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Viggo Mortensen to Receive Dennis Hopper Award at AMFM Fest

Source: The Wrap News Inc..
Found By: Chrissie
Many thanks to Chrissie for this great news.

Coachella Valley film, art and music festival will honor Mortensen for range of artistic activities, from acting to poetry to photography

Viggo Mortensen will receive the fourth annual Dennis Lee Hopper Award at this year's inaugural AMFM Fest in California's Coachella Valley, Film 4 Change announced on Thursday.

Mortensen, an actor, writer, poet and visual artist, will receive the award at a ceremony in the desert town of Cathedral City on June 16, on the final day of the four-day festival that draws its name from the phrase "Art, Music, Film and More." His art will also be exhibited at the fest, which will include a screening of the Alex Kleinert documentary "Wild Horses and Renegades," in which Mortensen appears.

"Dennis believed that to be an artist, you had to embrace all the arts," Find 4 Change and AMFM Fest co-director Robert Galarza told TheWrap. "Viggo has his photography, painting, writing, poetry and philosophical musings in addition to his acting ability, and he has no great ego as an artist. He allows the art to move through him like a vessel, which is how Dennis saw the world."

The award honors artists who work in a number of fields and also advocate for social change. The first award was presented to Hopper posthumously in 2010 at the Albuquerque Film Festival. Subsequent honorees were Dean Stockwell and director Alex Cox.

Galarza and co-director Rich Heinrich also announced the addition of the award-winning, Joshua Tree-based rock group Gram Rabbit to the AMFM Fest's music lineup, as well as the Venice Beach-based group Terraplane Sun.

"We came up in the spirit of the original South by Southwest," said Heinrich, "and we want to create a festival that has established headliners but also a large number of unsigned acts."

The AMFM Fest will run from June 13 ? 16 at the UltraStar Mary Pickford Theater, the Cathedral City Town Square and other venues in the desert city between Palm Springs and Indio. The festival will include six world premiere films in a slate of more than 50, along with live shows, comedy, spoken word performances and art exhibits.

In keeping with Film 4 Change's mission to encourage social change through art, it will also showcase the work of the Boys and Girls Club of Cathedral City.

More information is available at

Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo

After years of resisting the pressures of modern technology, recent interviews with Viggo have shown that it has gradually crept up on him, as we can see from the progression of quotes below. He finally has a mobile phone and he has moved from exclusively using film for his photography, to shooting on film but then scanning negatives for printing digitally, and finally to mainly shooting digitally. But then ? when you are shooting digitally - is there still room for all those wonderful photographic accidents? Luckily he still has all his favourite old cameras to hand. Editing for Perceval Press, posting his Sobrevuelos and following San Lorenzo has forced him to use the computer but I'm betting he still doesn't watch much TV.

...not only does his house not contain a TV, but Mortensen's car has no CD player either, and he doesn't possess a mobile phone. He may very well be the only person in this LA hotel today who doesn't.

"I've chosen to live a certain way, and I don't want that to change," offers Mortensen by way of explanation. "I like being detached from the constant feed of phone calls and news and entertainment. So much of it is based on selling you something. If you turn on the television, if it's not the ads, it's somebody with an agenda, trying to get some political message across, or force some opinion on you. I know there are some good things on there too - The Simpsons, Sopranos, whatever - but I just feel my time is better spent reading a book, or drawing, just creating something."

Long Live the King
By Paul Byrne
April 2004

He has arrived carrying a laptop computer, which he is immediately sheepish about. He is something of a Luddite. He likes to be barefoot, sometimes even at fancy Hollywood functions. Until recently, when he started watching soccer, the one television in his Venice, California, home, was used solely to play movies. He carries no mobile phone.

'I've been portrayed as a cell-phoneless savage,' he says, not unhappily. But today he has got something to show me: galleys of several books soon to be published by Perceval Press, a small company he owns. He flips open his PowerBook G4, shrugs, and says, 'Anybody can be co-opted.'

The Appealingly Weird World of Viggo Mortensen
By Amy Wallace
March 2006

He has been a late convert to the wired world, only relatively recently starting to carry a mobile phone. 'It's antiquated, just a flip phone. I don't have a BlackBerry or whatever you call it. And there is something to be said for being isolated and out of phone range, because you can fall into a habit to such a degree that you don't even realise that you've lost something: silence.'

