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Recent Headlines
a la Mod:

Domino is
a "disarmingly
straight-forward"
work that "pushes
us to reexamine our
relationship to images
and their consumption,
not only ethically
but metaphysically"
-Collin Brinkman

De Palma on Domino
"It was not recut.
I was not involved
in the ADR, the
musical recording
sessions, the final
mix or the color
timing of the
final print."

Listen to
Donaggio's full score
for Domino online

De Palma/Lehman
rapport at work
in Snakes

De Palma/Lehman
next novel is Terry

De Palma developing
Catch And Kill,
"a horror movie
based on real things
that have happened
in the news"

Supercut video
of De Palma's films
edited by Carl Rodrigue

Washington Post
review of Keesey book

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Exclusive Passion
Interviews:

Brian De Palma
Karoline Herfurth
Leila Rozario

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AV Club Review
of Dumas book

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A note about topics: Some blog posts have more than one topic, in which case only one main topic can be chosen to represent that post. This means that some topics may have been discussed in posts labeled otherwise. For instance, a post that discusses both The Boston Stranglers and The Demolished Man may only be labeled one or the other. Please keep this in mind as you navigate this list.
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Thursday, July 20, 2017
ERIC KOHN ON DE PALMA'S 'SCARFACE'
"A MOVIE THAT DERIVED ITS POWER LESS FROM WHAT IT WAS ABOUT THAN HOW IT WAS ABOUT IT"
A week ago today, IndieWire posted email exchanges between Eric Kohn, Anne Thompson, and Kate Erbland, discussing whether Universal should abandon the new Scarface movie, now that David Ayer has become the latest in a long line of directors to leave the project. Kohn in particular wrote some inspired words about Brian De Palma's 1983 version:
Setting aside narrow production schedules and one director’s priorities, the biggest problem with “Scarface” is that the material never gelled with studio priorities in the first place. Howard Hawks’ 1932 original was a Hollywood gangster saga that generated controversy for its violence but was otherwise pretty straightforward; Brian De Palma’s 1983 reimagining, however, was a jolt to the system, a high style indictment of the drug lord fantasy that culminated in one of the most outrageous shootouts ever captured on film. “Say hello to my little friend” was an astonishing, subversive battle cry, both cartoonish and mortifying at once, and it crystalized the mania of power-hungry drug dealing better than any journalistic expose.

It was a breed unto itself, a movie that derived its power less from what it was about than how it was about it. So it was especially intriguing when Chile’s Pablo Larrain was attached to direct the remake three years ago. This endlessly innovative filmmaker, whose projects range from the allegorical horror movie “Tony Manero” to last year’s elegant period drama “Jackie,” clearly doesn’t compromise. His version, according to reports at the time, aimed to cast a Latino actor in a “mythic origin story” set in modern times, one that would expose the cycle of violence that brings the war on drugs from Mexico to America. Call it whatever you want — “Scarface” is just a placeholder — this is a powerful concept with the prospects of resonating on many levels at once. Of course, America’s relationship to Cuba continues to evolve in trepidatious ways that could make the original backdrop resonate with renewed topicality.

But it’s not the kind of material that a studio, eager for a blockbuster success, might want to take a risk on. (Thankfully, Larrain moved on to more original concepts.) De Palma and Al Pacino made their surreal, iconic look at a drug-fueled capitalist psychopath at a moment where it seemed as though they could get away with anything; short of Christopher Nolan and Quentin Tarantino, few American directors could pull off the same feat today within the confines of the Hollywood system. Needless to say, De Palma’s movie didn’t exactly go over perfectly when it first came out, only gaining acclaim with time; it has since been co-opted by gangsta rap, novelizations, and video games. When a movie resonates this strongly in popular culture, it doesn’t beg for a remake so much as a second visit. Here’s an idea: Pop it back in theaters and audiences might flip, as “Scarface” no less immersive and unsettling than it was over 30 years ago.

Ultimately, the best home for a gangster saga might be the medium best suited for long-form, immersive storytelling — television. “Breaking Bad” did a fine job of mapping out the process through which, in Vince Gilligan’s famous terms, “Mr. Chips becomes Scarface.” So before we argue any further about whether the studio should remake “Scarface,” it might be worth considering the possibility that somebody already beat them to it.


