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Welcome to Ellen Page Online, the first and foremost fansite dedicated to Canadian actress Ellen Page. Here you will find the latest news and the most up to date information, the biggest photo gallery online, video clips, movie trailers, wallpapers, an awesome message board and much more... Take a look around and enjoy your stay!

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Exclusive Sundance 2013 Special by Marci / »Beyond: Two Souls« gets release date and Willem Dafoe


Good things come to those who wait. Here finally is EPO's long announced »Sundance Special« featuring an exclusive report and reviews of both »Touchy Feely« and »The East« written by Marci. She served as volunteer for the festival and agreed to share her experiences and provide some exclusive photos and videos from the event that you can check out below as well as in the gallery. We hope you like what we have put together for you!

Ellen Page films such as »An American Crime« and »Wilby Wonderful« and her »SNL« always exceeded my expectations. I ended up watching EVERY.SINGLE.MOVIE she has acted in. Every time I heard her name on TV, late night show, trailers, I’d get so pumped and drop everything I was doing and watch an EP film to get my fix. I was hoping one day I could meet her at this point! I was ecstatic to find EPO where I found exclusive material and news about Ellen Page (Thanks Dom!!).

Marci Sundance 2013Around August of 2011 I decided to be more involved with film, so I took up volunteering at the Sundance Film Festival. The festival is about 10 days long and located in the beautiful Park City, Utah. I watched about 31 films in two weeks, developed insomnia, and made new friends. There were stars all around the little city it was nice to see a few familiar faces. I saw Katherine Heigl getting mobbed by fans/paparazzi I actually felt pretty bad. Yikes! I was placed in a theatre to work night shifts where many films were shown including »Touchy Feely«! While I was dosing off from working a 14 hour shift, out of all the people in the festival Lynn Shelton startled me. She was hilarious! Needless to say the best thing at Sundance was meeting my idol, Ms. Ellen Page! I came to Sundance not thinking she would be there or if I did, I’d see her from a mile away or something. I was lucky enough to catch her right when she was about to hop in a car after The Touchy Feely premiere. There was a tiny rumor that Ellen would come out of these doors... I took a risk and waited there. It looked about right since there were private cars parked there. I was more towards the end. There were plenty of people ready to see this Tiny Canadian. So many people were excited. My eyes were glued to the door and bam, there she was she came out, quick hi and bye I was the last person though my chances of any type of interaction was so small.

Marci Sundance 2013From the looks of it, she seemed either tired or overwhelmed. Totally understandable. I didn't want to be that person that would make her roll her eyes. I told her how amazing she was and how she inspired little filmmakers like me. I shook her hand and told her I got you something: handed her a rolled up photograph (A photograph I took in college of a pretty tree where I used to sit and doodle stories in my sketchbook and pretend Ellen would play the parts) along with a cool note. She was so thankful. We said goodbye and she got in the car. My back was facing Ellen's car and my friend that I'm talking to can see her opening the gift I gave her and Ellen is smiling so hard at me but I missed it! Ah well it's the thought that counts. Trying to remember meeting her appears to be very vague, because I guess this is the first time I ever got star struck. Usually I’m pretty okay with celebrities, but this was my idol...I felt like one of those Bieber fans...just lovely. The only unforgettable thing I could remember was when I met her again the following day during »The East« premiere. I asked her if she liked her gift, She responded with “that was you!?” and gave me a nice big thank you as she leaned over and hugged me! Yup, I died... Like twice. She is the sweetest/prettiest woman. No one can top this night. Nope. I can’t wait for more Ellen movies! Sundance was definitely a great success all around!!!

Touchy Feely - Review


Sundance 2013 - Touchy Feely Premiere TicketI was lucky enough to be the first ticket holder in line to attend the premier for Touchy Feely. I have been anxious to see it for a long time same with “The East”. Touchy Feely is premiered at the Eccles Theatre in Park City, UT at 12:00 PM on January 19, 2013. The director of Sundance introduces the film and Lynn Shelton onto the stage as she gives a little intro about the film.

Character info:

Rosemarie Dewitt -- Abby [Paul’s sister and Jenny’s aunt]
Ellen Page -- Jenny [Paul’s daughter]
Josh Pais -- Paul [ Dentist/Jenny’s father ]
Allison Janney -- Bronwyn [Abby’s masseuse/therapist/friend]
Tomo Nakayama -- Henry [First patient/singer]
Scoot Mcnairy -- (no character name given) [Abby’s boyfriend]


Ellen Page’s character (Jenny) starts off in the beginning of the scene looking very gloomy, lonely and continues to look that way throughout the entire film. Paul (Josh Pais) who plays Jenny’s father is blinded by his daughter’s livelihood which seems to be dismal by being his assistant at his dental clinic. Jenny is happy when it comes to cooking that in fact she insists in making the best homemade calzone for the man she crushes on who happens to be her aunt’s boyfriend (Scoot McNairy).

Jenny and Paul have the sweetest father/daughter relationship, yet they both have something in common, they are both lost. Paul and Jenny are not used to more than two patients a day until Jenny invites her good friend Henry (Tomo Nakayama) for a free cleansing. He complains about experiencing some pain and just by a touch from Paul he is magically cured. Thinking maybe that was out of the blue, Henry refers many of his friends and family to go to Paul’s dentistry to see him cure more people. Henry praises Jenny and Paul constantly for curing his pain after suffering for two years, which kept him from singing. Soon Paul and Jenny see there is a huge waiting line for patients to see the dentist to get “cured”.

Jenny is striving to be a chef in the future and in fact, she fills out plenty of Culinary College Applications, but does not send them out, due to money shortage and the fear of having to leave her father behind. Abby’s (Rosemarie Dewitt) character on the other hand brings more confusion to the film but at the same time she is rather intriguing. Abby plays a masseuse who all of a sudden gets scared of commitment when asked to move in with her boyfriend. She begins to feel strange about skin and isn’t able to touch him or anyone else. Abby goes to her personal masseuse, Bronwyn (Allison Janney) this hippy, bubbly friend who advises Abby to take Ecstasy to relieve some stress. Abby is a mother figure to Jenny and encourages her to explore the world, but Jenny refuses. Henry meets with Jenny to give her debut tickets to see him perform live after 2 years, along with a gift that puts the only smile on her face during the film. Henry performs an amazing song, playing guitar where you see the emotion in each of the character’s faces. Tomo Nakayama (Henry) brought great attention during the Q&A session at Sundance where audience members were dying to find out where his song can be downloaded. Henry is from Washington, where Lynn Shelton had first heard him play in a café and casted him immediately.