Viggo Mortensen's grand plan
Telegraph Men's Style Magazine
By Sheryl Garratt
26 March 2013

'You know, they have nice beds in this hotel. It's a nice change once in a while. Just like TV. I don't watch TV at home, but when I come to the hotel, it's like, all these pillows and TV! And it's like, this is great! God, why didn't I do this before, but every time, it lasts about 15 minutes before I get bored and switch off the TV.'

Viggo Mortensen
A Sense of Finality
By Markus Tschiedert
Green Cine, 2003

'I suppose I'm a private person; have been pretty much that way all along. I'm certainly not someone who can't sit for five minutes without calling someone or turning on the television set. I can entertain myself.'

Viggo Mortensen
A Visit With Viggo
By Marianne Love
Sandpoint magazine, 2004

Let´s continue with the list of your talents. You are a writer, poet, and still use pen and paper. Is that right?

"Absolutely. But partly I had to resign myself to the computer to facilitate and speed up the work of the editor."

Viggo Mortensen: "Do I look sexy?"
By Simona Coppa - translated by Ollie
Grazia (Italy)
9 October 2012

How are you at finding your way around the internet?

I do understand why there are people who sit in front of a computer and stay there eight hours non-stop (chuckles). It´s dangerous. I think you also have to do some physical exercise. I get into what interests me culturally: history, politics, things. To compare, to have a better idea of what has happened in some country or in some artistic area. You can spend hours. It´s wonderful the things you can find.

1 with Viggo Mortensen
By - transcribed/translated by Ollie
24 September 2012

"These days with the technology we've got, you know, on the laptop. I don't miss a single game and I try to follow everything that's happening closely."

Viggo Mortensen
'Return to Boedo' Chat on Radio Splendid
transcribed by Ollie and translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
Radio Splendid
8 March 2012

You have made the point that your involvement with technology in photography is very limited. How much do you manipulated the images, in the darkroom or on computer for example?

VM: Some images are altered , using double exposures and scratched negatives, or layering images in Photoshop.

SND: So you're not against technology...

VM: No, I'm just not that comfortable with it. My reticence, or low-level paranoia, is not based in any firm ideological opposition to it. I don't like the distraction, so I'm wary.

Things Are Weird Enough
By Shana Nys Dambrot
Juxtapoz magazine #19

"I will often choose a particular type of film and camera, knowing that these choices will usually affect the raw exposure that I have to work with, but then I just wait and watch and see what happens. I have shot very little digitally, but have nothing against doing more of it. I do like the vanishing look of grain, flares, accidents that teach me to look closer at what flows past us."

Viggo-Works Talks With Viggo
3 April 2007

"I've photographed a lot with Leica and Hasselblad cameras but last year I started using disposable cameras. They won't be available a short time from now so it was good to use the opportunity while I could and play with them. I often expose the pictures for a long time, shoot directly into the sun. A lot of interesting things happen when the light goes through these unclear plastic lenses. The photos become different. Sometimes I throw the cameras to the ground to loosen the lens a little bit, then interesting things happen. Then you check out the films and choose the best ones. I have an opinion of how I want them to be."

Dreaming About Telling Stories
By Einar Fal Ingolfsson - translated by Rosen and Ragga
29 May 2008

"I was used to printing my pictures in the traditional way, but now I use the more up-to-date and common medium, the digital one. But I have a great respect for the image: all my pictures are shot on film, then I scan the negative. Basically, you get the same result, but more quickly, and for me, when you publish books, it's very important. Today, the paper and the ink are so good that the picture keeps the black and the contrast very well. In conclusion, the quality is as good as the one from the traditional print, so why not?"

Viggo Mortensen, The Photographer Of Dreams
By Giovanni Valerio - translated by Cindalea
Panorama First
July 2008

And what do you usually photograph? Which camera do you prefer?

It depends on the time, on where I've been, on what I go looking for. I've photographed landscapes, I've done portraits, I've worked with Eastman and Graflex 8x10 and 4x5 inch cameras that are more than a hundred years old; with a Hasselblad 2¼ x 2¼ that I acquired 30 years ago, a fifteen year old 35mm Leica, and I also started working with a digital 35mm Canon three years ago.

