novel of the same name. Chbosky has also written the screenplay for the film and the proficiency and poignancy of the script is both admirable and touching in equal measure. The movie encompasses the entire emotional trajectory of teenage life, beginning in moody isolation and progressing to relieved acceptance, before dwindling into desperate depression and emerging as a happy camper once again.

However, don’t let its roller-coaster-like tendency scare you into thinking this is another clichéd teen-flick, because Wallflower is punctuated with deeply moving, important and personal events, from child-abuse and death, to internalised homophobia.

Set in 1991, Wallflower tells the story of Charlie (Logan Lerman) – a gifted, but tormented 16-year-old freshman who has just started high-school and survives by writing letters to an imaginary friend, while consoling himself with the fact that he only has “1,305 days left.” At a football game, the anxious and awkward Charlie meets with Patrick (Ezra Miller), who introduces him to his step-sister Sam, played by Emma Watson, who clearly managed to get a transfer from Hogwarts. Soon the three friends become inseparable and the shy and timid Charlie is introduced to Patrick’s and Sam’s friends and ironically becomes the centre of attention amongst the group.

However, from the opening of Wallflower, we are made aware, through subtle and implicit references that there is a dark underpinning to Charlie’s anxiety. This is achieved through flashbacks to his aunt’s death, references to his best friend who committed suicide and foreboding lines such as “I think I’m getting bad again.” With his new group of friends, Charlie is inducted into the “island of misfit toys” and therein experiments with drugs and alcohol. However, his introverted disposition hints at something greater and more worrying than an abashed personality. It speaks to a deep-rooted psychological issues and one of my only criticisms of the film come from its exposition of Charlie’s problems. Without revealing too much about the film, the resolution to Charlie’s case is ever-so-slightly too fleeting and wishy-washy for my liking, but I tended to overlook that because Lerman’s performance was subtle and brilliant, his delivery impeccable and his thoughtful depiction of character was spot on.

I’ve got to admit, not having read the book (which, subsequently, has been ordered on Amazon), I went to see Wallflower primarily to see how Emma Watson was adjusting to life sans Harry et Ron and as she organises her life around The Smiths and other brilliantly chosen soundtracks, as schoolgirl Sam, she doesn’t miss a single beat. Fittingly, Sam is struggling to escape her reputation as a coquettish young girl, just as Watson tries to escape typecasting. Both are equally successful. Personally, Lerman is front and centre as the star of this production with his subtle and attentive delivery, but Watson isn’t far behind with her beguiling beauty and punchy personality. Hermione Granger who?

Completing the trio is Ezra Miller as Patrick, the gay step-brother to Watson’s Sam, who happens to be secretly dating the college jock. Though camp, brash and impossibly confident, Patrick’s sensitive and vulnerable side is touched upon in a key scene from the film. In the spirit of antithesis, Patrick offers a counterbalance to Charlie’s character, but in the aforementioned scene, Miller subtly portrays him to reveal a young boy who is; at times, exposed and lonely.

The Perks of Being a Wallflower treads very close to near-perfection, albeit in a very formulaic way, however, there are slight downfalls to Chbosky’s screenplay. The minor characters are severely underdeveloped and at times, totally glossed over. Charlie’s English teacher, Bill Anderson (Paul Rudd) discovers Charlie’s potential as a writer, but the movie fails to sufficiently develop Rudd’s character – perhaps a reflection on the fact that Mr Anderson is failing to recognise his own dreams of becoming a writer and settling for a relatively unfulfilling life as an English teacher.

The film is characterised by all the metonyms of teenage life – experimentation, awkward school dances and feelings of desolation and elation, and even though it may not be a trailblazing or pioneering film, what it does do is tell a familiar story in an honest, yet subtle manner. Logan Lerman anchors the film as he expertly manoeuvres and portrays the oftentimes strange, worrying and infinite changes of the teenage heart. A must-see!

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