The movie was sweet, and caring, but at the same time the ending was a little ‘lost’. It ended with a lot of unanswered questions, but during the Q&A Lynn Shelton pointed out that she purposely left it ‘mysterious’ so that the audience could speculate what would happen next ... I guess they can imagine their own ending for this film? I was lucky enough to ask Ellen a question that was recommended by Domink Keppner the author/designer of the EPO website since I was too nervous to think of one myself.

Q: This is for Ellen Page, I know you play a dentist’s assistant ... I’m wondering how scared you are from the dentist in real life?
A: I can’t say I’m particularly afraid of the dentist. I’d say I’m neutral about the dentist. I wouldn’t say there was some sort of incredible excitement (Laughter) about going to the dentist. But I guess I’m not afraid. But I’d say it’s like a fair neutral. It's like you know how I am about needles it's also like a neutral ... like a neutral zone. (Laughter)

» Sundance 2013 - Touchy Feely Premiere Screening (01/19/2013) «



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Credit to Marci - Exclusive video

The East - Review


Sundance 2013 - The East Premiere TicketThe ticketholder line for The East was so long! Sundancers were ready to see this Eco thriller that Zal has been teasing us about and finally the day had come! The East premiered at the Eccles Theatre in Park City, UT at 3:30 PM on January 20, 2013. Zal gave a small intro before showing his film as we all waited anxiously on the edge of our seats.

Character info:

Brit Marling -­ Sarah [Detective Spy]
Ellen Page -­ Izzy [The East member/Benji’s lover]
Alexander Skarsgard -- Benji [The East leader/ Izzy’s lover]
Wilbur Fitzgerald -- Robert McCabe [Leader of community/The East’s target]


The film starts off with a bang as Izzy (Ellen Page) narrates what sounds like the ritual that her anarchist gang follows ... which goes something like this:

"We don’t care how rich you are...We want all those who are guilty to experience the terror of their crime ... it’s easy when it’s not your life ... easy when it’s not your home but when it’s your fault, it shouldn’t be so easy to sleep at night especially when we’ll know where you live. Lie to us, we’ll lie to you. Spy on us, we’ll spy on you. Poison us, we’ll poison you. We are The East". While Izzy chants this ritual, the opening scene is a bit daunting with synchronized images of a house being broken into and ultimately destroyed by oil being dumped in its living room along with the shattering of windows etc. by The East. The film continues with scenes of damage being done to the community as well; such as pharmaceuticals generating poisoned pills that are sold to the country which are ultimately killing people. Robert McCabe (Wilbur Fitzgerald) is stated as a leader in the community who’s at fault for throwing bad water, and oil spills into the lakes/rivers killing their animals and poisoning the community. Sarah (Brit Marling) who is one of the writers of the film and lead actress plays a young detective who yearns to go undercover and finds out who this gang of terrorists really are. As an audience member you feel for "The East" and want to side with them but at the same time they are secretly committing heinous crimes by going after anyone involved in the area of production.

Brit Marling gets the chance to spy on them and reports to her boss. She lies to her boyfriend about going to Dubai when really she is going a few blocks away into the wilderness to be with The East. Benji (Alex Skarsgard) plays the main leader who oversees all of the group’s decisions. The East has their own way of life, by living in a dark cabin away from society, yet they still manage to have human recreation with one another. Ellen (Izzy) who happens to be Benji’s lover comes off very cold towards Sarah and wants nothing to do with her. One of the most talked about scenes after the film was when Izzy meets Sarah in a closed room and asks her to wear a white straight jacket otherwise she couldn’t have dinner. Sarah looking rather puzzled does as Izzy desires, and proceeds to the dining room where everyone is staring at her. Benji asks her to begin eating. As an audience member, this kept me at the edge of my seat wondering what the heck she is going to do next! And I found myself asking myself: how can someone eat with their arms strapped with a huge wooden spoon and a bowl on the table?! It’s not possible; unless you attempt to eat like a dog. And that’s exactly what Sarah did. She began to stuff her head in the bowl because she was unable to maneuver her arms. She stops and then Benji gives the cue for the rest of the gang to dine. You begin to see everything unfold so beautifully with every other person picking up the wooden spoon with their mouth scooping the food and then feeding it to the next person, in an impressively systematized fashion. It brought to my attention that Ellen’s character was a mix of Hard Candy with a touch of Super except she never smiled or laughed. She was very fierce, a fighter, and extremely demanding all because she is heartbroken by what McCabe has done to their land.

The East has "Jams" which means attack. They plan out who has done what and appear innocent only as a means to poison/hurt the people involved. One of the jaw dropping jams was when Ellen is looking drop dead gorgeous in a dark blue dress to have "dinner" with her father who she hasn’t seen in years. Meanwhile the rest of her crew is keeping an eye on her and the father for what they have planned next. Overall this movie was so amazing! It had a great flow, each scene had its own unique intensity, and nothing was tedious. Ellen as always did a great performance as well as the other cast mates.

» Sundance 2013 - The East Premiere Screening (01/20/2013) «



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Credit to Marci - Exclusive video

South By Southwest Film Conference and Festival (SXSW)
Meanwhile, »The East« has been selected to screen as the closing night film at the South By Southwest Film Conference and Festival (SXSW), which runs from March 8-16 in Austin, Texas. Word is that Zal Batmanglij, Brit Marling, Alexander Skarsgård and Ellen are scheduled to attend this event. The movie will also be in US theatres starting May 31, 2013 in a limited release.

At this point I would like to thank everyone who contributed to this special news article. In particular, Marci for all her efforts, her commitment, the nice conversations and for grabbing some collectibles in Park City. Also my proofreaders Wayne and Trisha for their tireless work as well as Ryan Burton for contributing a photo from the Chicago screening of »Touchy Feely«. Concluding thanks to myself for spending almost 2 days (the entire weekend) with formatting and coding this article, editing and converting the video clips and uploading all the stuff you can access here.