Viggo Mortensen: "Sometimes I have thought that I´ve been an idiot to get into this theatrical challenge"
By Liz Perales - translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
El Cultural
31 October 2011

"Recently, I'm doing digital photography almost exclusively."

Web Chat with Viggo Mortensen
20 Minutos
Translated by Ollie, Rio and Zoe
6 September 2012

'A warm hello to everybody who is reading and writing. This is a different world from ten years ago because of technology, but it's necessary to be careful because any communication can be used in a negative form. There are people who use the technological advances in communication to promote negative ideas, harmful efforts towards people, to sow doubt, separation among nations, racism, intolerance. So just because of the new technology and this communication we have to be careful, work honestly. Even if someone is in a good relationship with some people, family, society, we shouldn't lose our guard too much. You have to be honest with yourself, and communicate honestly. I don't want to be a drag. Thank you very much for the conversations tonight and have a good day.'

Web Chat with Viggo Mortensen
By - translated by Margarita
18 November 2005

As always, you will find all previous Quotables here in our Webpages.

© Viggo-Works/Iolanthe. Images © Haddock Films.

Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo

The recent self-portraits published in Ekko Magazine and the turning up again of two photos which Viggo took of John Doe, possibly for one of his early albums, sent me back again to all the images Viggo has conjured up over the years. Some taken with a camera, some painted and collaged, some springing from the written word and others on celluloid. All different media but all part one man's incurable curiosity about the world and how he lives in it.

Photography, acting, painting, poetry, music...what would you give up?

"Nothing! It's like if you asked me what arm I prefer.

Viggo Mortensen, The Photographer Of Dreams
By Giovanni Valerio - translated by Cindalea
July 2008
Source: Panorama First

"Whether you paint or act or write, you're giving importance to a given moment, a place, an emotion, and you're communicating the discoveries you've made as you engage in that process. So in that sense, everything is connected."

Viggo Mortensen, Photographer
Massey University, 2003

"People who are creators create," he says. "People say to me all the time, 'Why don't you just focus on one thing?' And I say, 'Why? Why just one thing? Why can't I do more? Who makes up these rules?"

Viggo Mortensen
Finding Viggo
By Alex Kuczynski
Vanity Fair magazine
January 2004

We talked a little about your work as an actor, painter, poet and musician. They all seem linked by story. So I'm wondering what you think is the significance or power of stories? Why are they so important?

We are the stories we tell about ourselves, the stories we tell about others, the stories we read about everyone and every thing.

Viggo Mortensen's heroes
Ethan Gilsdorf,
Boston Globe
3 March 2012

"This world is a dream we all contribute to, in one way or another. We are part of the dream, if we are aware or not, if we like it or not. These pictures are a part of my dream, of the way I exist and act in the world."

Viggo Mortensen, The Photographer Of Dreams
By Giovanni Valerio - translated by Cindalea
July 2008
Source: Panorama First

'Inspiration is a notion, an impulse that has its own shape, before you stumble onto it. If you're in too much of a hurry, you try to tell it what it is, instead of having it tell you what it is. And I think if you do that, you're gonna miss out.'

Viggo Mortensen
Viggo Mortensen ('80) Remembers
By Macreena A. Doyle
St. Lawrence University

"He is a very multifaceted and slightly compulsive individual, constantly creating in every medium. His creative energy is boundless; I assume acting is another extension of that."

Robert Mann, New York Gallerist
In the Spotlight But Shining On Its Own - Celebrity Art
by Lisa Crawford Watson
Art Business News, 2001

'So much has already been done and there's not much that's new,' he concludes. 'You can't let that stop you though, because the actual exercise of just poking around the debris is worthwhile. Even if you produce stuff that's interesting to nobody but yourself, the activity justifies itself. Making things is a way of finding out.'

Treasure Island: A visit with Viggo Mortensen
Recent Forgeries
Kristine McKenna 1998

Mortensen's work - photographs, paintings, and poems - all seems to me to be intensely autobiographical. I mean that his works are autobiographical in the sense that Robert Creeley gives to this term, "auto-bio-graphy', which felicitously translates as "as life tracking itself'.