Posted by Geoff at 11:58 PM CDT
Updated: Thursday, July 20, 2017 11:50 PM CDT
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Wednesday, July 19, 2017
'VERTIGO' / 'BODY DOUBLE' FINALES - INSTAGRAM
POSTED BY ardavan_sh2006

Posted by Geoff at 5:53 PM CDT
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Tuesday, July 18, 2017
'DOMINO' SHOOTING PLANS CHANGED OVERNIGHT
FOR NOW, OFF TO DENMARK; 2-WEEK SHOOT IN ALMERIA CUT AFTER JUST ONE WEEK
Brian De Palma left Almería on Sunday and flew to Denmark after cutting short plans to continue filming Domino in Almería for about nine more days. According to Diario de Almería's D. Martínez, Domino shot in the Plaza de Toros and in the port of the capital, but plans to shoot at the airport were abandoned. "Although he announced last Sunday at noon, when he received the replica of the Star, that they will probably return in late August to shoot some sequences, the truth is that something has happened so that all the shooting plans have changed overnight," states Martínez. "The key to this change could be in certain disagreements between the different producers of the film," Martínez continues. "No one explains what happened, although everything could be on an economic issue and the lack of agreement between producers."

NotiCine today reports that filming of Domino "broke off abruptly on Friday, according to some sources due to the abandonment of one of the co-producers, while others argue that it was a change in the production plan, which are not necessarily contradictory reasons." Citing an article from earlier today by La Voz de Almería's Marta Rodríguez, the NotiCine article continues:
It was said that the filming would take place in three stages of the capital - the Plaza de Toros, the Port and the Airport - and in an area of greenhouses of Adra. However, in the end they have only recorded in the first two. Spanish co-producer Antonio Pérez (Maestranza Films) told the local newspaper on Saturday that it was only a change of plans and a second unit of the team will return to the city in August to finish, but Joan Franco, coordinator of extras for the film, confirmed that from day one the rumors about the cancellation of the film were continuous in the set. "The last day was a very tense environment, because everything was known to be hanging in the balance. In the end, we were informed that the project was suspended because the Belgian company that was going to contribute part of the funds had withdrawn," he told La Vox.

One of the extras who was at the Plaza de Toros last week, Beatriz Molina Puertas, took to Facebook yesterday to complain that yet another film production has left Almería, chased away by the "exorbitant price". "The filming of DOMINO has left because supposedly in addition to what was reported in the news, the airport in Almería has asked the production for a lot of money to be able to shoot in their installations and enclosure," Puertas wrote in the post. "For the exorbitant price they have decided to leave and film again at the airport in Belgium, I say supposedly, as those are the rumors that run and tell us, it is not something that I'm inventing, apart from other reasons that are making echos in all local newspaper publications !!"

Franco then commented on Puertas' post, "What a reason you have, my friend, unfortunately there are regulations by the national and local politicians, especially in the economic area that make it impossible for high-level film companies to come to work in Spain and Almería. That's how it goes with us."

Nikolaj Coster-Waldau surprised unsuspecting Game Of Thrones fans at a Copenhagen theater yesterday-- the fans had gathered to watch the HBO series' season 7 premiere.

To finish off, here is a Google-assisted translation of an excerpt from Marta Rodríguez' article from this morning at La Voz de Almería:

Initially, the shooting in Almería of this action thriller was to take place between July 10 and 24 and to be developed in four different locations: three in the capital - the Bullring, the Port and the Airport - and one in a set of greenhouses in Adra. However, in the end they only filmed in the first two and although Antonio Pérez, producer of Maestranza Films, indicated this Saturday to LA VOZ that it is only a change of plans and a second unit of the team will return to the city in August to finish, other sources say that the project has fallen when one of the producers, the Belgians of Zilvermeer, puled out.

As explained to LA VOZ, Joan Franco, coordinator of extra for the film, hired by the Seville company CNG, from the first day rumors about the cancellation of the film were continuous on the set. "On Friday the atmosphere was especially tense, a meeting was held in high places and it was known that everything hung in a thread. In the end we were informed that the project was being suspended because the Belgian company that was going to contribute part of the funds had withdrawn, "he says.