It has become apparent that the rumors are true regarding Willem Dafoe's involvement in the upcoming PS3 video game »Beyond: Two Souls«. Last Friday Quantic Dream released a new trailer and new gameplay footage showing the actor as Nathan Dawkins, a government scientist who works with Jodie Holmes to analyse her powers. He apparently becomes a mentor and father figure to the main protagonist and will play an emotional and likely tragical part within the story.



In this context, Sony has confirmed that the game will be released on October 8, 2013 in North America (with details on additional territories still to come) and announced preorder bonuses. Those who reserve a copy at GameStop (or EB Games in Canada) will receive an exclusive 30-minute playable additional scene DLC. And while supplies last, all pre-ordering customers will get a free upgrade to the special edition of the game, which includes a steelbook packaging, a behind-the-scenes video feature, the game's soundtrack, a PS3 dynamic theme, and a PlayStation Network avatar bundle.

» Beyond: Two Souls - Willem Dafoe Gameplay Trailer (03/01/2013) «



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© Sony Computer Entertainment Europe / Quantic Dream. All rights reserved.

» Beyond: Two Souls - Behind The Scenes Footage (03/01/2013) «



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© Sony Computer Entertainment Europe / Quantic Dream. All rights reserved.


Date: 03/03/2013 - 17:20:23 Posted by Dominik
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Ellen attends the 2013 Spirit Awards, meets »Harry Potter« and presents award to Austrian director Michael Haneke

2013 Film Independent Spirit Awards
Ellen attended the 2013 Film Independent Spirit Awards at Santa Monica Beach on Saturday afternoon, where she and Daniel Radcliffe presented the award for "Best International Film" to Austrian director Michael Haneke for his touching drama »Amour«. Her »The East« co-star Brit Marling was up for "Best Supporting Female" and "Best First Feature" for »Sound of My Voice«, but came away empty handed. The big winner of the event was David O. Russell’s romantic dramedy »Silver Linings Playbook«, taking home four prizes out of five nominations, including "Best Feature", "Best Director", "Best Screenplay", and "Best Female Lead" for Jennifer Lawrence.



» IFC - Spirit Awards - Best International Film (02/23/2013) «



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© 2013 Film Independent. All rights reserved.


Date: 02/24/2013 - 20:07:55 Posted by Dominik
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Ellen Page to make directorial debut with »Miss Stevens« starring comic talent Anna Faris

While being attached to the mutant sequel »X-Men: Days of Future Past«, the feature film adaptations of »Freeheld« and »Into the Forest«, Michel Gondry's ambitious musical project »The Return of the Ice Kids« as well as the yet-to-be-confirmed comedy »Look Who’s Coming to Dinner«, Ellen Page will also step behind the camera to make her directorial debut on a movie called »Miss Stevens« in the foreseeable future. Written by Julia Hart (»The Keeping Room«) and produced by Gilbert Films (»The Kids Are All Right«) and Anonymous Content (»Winter’s Bone«), the romantic-comedy centers on a depressed teacher played by comic actress Anna Faris, who chaperones a group of high-school students on a trip to a state drama competition. Thanks to the positive influence of the youngsters entrusted to her care, the experience ultimately gives her a fresh perspective on life.

Ellen PageJulia HartAnna Faris

It looks like »Miss Stevens« could be aiming for a potential shoot in the fall as both Page and Faris will be busy with other projects for the next few months. I will, of course, keep you informed about any new developments as they come up!


Date: 02/08/2013 - 21:13:00 Posted by Dominik
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Ellen Page among upcoming guest voices set for IFC's new animated comedy series »Out There«

Ellen will be among the many talents to make guest voice appearances during the first season of IFC’s new animated comedy »Out There«, which premieres on Friday, February 22 at 10:30pm ET/PT with two back-to-back half hour episodes. The list of popular guest stars, comprising Nick Offerman, Sarah Silverman, Jason Schwartzman, Jemaine Clement, Selma Blair, Stephen Root and Christian Slater, comes on top of the show's already-impressive regular cast that includes Fred Armisen, Pamela Adlon, Linda Cardellini, John DiMaggio, Megan Mullally and others. Created by »South Park« animator Ryan Quincy, »Out There« follows the coming-of-age misadventures of Chad Stevens and his best friend Chris Novak. Living in the small town of Holford in the middle of nowhere, the boys wander the surreal, bleak landscape waiting out their last few years of high school and discovering that growing up is weird to do. Puberty, first loves, social ostracism, conservative parents, single moms with their disastrous boyfriend choices -- »Out There« confronts these perils of youth and explores that terrifying limbo between childhood and adulthood when fragile young personalities form and deform. Relive the agony and ecstasy of those special times as Chad and Chris try to navigate life ... out there.



Read below the complete press release and the official episode descriptions:

IFC LogoEllen Page, Jason Schwartzman, Sarah Silverman & More Guest Star in IFC's New Animated Series "Out There" - Premieres February 22
Other guest stars include Selma Blair, Jemaine Clement, Nick Offerman, Stephen Root and Christian Slater.

Created By Ryan Quincy, two-time Emmy(R)-winning animation director and producer of South Park

Premieres Friday, February 22 at 10:30pm ET/PT on IFC

First Look Clip of Jason Schwartzman Guesting on Out There: www.ifc.com/out-there/videos/out-there-benjamin

New York, NY- Tuesday, February 5, 2013 - IFC announced today a roster of notable voices guesting on the network's upcoming original animated series, Out There. Selma Blair (Anger Management, Hellboy), Jemaine Clement (Flight of the Conchords), Nick Offerman (Parks and Recreation), Ellen Page (Juno, Inception), Stephen Root (King of the Hill, Office Space), Jason Schwartzman (Moonrise Kingdom, The Darjeeling Express), Sarah Silverman (Wreck It Ralph, The Sarah Silverman Program) and Christian Slater (Breaking In, Robot Chicken) will voice a variety of characters in the coming-of-age comedy. Created by Ryan Quincy, two-time Emmy(R)-winning animation director and producer of South Park, Out There premieres Friday, February 22 at 10:30pm ET/PT with two back-to-back episodes.

"I'm beyond amazed at the guest stars we were able to cast," said Ryan Quincy. "All of them I've long admired and I think they all share an outsider quality that is a perfect fit for the Out There universe."