Kevin Power
Viggo Mortensen: A Life Tracking Itself
Singlanguage 2002

"The connotation of celebrity art isn't very good," Mann says. "It implies dilettante. I wouldn't put Viggo in that context. He doesn't have to paint, that's not the point. I think he really needs to make art, really needs to."

Robert Mann, New York Gallerist
In the Spotlight But Shining On Its Own - Celebrity Art
by Lisa Crawford Watson
Art Business News, 2001

'A photo, a painting, a poem or music that we use to express our experience is not the main thing, but what you are expressing. How you sense the world around you is art in its own form. To stop for one silent moment and just see what happens.'

Viggo Mortensen
Margt til lista lagt article from Fréttablaðið
Translated by Ragga
June 2008

'This is only me and my camera. I sit down and watch the sky, stop, and maybe sing a little or write something down. When I have time to do that, I am as happy as I can be.'

Viggo Mortensen
Capable Of Many Things
By Hanna Björk Valsdóttir - translated by Ragga
30 May 2008
Source: Fréttablaðið

As always, you will find all previous Quotables here in our Webpages.

© Viggo-Works/Iolanthe. Images © Viggo Mortensen/Flaunt/Warner Brothers/Ekko Magazine.

Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo

Some weeks back I commented on this thread that I didn't really have enough quotes on A Perfect Murder to do an APM Quotable. Well - I don't like to be beaten, especially on a film that saw Viggo adding painting to his artistic cannon of writing, photography and acting! And, even after all this time, it's still nice to get the film out and enjoy bad boy, David Shaw and that 'grimy loft'!

"Normally I think it's an extreme lack of ideas to make re-makes," Viggo Mortensen says, "but on the other side - when you can make "Hamlet" over and over again why not Hitchcock?"

Nice And Sensitive Movie-Star
By Susanne Johansen - translated by Majken
Berlingske Tidende
10 October 1998

In 'A Perfect Murder' he is - in spite of Michael Douglas's and Gwyneth Paltrow's presence - the star.

Viggo from Hollywood
by Poul Hoi
M/S (Danish magazine)

'I played a painter and I needed to have all of this artwork around me, so I asked if I could do some paintings myself. I just went crazy. I couldn't sleep. I did about 45 paintings in two weeks.'

Viggo Mortensen on A Perfect Murder
The Hot New 39-Year-Old
by Dennis Hensley
Movieline magazine

'...I'm surprised they let me do that, actually. There was just a little time before we were going to start and I just asked, "What if I did this myself? I showed them a couple of small samples and they said sure if I made this bigger and I said OK.'

Viggo Mortensen on doing the paintings in A Perfect Murder
The Fire That Fuels an Artist's Heart
by Carnell
Carpe Noctem magazine #15, 1999

'I like to draw and stuff but the reason they used photography in it was because that was something that I did know and I had a certain stock pile of images I could play with. That helped!'

Viggo Mortensen on doing the paintings in A Perfect Murder
The Fire That Fuels an Artist's Heart
by Carnell
Carpe Noctem magazine #15, 1999

'At my first meeting with Gwyneth, I took two photographs of her. I used both of them for the main art work in Murder. It helped me to believe in my character.'

Versatile Viggo
By Louis B Hobson
Calgary Sun
5 June 1998

Because of his role Mortensen had to face an interesting phenomenon: Would David Shaw's images reflect the artistic feelings of himself, Viggo Mortensen or do they belong to the character of David Shaw? "I think both are right", answered Mortensen, "I didn't have time to occupy myself too much with this duality. I think that the artwork represents on the one hand my own subconsiousness and on the other hand my ideas on who David is."

Warner Brothers German Press Release
Translated by always smiling

Since then, Viggo the actor, poet and photographer also becomes a painter.

Viggo Mortensen
Text Bernd Volland
Stern Spezial Biografie
30 October 2003

'Viggo is a real artist. He lives for creating art and be absorbed by it - not for talking.'

Gwynneth Paltrow
By Cindy Pearlman
The Chicago Sun-Times

If you're a woman you will remember the way he slid his hands backward over her cheeks as they made love in his grimy loft.

Talking about 'A Perfect Murder'
Finding Viggo
By Alex Kuczynski
Source: Vanity Fair magazine
January 2004

Interviewer: Is it true that you sang serenades to calm Gwyneth Paltrow before the love scenes in 'A Perfect Murder'?