According to Franco's story, with the passing of the days the demands of the shooting of 'Domino' were coming down because it was already foreseen that something like this could happen. Thus, of the 2,000 extras that the company CNG Casting included in its database (the tests ended up dilating for eight days) because they "were necessary", they have not called more than 350. And the cuts came to the point of removing from the script scenes of some complexity as a chase," says the extras coordinator.


Those 350 extras, Rodríguez notes, "have their fees guaranteed" -- they will be paid for their five days of filming, Franco told her.

Posted by Geoff at 11:57 PM CDT
Updated: Wednesday, July 19, 2017 12:39 AM CDT
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Monday, July 17, 2017
ON BEGUILING FEMME FATALES & 'LADY MACBETH'
CHARLES TAYLOR & DAVID EDELSTEIN SPLIT ON OLDROYD'S DEBUT FEATURE
Lady Macbeth review by Charles Taylor, Newsweek (excerpt)
[William] Oldroyd and his scenarist, Alice Birch, must think they are doing something far more complex, luring the audience into cheering for Katherine but making her acts of violence more and more awful until we’re revolted by her. But to what end? By making Katherine so evil, the movie falls into the old sexist shibboleths about scheming women, particularly sex-starved ones. Pugh, who bears an amusing resemblance to Miley Cyrus, gives a spirited performance that doesn’t shy away from her character’s villainy. But the distant, intellectualized approach keeps us from feeling any complicity with Katherine. She’s funny laughing at Anna’s shock at her open adultery, but Pugh is stuck with more of a conceit than a character. The source of Birch’s screenplay, a short story by 19th-century Russian writer Nikolai Leskov, has the robust wisdom of a peasant myth. How could anyone read that story, with its lush descriptions of nature and the horrified sympathy it accords its protagonist, and come up with this joyless, colorless movie?

If there were any justice in the world of film criticism, Oldroyd would be getting the accusations of racism that—wrongly, and in ignorance of the clear meaning of their films—Sofia Coppola is getting for The Beguiled and Ana Lily Amirpour for The Bad Batch. He has made all the characters who are the least deserving targets of Katherine’s violence black. (Sebastian is biracial, and Katherine’s maid and two other prominent characters are black.) I don’t know how many black people were in Northumberland in 1865, but in this movie, race is used for the sole purpose of heightening their victimization, and it’s ugly.

At Cannes and other film festivals, Lady Macbeth was acclaimed for its daring. But for an unapologetic celebration of devious women, Out of the Past and Brian De Palma’s Femme Fatale are much tougher. As a portrait of a psychopath in the guise of dutiful wife, 1945’s Leave Her to Heaven has more punch. If an art-house film gets credit for what commercial movies have already done much better, then Katherine’s victims aren’t the only suckers here.


Lady Macbeth review by David Edelstein, Vulture (excerpt)
Oldroyd made his name as a theater director, and in his debut film he goes with his strengths. Lady Macbeth is largely confined to the plain, masculine house and its stables, and Oldroyd and cinematographer Ari Wegner show the grinding unsensuality of the place without resorting to the kind of overlong shots designed to make us literally experience her boredom.

They subtly establish a second protagonist, the maid Anna, who is even more cruelly abused by the old master (Christopher Fairbank) and later spies on Katherine and her stable-boy lover, Sebastian (Cosmo Jarvis), through a keyhole. From our modern, liberal perspective, it’s tempting to see Katherine’s revenge on the decrepit industrialist as payback for Anna’s humiliation as well as her own. When a photograph is taken of her beside the upright open coffin of the dead geezer — who has also brutally whipped the lowly Sebastian — we want to cheer.