Pamela Adlon (Louie, King of the Hill), Fred Armisen (Portlandia, SNL), Linda Cardellini (ER, Freaks and Geeks), John DiMaggio (Futurama, Adventure Time), Kate Micucci (Raising Hope, Bored to Death), Megan Mullally (Children's Hospital, Party Down) and Justin Roiland (Fish Hooks, Adventure Time) will voice the series' principal cast of characters, along with Ryan Quincy, who will be the voice of the main character, Chad Stevens.

Out There chronicles the misadventures of socially awkward Chad, his little brother Jay (Kate Micucci) and his best friend, Chris (Justin Roiland). Living in the small town of Holford, the boys wander its surreal, bleak landscape waiting out their last few years of high school and discovering that growing up is weird to do. Puberty, first loves, social ostracism, conservative parents, single moms and their disastrous boyfriend choices, Out There confronts these perils of youth and explores that terrifying limbo between childhood and adulthood when fragile young personalities form and re-form. Relive the agony and ecstasy of those special times as Chad and Chris try to navigate life... out there.

Out There is created, written by and executive produced by Quincy. Tony Gama-Lobo (King of the Hill) and Rebecca May (King of the Hill) are executive producers. Out There is produced for IFC by 20th Century Fox Television.

About IFC

IFC creates and champions authentic, original comedies that are "Always On. Slightly Off," which air alongside an extraordinary collection of films and comedic cult TV shows. IFC.com features exclusive video, web series, podcasts, blogs and additional content that engages fans with IFC originals. The network's On Demand offering, IFC Free, gives viewers the opportunity to watch select content from IFC whenever they want. Established in 1994, IFC is owned and operated by AMC Networks Inc. and is available in nearly 70 million homes on every major cable, satellite and TelCo provider.



Episode 1 – "The Great Escape"
Premieres Friday, February 22 at 10:30pm ET/PT.

Meet Chad Stevens -- a 15-year-old boy existing in the small town of Holford. He’s a loner, a soloist -- until he meets fellow outcast Chris. Chris hates Holford and is planning his escape, and enlists kindred spirit Chad to help.

Episode 2 – "Quest for Fantasy"
Premieres Friday, February 22 at 11:00pm ET/PT.

When Chad faints in class after seeing a diagram of the female reproductive system, Chris makes it his mission to get Chad more comfortable with the female form. The boys hear a rumor about an adult photo shoot outside of town and embark on a quest to find it.

Episode 3 – "A Chris By Any Other Name"
Premieres Friday, March 1 at 10:30pm ET/PT.

When Chris gets knocked down the bleachers during an assembly by one of the school bullies, he cries out in pain for his mom, earning him the humiliating nickname "Mommy." Chad helps Chris plot to get a better nickname, until one of Chris‘ ideas threatens Chad’s relationship with his school crush, Sharla.

Episode 4 – "Springoween"
Premieres Friday, March 8 at 10:00pm ET/PT.

Because the previous Halloween was canceled due to extreme weather, Holford rescheduled the holiday for spring instead. Chad still wants to trick--‐or--‐treat, but Chris convinces him to go to a boy--‐girl party that goes horribly wrong. Meanwhile, Jay is on the run from Holford’s legendary maniacal bad boy, Johnny Slade.

Episode 5 – "Frosty King"
Premieres Friday, March 15 at 10:00pm ET/PT.

Chad wrecks the family car and gets a job at Frosty King to pay for the damage. Chad immediately clashes with manager Benjamin Brent, the only other male employee. Chad must endure Benjamin’s torture while Chris tries to raise enough money to set Chad free from the shackles of the corporate world.

Episode 6 – "Enter Destiny" **
Premieres Friday, March 22 at 10:00pm ET/PT.

Chad is smitten with new girl Destiny, but he blows his chance after saving Jay from a bully who turns out to be her brother. Chad enlists Chris’s help to win her back with an elaborate plan involving walkie talkies and a mysterious aphrodisiac.

Episode 7 – "Joanie Loves Terry"
Premieres Friday, March 29 at 10:00pm ET/PT.

Chris is upset by how close his mom and her boyfriend Terry have become. When he sees Terry buying a ring at the flea market, Chris is terrified he’s going to propose. Chris and Chad concoct a plan to get Terry out of Chris’ life for good.

Episode 8 – "Viking Days"
Premieres Friday, April 5 at 10:00pm ET/PT.

When Wayne declines Chad’s request to compete in Holford’s annual father-and-son Hexathalon, Chad asks Sharla’s dad to compete with him instead. Meanwhile, Joanie asks Chris and Terry to do the race together to strengthen their bond, and the contest brings out everyone’s true colors.

Episode 9 – "Salem, My Salem"
Premieres Friday, April 12 at 10:00pm ET/PT.

After botching his oral presentation for history class, Chad decides to make a movie instead. With Chris’ input, the project becomes increasingly off--‐topic and out of control, leading to a disaster of near--‐biblical proportions.

Episode 10 – "Aces Wild"
Premieres Friday, April 19 at 10:00pm ET/PT.

Chad’s classroom doodles draw the attention of the "cool kid" yearbook staff, who invite him to join their inner circle. Chad and Chris enjoy their popular status until Chad discovers their new friends have ulterior motives.

( ** My guess is that Ellen will lend her voice to Destiny in the sixth episode )

You can also watch a full episode sneak peek and get to know the characters here: www.ifc.com/out-there/videos/full-episode-out-there-a-chris-by-any-other-name

For updates on the upcoming season of »Out There«, please check out:

Web: ifc.com/shows/out-there
Facebook: facebook.com/IFCOutThere
Twitter: @ifcoutthere
iTunes: itunes.apple.com/us/tv-season/out-there-season-1/id589297492


Date: 02/06/2013 - 22:02:35 Posted by Dominik
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»Touchy Feely« and »The East« debut at Sundance / Ellen returns as Kitty Pryde in »X-Men: Days of Future Past«



The original plan at this point was to have an on-site report from the Sundance Film Festival and the movie premieres of »Touchy Feely« and »The East«. I assume that Marci is still busy with putting everything together while working around her own Sundance schedule and enjoying the time spent there. However, you can expect to get an article as well as some exclusive photos and even video footage from the premiere screenings in the course of the coming weeks. This also means it was once again up to me to write something that does justice to two movies I haven't seen yet, and sum up a weekend full of events that I haven't experienced myself. I hope that I have succeeded in doing so.