Viggo: How do you know that?

Interviewer: She has said that herself.

Viggo: That is correct. To calm her and create a certain atmosphere of intimacy I did sing a couple of love songs that I learned in Argentina when I was young. I don't know if that ended up scaring her instead.

Viggo from Hollywood
By Poul Høi
M/S Magazine
August 2001

Q: What surprised you about your other costar, Michael Douglas?

A: Just before Christmas, Michael was singing Christmas songs all day long, but he'd change the lyrics and he'd make the crew sing along, too. It was just goofy. You don't think of him as being that kind of a dorky guy.

The Hot New 39-Year-Old
By Dennis Hensley
Movieline magazine
August 1998

'He's a method actor. He is able to scream loudly if he has to - just watch G.I. Jane. He's an excellent actor, but a shy actor'.

Michael Douglas
By Cindy Pearlman
The Chicago Sun-Times

Mr. Mortensen has the movie's richest role as the duplicitous painter who is coerced into agreeing to murder his lover. In the scenes in which he is supposed to appear sympathetic, he insinuates enough surliness to give his character a disquieting undertone of potential violence. But once David has been established as a rat, the actor shows flashes of pained regret for having to kill a woman he half loves.

Stephen Holden
New York Times
June 5, 1998

But Viggo Mortensen, well heck, now there's an actor with some bite!! If you have yet to hear much about this man, open your ears, and listen wide. This guy can act...and act well goddammit! I have loved almost all of his performances, with his role in THE INDIAN RUNNER (5/10) and last year's G.I. JANE (6/10) standing out in my mind, and certainly a force to reckon for all great future character roles. Watch for him...he's hot!

Berge Garabedian
November 2, 1998

Viggo Mortensen undergoes an interesting transformation in his key scene with Douglas; we believe him when he's a nice guy, and we believe him even more when he's not; he doesn't do a big style shift, he simply turns off his people-pleasing face.

Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-times
June 5, 1998

As always, you will find all previous Quotables here in our Webpages.

© Viggo-Works/Iolanthe. Images © Courtesy of Sagralisse. © Warner Brothers.

Iolanthe's Quotable Viggo

Long before there were books there were spoken poems - the roots of literature lie in verses recited around camp fires and in ancient halls. Viggo is a poet who still believes that listening to the words of a poem instead of reading them is a worthwhile experience, creating a different kind of connection between the poem and the listening audience. The spoken word has been included on most of his recordings, he still gives poetry readings - most recently to promote the work of poets he believes in - and on one brave day in 2003 he stood up at a peace rally and gave everyone there the full force of Back to Babylon. Before enjoying the quotes, it's worth listening again to Viggo reading aloud - first an excerpt from the recent recording of TS Eliot's The Waste Land and then reading his own early poem, Wading, from Recent Forgeries.

Eliot's The Waste Land


"Poetry is something that I'd always done, long before I even thought about the idea of acting," he recalls. "But I'd never done it in public, read anything. As an actor you're always reading someone else's words, and then what you do gets edited. So there's several screens through which you're speaking, if at all. As a poet, it's your words."

Viggo Mortensen
In The Navy
By Joy Ray
September 1997

"Exene... encouraged me to recite my poems in public. At the beginning the idea was totally worrying for me. But something happens when you are faced with an audience. No matter whether you present photographs, pictures, movies or poems to other people, it's worth it because you always learn something."

Viggo Mortensen
Two-Men Show
By Silvia Feist - translated by Always Smiling and Doreen
Vogue Deutsch
November 2005

On record, Mortensen's speaking voice--especially in Spanish--actually is more melodic and alluring than his singing. Confident and clear, he draws listeners in as he spins tales of deceit and humor.

That confidence is exhibited again on the new spoken-word record "The New Yorker Out Loud Vol. 2." The two-album collection includes readings by musician Chuck D and actress Suzy Amis. But it's Mortensen's readings of selections from Jack Kerouac's "On the Road Journals" that are truly mesmerizing. That he scored and mixed the avant-garde jazz in the background is an added bonus.