Movies are games of moral relativism, though, and Lady Macbeth quickly turns its feminist heroine into something far more disturbing. It’s one thing for a woman to murder overpowerful white misogynists, another to shoot her husband’s horse, which whinnies in agony. And the movie’s racial overtones are thunderous. The perpetually traumatized Anna is black. A little boy who shows up midway through — Katherine’s husband’s adorable illegitimate child and ward — is of mixed race and excruciatingly vulnerable. Sebastian’s complexion is on the dark side, too, Jarvis being of Armenian extraction. When you introduce race, white feminism tends to fly out the window — as Sofia Coppola learned after a deluge of criticism for culling a black character from her remake of The Beguiled. Applause for having trained the female gaze on a demonic-female myth has quickly yielded to abuse for being a privileged white woman allegedly minimizing the horror of slavery.

Oldroyd and Birch make no such gaffes. The movie’s larger point — which I find irrefutable — is that some people who have been victimized for life are not just inclined to speak truth to power but to abuse what power they have over people with less of it. August Wilson knew that, which is why his plays resonate far beyond melodrama. So does Lady Macbeth. It eats into the mind with its vision of evil as a contagion that transforms victims into oppressors.


Posted by Geoff at 11:58 PM CDT
Updated: Tuesday, July 18, 2017 12:00 AM CDT
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Sunday, July 16, 2017
CITY OF ALMERIA HONORS DE PALMA w/STAR
BEFORE 'DOMINO' CREW FLY OFF TO COPENHAGEN; BACK IN ALMERIA LATE AUGUST


Brian De Palma and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau are getting stars on the city of Almería's Walk of Fame. Mayor Ramón Fernández-Pacheco and the President of the Provincial Council, Gabriel Amat, had planned to visit De Palma and Coster-Waldau at the end of filming in the bullring this upcoming Tuesday (July 18th), but filming was completed there ahead of schedule this week. By Sunday, Coster-Waldau had already headed to London. Before De Palma headed to Copenhagen for the next leg of the Domino shoot, however, he was presented at the hotel with a miniature reproduction of the star, with his name, that will be placed on the Walk of Fame. Coster-Waldau will be presented with his star when the production returns to Almería around the end of August, coinciding with the time of the fair that runs from August 18-26.

Councilor of Promotion for the city, Carolina Lafita, and of the Councilor of Development, Commerce and Beaches, Carlos Sánchez, presented the star to De Palma. "Almeria is a wonderful city, with excellent architecture and with very good locations," said De Palma in response, according to Almería 360. "The crew had an incredible experience. The food is excellent and working with the city has been very pleasant. The choice of locations has been a success thanks to the support of the citizens, who have facilitated filming."


See also:
Brian De Palma, honored in Almería
Brian De Palma and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau will star in the Walk of Fame in Almería

Posted by Geoff at 11:25 PM CDT
Updated: Sunday, July 16, 2017 11:31 PM CDT
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Saturday, July 15, 2017
NOVILLERO DESCRIBES FILMING ON 'DOMINO'
APPRENTICE MATADOR SERGIO ROLDAN: "IT'S BEEN 3 HOURS OF INTENSE SHOOTING"
La Voz de Almería's Juan Antonio Barrios posted an article the other day about Sergio Roldán's experience filming a scene for Domino during one of the past week's night shoots in the bullring:
The novillero (apprentice matador) from Almería Sergio Roldán has lived a new experience with his participation in the film 'Domino', directed by Brian De Palma. On this occasion, the shooting has taken place in the Plaza de Toros de Almería and in full bullfighting festivities.

"It has been a new and great experience that I have lived participating in the film 'Domino', with a director of the stature of Brian De Palma and great actors," the Almerian novillero tells the VOZ.

At seven in the evening began the filming of the sequence where Sergio Roldán fights 'a bull' with a muleta. "Before the start of the shooting I was very nervous because I did not know what was going to happen. The moment I was told, I was calm. It has been three intense hours that we have been slowly shooting this sequence in the Plaza de Toros," recalls the Almerian novillero.

The tendido and grada of tier 8 is where the whole scene develops. Close to that stretch is where Sergio Roldán made his elegant and beautiful "bull" passes, with his suit of lights, while the public watched all the action developing, with stampedes of about 200 extras that participate in the scene.