But first things first: After arriving in Park City and having a dinner with her »Touchy Feely« co-stars and director Lynn Shelton at the Samsung Galaxy Lounge on Friday, Ellen had her first busy day including several press appointments and photo shoots. In the afternoon, she headed for the Eccles Center Theatre where the movie's premiere took place. She then joined Allison Janney, Rosemarie DeWitt, Josh Pais, Ron Livingston and Tomo Nakayama at the subsequent press junkets; concluding her promotional work for Shelton's recent project. on Sunday, Ellen went through almost the same process - this time for her other upcoming film »The East«. The day started with additional photo sessions at Getty Images' and Wireimage's portrait studios at Village at the Lift, and ended with the world premiere of the eco-thriller at the aforementioned theatre followed by a dinner party at the Grey Goose Blue Door Lounge on Main Street. Together with Alexander Skarsgård, Zal Batmanglij and Brit Marling, Ellen also stopped by at the Variety Studio as well as the Sundance Channel HQ studio and gave interviews to HitFix, Vanity Fair and The Hollywood Reporter before returning to her adopted home of Los Angeles on Monday. One can say that it was a rather quick yet abundant weekend.



With »Touchy Feely«, Seattle filmmaker and Sundance alum Lynn Shelton returned to the festival with her fifth feature and second competition film. Trading her improv-based filmmaking style for a more traditional screenplay-grounded model, she delivers an uneven mix of half-formed conflicts, resulting in a comedy-drama that ultimately sticks to her core themes: the bonds of family and the desire for connection. Set in the director's own hometown, the film focuses on two siblings: Abby (Rosemarie DeWitt), a massage therapist, and Paul (Josh Pais), a straitlaced dentist who isn’t even aware that his daughter Jenny (Ellen Page) has long grown tired of working as his dental assistant. Inexplicably, this sister and brother suddenly both go through profound physiological changes. Abby finds herself repulsed by human bodies, while Paul begins to develop a healing touch to cure any patient’s long-term physical pains out of the blue. This magical zero-sum scenario resonates with the film's interest in the energy-balancing beliefs of Reiki, the Japanese relaxation technique. Abby's close friend Bronwyn (Allison Janney) is a practitioner, reading people's energy and making herbal potions. She ends up being the mentor to both siblings guiding them through their healing professions.



One reviewer stated that »Touchy Feely« is like a massage: Too much pushing, and things get uncomfortable. Listlessly paced, it is a muted and a low-energy film. While there's a lot of admirable breathing space for moments of introverted thought and self-reflection, often arriving in close-ups of the face, these scenes never quite resonate as much as they should. Shelton touches upon many would-be fascinating ideas of the comfort (or discomfort) of living within ones own skin, universal connectedness, spirituality, intimacy and more. But the final result fails to coalesce the themes in a meaningful way. One point of criticism is also that the film never gets to a point of truly evoking sympathy for its characters. Not having likeable characters does not doom a film, but having unsympathetic protagonists whose lives have essentially stopped moving forward doesn’t leave much hope for good audience reactions either. A reason for this misery could be the script, which was written in only two months in preparation for a spring 2012 shoot. Shelton's past Sundance entries, »Humpday« and »Your Sister’s Sister«, worked best because she let the actors improvise their characters' dialogue and behavior -- as together they found their own way through. This time, she forces this top-notch cast through situations that sound better on paper than as realized on screen. Lead actress Rosemarie DeWitt, who was a last-minute replacement for Rachel Weisz, admitted, "I didn't really understand the character when I read the script," during the Q&A session after the first screening. Speaking about the project, Ellen added she was blown away by »Your Sister's Sister«. But the improvisation was a little nerve-wracking for her because it’s not something she is familiar with. She told herself, "okay, improvise. Be chill, be cool, be cool." Yet, while doing it, it was like "Oh, I can’t improvise as Ellen."

As you might expect, »Touchy Feely« receives very mixed reviews so far which also applies to the actors involved. While one film critic thinks Ellen is heartbreaking in her gentle and unrequited love for a man who doesn’t love her and has one of the strongest scenes in the film, another argues she has fallen into the trap of taking on precocious roles similar to the one she had in her career-making »Juno«, but without the same flair and energy. Overall, »Touchy Feely« is an absorbing exploration of identity, family dynamics and the mysterious psychic push-and-pull balance of the universe. But it can’t seem to find its footing, wandering lost between two story lines that feature difficult-to-care-about protagonists with little to add to the conversation. Unfortunately this film produces a disappointing and uneven experience. In my view the scene in the clip posted below looks very similar to »Smart People« - a movie that is quite entertaining and well-played, but also instantly forgettable and rather pointless at the end. It also fits into the picture that it has not been picked up by a distributor for a release yet. Word has it the producers have received the first offers though.

» Touchy Feely - Webclip 1 (01/21/2013) «



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Here is a brief summary of all available reviews to date:

Shelton's latest is warm but less endearing than its predecessors — John DeFore, Los Angeles Times

The film is more intricately plotted than Shelton's last films [...] You never know what's going to happen in a Shelton film, as she focuses a digital camera on each actor for long repeated takes --anything can happen. — Anne Thompson, Indiewire

There is no question that Shelton aims in this movie to create a crowd-pleasing statement about embracing those around us and appreciating what we have. Her attempts can come off a bit programmatic at times, but her cast’s complete confidence with the material helps sell the occasionally saccharine sermonising. Touchy Feely, certainly, but not oppressively so. — Tim Grierson, Screen Daily

Great ensemble cast makes Lynn Shelton's 'Touchy Feely' a gentle generous new age charmer. If I have a complaint, it is that this feels far less focused than the last two films from Shelton. — Drew McWeeny, HitFix

Touchy Feely drew a mixed reaction at its inaugural screening from the distributors — the New Age premise and the Abby character came in for some criticism. But for all the grousing, Shelton still manages to get intimate human moments right, tipping a scene just enough toward comedy before tipping it back to how real people think and talk. — Steven Zeitchik, LA Times