Sensitive Side of Psycho
By Jae-Ha Kim
Chicago Sun Times
16 December 1998

"I started my own publishing house, which I have called Perceval Press, after the legend of the knight who is freed from his spiritual blindness when he is initiated into the mysteries of the Grail. We publish authors who have found it difficult to get published. Poets, mostly. It is important to protect living poetry, which is also why I participate as often as I can in public readings."

Viggo Mortensen
A Year in the Life of Viggo Mortensen
By Sophie Benamon
Studio Magazine
December 2003

"....if you´ve written a poem and you read it, you don´t know what will happen. Something changes between my mouth and the eyes and ears of those who are there reading or listening to my words, my little story. Something changes between writing it and pronouncing the words. I don´t know what the reader receives. There´s no net. For that reason, I'm responsible for what I´ve written and for how I read it."

Viggo Mortensen - All of Us are Mestizos
by Carlos Shilling - translated by Ollie, Remolina, Rio and Zoe
November 2010

Thousands of people take part in the first great pacifist demonstration in Washington since George Bush announced, on May 1st, the end of military operations in Iraq. Viggo speaks, following veterans and activists. After distributing his anti-war teeshirts and protesting against the occupation of Iraq, he addresses Congress with a fierce: "God isn't angry, you are." Then he reads one of his poems, written for publication on the website, Back to Babylon, from which an extract follows:

"Accept and forget difference and desire that separates and leaves us longing or repelled. Why briefly return to playin broken places, to mock the ground, to collect infant shards, coins, fossils, or the familiar empty cannisters and casings that glint from poisoned roots in the blackened dust?"

25th October - A Year in the Life of Viggo Mortensen
By Sophie Benamon
Studio Magazine
December 2003

Mortensen began the evening by lighting a candle and quoting a phrase by poet S.A. Griffin. 'We are here for the sweet stigmata of the poem. And here's the news.' The breathless, packed room received the news, and it was clear from the moment Viggo spoke that this was poetry's night.

Three Fools poetry reading
National Poetry Month Starts At Beyond Baroque With Three April Fools
By Philomene Long, Poet Laureate of Venice
Santa Monica Mirror
27 April 2006

...he begins reading. He's nervous. "I don't slur when I read other people's stuff," he jokes, and the crowd laughs indulgently. But he soldiers on, losing himself in the rhythm of his words.

They were always giving birth, always pregnant, always taking ****ing for granted. They were not being brave when they dug up the skulls of their past lovers in the middle of the night and painted them for use as Jack O'Lanterns. It was summer and they were crazy about each other.
("Hallowe'en" 1990)

Maybe it's the visceral attack of his writing, or the R-rated shock of hearing Aragorn cuss, but the audience's attention never wavers.

Midnight Special poetry reading
Viggo Trip
By Liane Bonin
Flaunt magazine #39
November 2002 became quickly obvious when Viggo Mortensen read that he was in a league of his own. Not necessarily for anything spectacular he does with the readings of his poems, in fact he almost delivers them in a monotone, but in his ability to let the poem shine through him like a beacon. He acts as a conduit for his poems so that we are free to make our own interpretations of his work, rather than imposing an emotional reaction on us.

Music Review: 3 Fools For April, Spoken Word
Richard Marcus
15 Feb 2007

Despite his American accent, Viggo Mortensen's reading of the poem [Eliot's The Waste Land] comes closest to the voice I hear in my head as I read. Being able to read and listen along and then close my eyes as the words wash over is luxurious and something I want to be able to do with lots more poems. In fact this feels exactly how poems should be consumed.

The Waste Land App reviewed
by Chris Meade
The Literary Platform
13 June 2011

"The success of the Lord of the Rings trilogy changed the deal a little. Before then, when I put on a poetry reading, there would just be a circle of my friends around me. Now there are hundreds of inquisitive strangers. If fame can make an under-appreciated art better known, it's perfect!

Viggo Mortensen
Grazia Magazine
Translated by Chrissiejane
December 2009

'It's great if someone who never would've gone to a poetry reading goes to one because they're thinking, "Oh, that actor guy's doing it - it'll probably be shit, but we should go and see it anyway!"'

Viggo Mortensen on 'The Road'
By David Jenkins
Time Out
7 January 2010

As always, you will find all previous Quotables here in our Webpages.

© Viggo-Works/Iolanthe. Images © Isabel Nunez.

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Last edited: 18 March 2023 05:00:24