"We have had to repeat the scene several times. It's been three hours of intense shooting. On arrival at the arena and before starting the shoot, director Brian De Palma greeted us. I also got to meet and talk with the actor who plays the role of terrorist (Ibrahim Goush), as well as the police who are after him. On this occasion, the actor told me that in America he works with horses and bulls. In the Plaza de Toros we were up until five thirty in the morning, after checking that everything had gone well," concludes Sergio Roldán, after remembering that it was the master Ruiz Manuel who called him and proposed his participation as a bullfighter in 'Domino'.


Posted by Geoff at 2:49 PM CDT
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Thursday, July 13, 2017
DRONES, STAMPEDES, GUNSHOTS, & MANY 'OLES'
AS 'DOMINO' FILMS AT LA PLAZA DE TOROS IN ALMERIA


A couple of articles from Almería this morning, with the help of Google translation:

Marta Rodríguez, La Voz de Almería

Days of ten or eleven hours. More than 200 extras. A technical team formed by about 40 people under Brian De Palma (including José Luis Alcaine, Almodóvar's cinematographer with five Goya awards). A scene filmed with drones, stampedes, gunshots and many 'oles'. Welcome to the shoot of 'Domino', in the Plaza de Toros de Almería.

These are the brushstrokes of the day-to-day shooting of this European production action thriller, which began filming on Monday in the Vilches avenue, where the actors are taking part: Nikolaj Coster-Waldau and Carice van Houten, cast partners in 'Game of Thrones' series in which they play Jaime Lannister and the witch Melisandre.

According to LA VOZ, one of the most important scenes of the film, a terrorist attack, with many special effects, occurred during a Bullfight celebration with tickets and runners out of public.

What direct witnesses tell of the shooting would not squeak about the plot of 'Domino', which will tell the story of a Copenhagen policeman who, with the help of another colleague, will follow in the footsteps of a man of Arab origin (who is played by Ibrahim Goush) responsible for murdering his partner. According to The Hollywood Reporter, this persecution, which will also involve the CIA, will take the protagonists from northern Europe to "sun-drenched landscapes of Spain." Petter Skavlan, writer of the screenplay of the film 'Kon-Tiki', is the person in charge of the script.

The team deals daily with the complications of having to coordinate so many extras, who have to repeat over and over again the plans of that scene of action in which a stampede takes place.

The production - in which the name of Tate Aráez stands out as head of locations (a great connoisseur of the province after touring with the team of 'Game of Thrones') - has required the participation of Almerian bullfighters Ruiz Manuel and El César, who along with Alberto Cámara, the will interpret the roll of proxies. The matador Sergio Roldán will also have a small role.

The Port and the Airport could be other of the chosen locations for this film that has placed De Palma back behind a camera five years after 'Passion'.


D. Martínez, Diario de Almería

"It is impressive to see Brian de Palma crossing the bullring of the Plaza de Toros de Almería". That is the affirmation of a woman who participates as an extra in the film Domino that the American director rolls these days in the Bullring of Almería...

These days, Brian De Palma makes his normal life during the day, and at night he is shooting in the Plaza de Toros. They are marathon sessions, where everything is supervised by the director of the film, and where the scenes are repeated and repeated. De Palma is a demanding director and he likes to do things well, so until he has the shot he carries in his mind, he will not stop.

During the nights until the wee hours of the morning some 300 extras have occupied the 8th slope of the Coso of the Avenida de Vilches. A bullfight takes place, although there is an event that mars the celebration. A terrorist posing as a soda seller kills a person from the public. The figuration chosen for this sequence has appeared these days dressed as if they were to enjoy a bullfight.

The film, a thriller starring Carice Van Houten and Nikolaj Coster-Waldau, has already begun in Antwerp (Belgium) and is a European co-production involving the French company Backup, the Spanish production company Maestranza, the Danish studios Schonne Film, and the Belgian producers of Zilvermeer...

After the bullring, filming will continue at the port and airport of Almeria and there will be scenes to be shot in Adra.



Posted by Geoff at 11:37 PM CDT
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Wednesday, July 12, 2017
AYER NOW DROPS OUT OF 'SCARFACE'
IT'S STILL A MOVIE WITH A RELEASE DATE 1ST, DIRECTOR 2ND OR 3RD, 4TH MAYBE


It was announced today that David Ayer has exited the Scarface remake, with Variety and its sister publication Deadline both stating that insiders indicate that Ayer bailed because the tight schedule was not to his liking (didn't have time to make the quality feature he was hoping to). The Hollywood Reporter's sources, meanwhile, indicate that Ayer's take on the script was "too dark." Twitter is having a great time with that one (see image above).