Trading her improv-based filmmaking style for a more traditional screenplay-grounded model, Lynn Shelton delivers an uneven mix of half-formed conflicts in Touchy Feely. — Peter Debruge, Variety

There's a great movie somewhere inside "Touchy Feely" desperately trying to swim to the surface, but its obscurity also comes with an inarticulateness that robs it of its potential. Shelton's latest is an absorbing exploration of identity, family dynamics and the mysterious psychic push-and-pull balance of the universe, but its chakras aren't completely in order, unfortunately leaving for a disappointing and uneven experience. [B-] — Rodrigo Perez, The Playlist

Touchy Feely left me a little confused and frustrated. With a talented cast and some genuinely funny material, it seemed set up for success. The issue I had with it was that the story is largely about identity crisis, yet the personalities aren’t very well developed – it was difficult to pinpoint and accept their motivations. The characters also aren’t centrally involved with each others’ journeys, leaving their bonds tenuous when they should have been integral and deliberate. — Christie Ko, ScreenCrave

Maudlin, uneven of tone and blighted by a transparent piece of artifice, Touchy Feely marks Lynn Shelton's directorial nadir. In essence, Touchy Feely is a maudlin piece with little by way of comic relief. DeWitt is appealing in her happier moments and does a solid job, as do all the cast; although Pais's Paul by far the best thing about the movie. Shelton's migration towards more clear-cut drama is hampered by uneven tone and, most damning of all, dullness. — Jeremy Kay, The Guardian

There’s a few excellent moments in the movie, and some brilliant, beautiful displays of cinematography, but overall, the film is far too slow and drags horribly from the midpoint on. It’s a huge misstep for director Lynn Shelton, who usually displays such skill and attention to detail in her work, as in the lovely Your Sister’s Sister. And while I’m all for genre and convention-busting, Touchy Feely can’t seem to find its footing, wandering lost between two story lines that feature difficult-to-care-about protagonists with little to add to the conversation. [C+] — Amanda Mae Meyncke, Film.com

The music in the film is like entering a massage parlor, creating an aura of energy that the characters are struggling to maintain. Which in turn sets a soft tone for the audience from the beginning but unfortunately the movie is like lying on the massage table listening to the music and feeling relaxed but never actually getting the massage. — John Giansiracusa, Bangitout.com

This time around we get Touchy Feely, a slightly more ambitious, far less successful, project from Shelton. [...] The ambition gets lost somewhere amongst this large and talented cast, Shelton retreating to some worn plot contrivances in the third act. [...] It’s an aggravating misstep for such a promising filmmaker. There’s an engaging character study somewhere inside Touchy Feely. It’s a shame we never get a chance to see it. — Dan Mecca, The Film Stage

It’s not clear what exactly is missing in Touchy Feely, but the film never gets to a point of truly evoking sympathy for its characters. [B-] — Abe Fried-Tanzer, Shockya

Although other features such as »The Way, Way Back« or »The Spectular Now« aroused more attention at the end, it's still safe to say »The East« is one of the top runners’ of this year's Sundance Film Festival. The eco-thriller from director Zal Batmanglij and writer/actress Brit Marling centers on Sarah Moss, an ambitious former FBI agent who now works for a private firm that does elite damage control for large corporations. Much to her excitement, she is assigned to a high-profile case: infiltrating an underground corporate terrorist organisation called The East which tries to takedown the CEO’s of big companies producing harmful products consumed by the general public. Dyeing her hair and hanging out with banjo players gets her in with the freegan anarchists fairly quickly. At first the collective led with quiet authority by Benji (Alexander Skarsgård) seems like a weirdo cult. This perception soon fades and the inevitable question becomes whether her sympathies will begin to sway to their side despite the serious consequences of their actions, or if she will remain a good corporate spy.



Judging from the reviews published so far, there's not much you can criticize about »The East«. A couple of reviewers didn't like that the movie shares some basic ideas with Batmanglij's low budget sci-fi thriller »Sound of My Voice«, following someone who goes undercover to infiltrate a cult-like organization. Others are missing the explanation of why Sarah is eventually seduced by the group's ideals. And they find it hard to believe that an accomplished professional in a field much like Sarah would allow the romantic attentions of one highly inscrutable man to jeopardize her personal or professional security to the extent that she does. It also seems to be a contradiction that the group tries to live a minimalist life-style far away from civilization, but eventually uses state-of-the-art satellite technology and multiple computer systems in the basement to prepare and plan the next jams. Furthermore, the important and provocative question whether breaking the law and doing harm to the leaders of powerful, rich conglomerates that are poisoning the environment and endangering lives with relative impunity is the ultimate solution remains largely unanswered. At this point, it should be said that Marling and Zal Batmanglij pointed out more than once in several interviews that it was never intended to deliver an answer since they don't have one to such complex moral questions themselves. The thriller has been designed to make the audience think about what is happening around the world.



Besides, »The East« scores with its fantastic ensemble cast. From Alexander Skarsgård and Toby Kebbell to Shiloh Fernandez and Patricia Clarkson, the actors are all great, and the characters they play are different from anything you've seen them in before; Especially Ellen. As cold and calculating as Izzy seems, Ellen is totally kick-ass and turns in her best performance in years, according to Michael Dunaway from Paste Magazine. The direction in particular is astounding. Zal Batmanglij certainly knows what he's doing with all these talented and passionate actors. But he also succeeds in navigating the story with every twist and turn and plot point and yet keep the momentum going. This comes as no surprise considering he and Brit Marling got the best possible preparation for this project. The pair spent a summer as "freegans" traveling in a fashion similar to the movie's group to see if they could live for that long without spending money. They lived in abandoned spaces in sleeping bags, reused discarded goods and ate food found in trash bins. When they returned to their regular lives, they began writing what they conceived of as a eco-thriller set in that world off the grid, with anarchists seeking revenge on corporations that the collective deemed harmful to society. Inspired by an era when "the Internet has put power back in the hands of individuals", it sources a host of movements, from Freegans and the Occupy movement to more radical groups like Anonymous and the Weather Underground, and raises questions that are now more topical than ever before. There is no doubt that »The East« will find a solid limited-release audience since the filmmakers have managed to produce one of the most smartly written and thought-provoking undercover thrillers in recent years. The exact release date hasn't been announced yet, but Fox Searchlight Pictures already stated that it will be "not far behind" »Stoker« which hits threatres on March 1, 2013.

» The East - US Trailer (01/21/2013) «



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© Fox and its related entities. All rights reserved.

An overview of reviews can be found after the jump.

This clever, involving spy drama builds to a terrific level of intrigue before losing some steam in its second half. Still, the appreciable growth in filmmaking confidence here should translate into a fine return on Fox Searchlight's investment, and generate good word-of-mouth buzz among smart thrill-seekers. — Justin Chang, Variety

The East is a terrific companion piece for anyone who enjoyed Sound Of My Voice. It isn't difficult to draw parallels between the two films with recurring motifs like cults, initiation rituals, blindfolds, sign language and more all brimming to the surface. At nearly two hours, the film is just slightly overlong and can be deeply silly at times, but nonetheless thoroughly entertaining. [...] The East is definitely a movie that's going to divide people but it'll be a conversation worth having. [B-] — Cory Everett, The Playlist

Environmental-justice themes are put to smart use in Zal Batmanglij's corporate espionage film [...] The actors bringing this band of anarchists to life project enough wounded, uncertain self-righteousness to distance them from the generic zealots more often seen in this kind of tale, and Marling, working behind a couple of layers of role-playing, keeps audiences guessing about what Sarah actually believes. Batmanglij balances emotional tension with practical danger nicely, a must in a story whose activist protagonists can make no distinction between the personal and the political. — John DeFore, The Hollywood Reporter

Batmanglij’s direction is first-rate. Unlike his aforementioned previous film, The East is a very slick-looking thriller and moves at a very fluid pace (save a bit of second-act dragging). The music is also mesmerizing, most notably a frenetic, haunting piano solo by Kebbell in this, a thoroughly engrossing mash-up of Martha Marcy May Marlene and Serpico. But the film is, first and foremost, a wonderful showcase for Marling’s considerable talents. — Marlow Stern, The Daily Beast

A solid but disappointingly traditional thriller. [...] My main beef with the film is the somewhat facile attitude toward big fat corporations. [...] That said, I offer genuine huzzahs to the film’s conclusion. Without giving away final twists or action beats, this is a movie that proposes a genuine, intelligent solution, both for the main character and for us. It comes at you kinda quickly (and economically, in about three wordless shots), but it hit me like a bag of dumpster-dived apples to the gut. [B+] — Jordan Hoffman, Film.com

The East is a clean-running machine that keeps one engaged. There’s a slickness to the proceedings that can temporarily distract from the script issues, and Batmanglij shows growth as a creator of suspense sequences. But whether it’s the East’s dangerous covert missions or Sarah’s personal transformation from loyal employee to budding anarchist, The East feels more like an idea for a high-concept thriller than a thoughtful, compelling film. — Tim Grierson, Screen Daily

The East is absorbing and exciting for most of its length, with a aesthetic (the photography is by Roman Vasyanov) that believably shifts from the grungy life of The East to the well-heeled environs of their victims and Sarah’s employer. The cast is very fine, with the shifting dynamics between Skarsgard and Marling particularly notable. — Mitch Salem, Showbuzz Daily

The East is an AWESOME thriller! It draws you in with its high stakes situations and the intense moral quandary facing the main character, played by Brit Marling, keeping you on the edge of your seat for almost two hours. The tight script [...] contains a bunch of memorable lines that I have been quoting non-stop since the screening. — Georg, Geekscape

Provocative and sharply crafted to the end, successfully bridging its star and director's indie roots with their multiplex potential, The East maintains its intelligence, but arguably flexes it a little too eagerly. That's a luxurious quibble to have with any comparatively mainstream thriller, or indeed any female-driven entertainment, these days, particularly one ripe with sequel opportunities. — Guy Lodge, HitFix

The East is a Decent Studio Pic with No Indie Spark. [...] There's no doubt that talented filmmakers like Batmanglij and Marling have a bright future in Hollywood. Their world is rich, characters interesting, and writing/acting/directing skills show plenty of promise. Unfortunately, The East just seems to suffer from some growing pains. There are some cool ideas here and it's pretty damned entertaining for a studio action-thriller, however, it's definitely no Sound of My Voice. — Ryland Aldrich, Twitch, Twitch

A refreshing concept, persuasive acting, and effective pacing make Brit Marling's latest, The East, one of the most captivating films of Sundance 2013. — Emily Estep, WeGotThisCovered

If I have any complaint, its that in a quest to keep their missions personal The East encounters a job which turns into a scene I would expect more from a big Hollywood movie than a smart indie. Its nothing too groan-worthy, it just feels a bit out of place compared to the rest of the film. [...] While The East skews more conventional and mainstream than most Sundance films, its rare that we get a tense thriller that provides some deeper interesting topical discussion. [8 out of 10] — Peter Sciretta, /film

The East is the thoughtful spy thriller Hollywood has forgotten how to make [...] A bigger and more conventional film than Sound of My Voice, with genre elements that wouldn't be out of place in a Bourne film, The East is also spectacular, the kind of gripping thriller that precious few mainstream Hollywood directors even attempt these days. Taking the time to dig deep into its characters and constantly blurring the line between right and wrong, The East is provocative and thoughtful-- but also far more entertaining that you'd ever think it had a right to be. — Katey Rich, CinemaBlend

The East tackles a little-covered activist milieu that's rarely treated in films and will likely alienate red-state audiences when Fox Searchlight releases it nationwide this year. But it's also a commercial thriller, where the politics are in service of the action, and the insurgent activism in metropolitan and college areas may help this timely work find a solid limited-release audience. [B] — Logan Hill, Indiewire

Through his skillful direction and thoughtful script, Batmanglij has reminded audiences what the undercover thriller can accomplish if the filmmakers understand that inner-conflict should extend past the protagonist. However, his commitment to playing by the genre’s rules keeps him contained to the conventions, which in turns adds some predictability to moments that were clearly meant to land as a surprise. But The East never sets out to redefine the genre. It simply attempts to carry the undercover thriller to its full potential. Jam accomplished. [B+] — Matt Goldberg, Collider