The Scarface remake has a screenplay now said to be by Jon Herman and the Coen brothers. Deadline's Mike Fleming Jr asks, "Why Not Go Back To Antoine Fuqua?" But we all know the question he should be asking: Why not go back to Pablo Larraín?

Previously:

David Ayer in talks for Scarface remake
Coen Brothers will rewrite Scarface script
Fuqua drops out of Scarface remake; Diego Luna will play lead
Terence Winter to tackle Scarface script
The Scarface remake just got a lot less interesting
Scarface remake is Larraín's dream project
The Scarface remake just got a lot more interesting


Posted by Geoff at 7:17 PM CDT
Updated: Thursday, May 14, 2020 7:41 PM CDT
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Tuesday, July 11, 2017
'DOMINO' IN THE BULLRING THIS WEEK
3 DAYS, POSSIBLY 1 MORE, 300 EXTRAS, LOCAL BULLFIGHTERS, ETC.


Brian De Palma and crew began a three-day shoot for Domino at the Plaza de Toros in Almería yesterday. Carice van Houten can be seen in the photos, but Nikolaj Coster-Waldau was in Los Angeles today to promote the new season of HBO's Game Of Thrones, which premieres this Sunday. Coster-Waldau is a guest on ABC's Jimmy Kimmel Live! tonight (the episode was recorded Tuesday afternoon).

The photo above was taken by Juan Antonio Barrios for La Voz de Almería. Here's an excerpt from the accompanying article by Marta Rodríguez:

Brian De Palma is rolling out his new feature, 'Domino', on Monday in the Plaza de Toros in the capital. The vicinity of the area of Avenida de Vilches recorded all day the transfer of the technical team landing and, already late afternoon, the arrival of hundreds of Almerían extras and the cast of this European production thriller.

If the work is going according to plan, the shooting in the bullring will last for three consecutive days, that is, until Wednesday morning, during night time, from late afternoon until dawn, although it is not ruled out to extend the filming one more day.

According to what LA VOZ has learned, the scene that is being filmed takes place during a bullfight celebration for which the participation of the bullfighters from Almería, Ruiz Manuel and El César, with Alberto Cámara, who will interpret the role of proxies, has been requested. Sergio Roldán will also have a small role, in this case as a matador. The extras are characterized for a bullfight, either as a public or as part of the staff of the bullfight.

The Port and the Airport could be other of the chosen locations for this film that has propitiated that De Palma stepped on Almerían soil.




Diario de Almería's Diego Martínez also reported about the filming:
The Plaza de Toros of Almería hosted last night the first day of the shooting of the film Domino directed by Brian De Palma. Although at first it was spoken of the day 8 of July, in the end it was last night when filming started in Almería.

About 300 extras were called to present themselves yesterday at about seven in the evening in the school Juan Ramón Jiménez, a few meters from the Plaza de Toros. There they called one by one to enter the schoolyard, where they were made up and received the costumes. In the bullring They will film for three nights in the bullring.

Although there is a certain silence about the filming, it is known that in the Plaza a bullfight will be recreated, so most of the chosen extras have a profile of foreigners. However, the filming will continue for several days at Almería airport and at the port.

Yesterday many familiar faces of the shootings that have taken place in the province during the last years could be seen. They are Almerians who have participated in many recordings and always come when they hear of a casting.

In principle, it will not be easy to access the shooting when it takes place inside the bullring. Many showed their joy when participating in a movie for the first time. Others were enthusiastic, since they are also followers of the cinema of Brian De Palma.



Posted by Geoff at 11:31 PM CDT
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Monday, July 10, 2017
CARICE! COMEDIAN INSTAGRAMS FROM ALMERIA
JUAN AROCA ON SET AT PLAZA DE TOROS TODAY





Posted by Geoff at 6:23 PM CDT
Updated: Monday, July 10, 2017 6:24 PM CDT
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