I really feel like The East has huge crossover potential- way beyond the art-house film crowd. It's the type of thriller that should hit 2000 screens and play to a huge audience. Hopefully people will embrace it- but whatever the case, it can't be denied Batmanglij and Marling have made a big move into the same kind of smart, ambitious, yet broadly entertaining type of film that people like George Clooney and Ben Affleck do so well. [9 out of 10] — Chris Bumbray, JoBlo

Like Sound of my Voice, The East is smooth and calculating in its delivery, but goes a little haywire in the mad dash for an exciting conclusion. Marling and Batmanglij have established a rhythm that may feel a little too familiar, but it's nonetheless smart and evocative. The film was produced by the late Tony Scott, and his name features prominently in the closing credits. I think this is a film he would have been proud to be associated with. [4 out of 5] — Travis Hopson, Examiner

I thought the movie was great, and it was one of the few films I've seen at the festival that got an ovation at the end. I liked the intensity of the story, which was well crafted. The movie is kind of predictable though, I pretty much knew what was around every corner, but it was still executed extremely well, so it didn't really bother me that I knew what was coming. It was one of those things where I was just looking forward to seeing how those scenes would play out. — Joey Paur, GeekTyrant

Once again, Batmanglij and Marling prove to be quite the talented writing duo. After penning Batmanglij’s directorial debut, the intelligent team of two tackle pressing environmental issues (i.e. lucrative companies creating unsafe products for the sake of profit) without devolving into didacticism. Aside from the film’s candid cultural commentary, The East presents a morally and emotionally conflicted protagonist that forces the viewer to contemplate how they’d respond in her sticky situation. [B-] — Sam Fragoso, The Film Stage

In all honesty, I wasn't expecting to like this much at first, but was ecstatic to discover a fantastic thriller that I'm looking forward to revisiting. As only the second film by Zal Batmanglij, it's an impressive step up. [8 out of 10] — Alex Billington, FirstShowing

With no concrete heroes and villains, the tension of the film builds to a final scene that's as entertaining as it is thought-provoking. While lacking some of the nuance that made Sound of My Voice so distinct, Marling and Batmanglij have managed to produce one of the most smartly written undercover thrillers in recent years. The East doesn't redefine the genre, but a strong cast, polished direction, and absorbing story make it an impressive effort nonetheless. — Zeba Blay, Slant Magazine

The East Is Directionless [...] Walking out of it, it’s the film that has disappointed me most completely. The East isn’t just a disappointment, it’s actually pretty bad, and is fatally naive. [...] The East is a poorly written, thoroughly silly environmental movie for people who want to believe that tut-tutting over stories in Mother Jones is the same thing as making a difference. — Devin Faraci, Badass Digest

Marling is wonderful as always, Alexander Skarsgaard is appropriately mysterious as the leader of the group, and Ellen Page turns in her best performance in years. — Michael Dunaway, Paste Magazine

The East is one of those films that feels as if its being released at the perfect time [...] Ellen Page is the other real standout of the above mentioned cast members. Just like most of her previous roles, Page showcases a really strong character with a lot of conviction. [...] I must admit that The East was one of my favorite films that I saw at Sundance 2013. I loved the acting, the story, the pacing, and just the overall message and subject matter that the film addressed. While this may not be a film for everyone, it is definitely a film that addresses some really important things about our society. [9 out of 10] — MovieManMenzel, We Live Film

The East is going to be an easily accessible thriller for mainstream audiences, with all the subtlety and specific insight that made Marling’s indie films such standouts for those who discovered them. [8,5 out of 10] — Fred Topel, CraveOnline

Ellen Page - Kitty Pryde
Since the announcement of the »X-Men: First Class« sequel »X-Men: Days of Future Past«, the cast has continued to grow as actors from both the original X-Men and »X-Men: First Class« films are set to appear in the upcoming adaptation. What we do know is that Hugh Jackman is already confirmed to reprise his part as Wolverine. Additionally, Patrick Stewart and Ian McKellen are back as the older versions of Professor X and Magneto, respectively, while »X-Men: First Class« stars James McAvoy and Michael Fassbender will return as the younger versions of the powerful mutants. Expected to join them are fellow First Class-mates Jennifer Lawrence (Raven / Mystique) and Nicholas Hoult (Hank McCoy / Beast) and possibly others. Last Saturday, Director Bryan Singer tweeted his roughly 25,000 followers the news that Anna Paquin, Ellen Page and Shawn Ashmore have joined the production as well.

"Very excited to welcome #annapaquin, @ellenpage & @shawnrashmore to #XMen #DaysofFuturePast - thank you @BrettRatner for letting them live!"
@BryanSinger - 9:22 PM - 26 Jan 13

X-Men: Days of Future Past
»X-Men: Days of Future Past« features a script by Simon Kinberg and is said to be inspired by Chris Claremont and John Byrne's comic book storyline that ran in "Uncanny X-Men" #141 and 142 back in 1981. »Days of Future Past« introduced the idea of an alternate future for Marvel's mutants that grew out of the Brotherhood of Evil Mutants killing senator Robert Kelly, leading to a future where all mutants are hunted by Sentinels. The most exciting fact in this regard is that Ellen's character Kitty Pryde plays one of the most important roles in the storyline and therefore will likely (and hopefully) have plenty of screen time in the film adaption.

For those who aren't familiar with the comic the sequel is based from, here's the synopsis:

"The storyline alternates between present day, in which the X-Men fight Mystique's Brotherhood of Evil Mutants, and a future timeline caused by the X-Men's failure to prevent the Brotherhood from assassinating Senator Robert Kelly. In this future universe, Sentinels rule the United States, and mutants live in internment camps. The present-day X-Men are forewarned of the possible future by a future version of their teammate Kitty Pryde, whose mind traveled back in time and possessed her younger self to warn the X-Men. She succeeds in her mission and returns to the future, but despite her success, the future timeline still exists as an alternative timeline rather than as the actual future."

Obviously some details will be changed, but as producer Matthew Vaughn said previously, "It's X-Men meets The Terminator. You've got robots, you've got time travel, you've got superheroes - it's got everything in one film." I'm sure Ellen will enjoy working on an action packed contemporary sci-fi film for a change after doing four low-budget projects in a row. While filming is due to start in April, »X-Men: Days of Future Past« will be released in US theaters through 20th Century Fox on July 18, 2014.


Date: 01/27/2013 - 23:19:09 Posted by Dominik
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