Nut Bucket Films

Archive for January, 2011|Monthly archive page

I was a SUPERHERO

In Uncategorized on January 31, 2011 at 9:42 am

Lije Sarki as "JC Sedwick" in SUPERHEROES

At least for a day.  At least for two hours.  Twice so far I have played a Superhero.  My name is JC Sedwick and I have the power of “mind control”.  But I am also working on other abilities like “levitation”.

That’s what I did on Sunday.  Bright and early in the middle of the streets of Beverly Hills.  Screaming, “Pick a card, any card…I this your card??”  And then I saved an old man from being ran over by a truck.

Lije and Bentley...post shoot

I was acting  in a nice little project written and directed by my pal Bentley Montes.  It is a fun little project he put together and he offered me one of the roles as one of the superheroes.  I study with Bentley at John Rosenfeld Studios, an acting studio.

Lije and Steve (on left) and pal

That acting studio has been responsible for a lot of recent connections in my filmmaking/acting career.  I met my producer for Closing Doors there.  I met some of my cast for the Pilot, Underbelly, that we are shooting now.  I have become a better Director by watching my teacher, John, work/teach.  I have become a better actor by getting to practice every week.  That’s what it is all about.  Practice.

It was about a year and a half in between me making a film.  The time between Alphonso Bow and Closing Doors was nearly two years.  Granted there was a lot going on with Alphonso Bow and I was basically the only one left to work on it.  The festival circuit and then the release.  Then the un-release.  And now the soon-to-be announcement of some great news for Alphonso Bow!  It takes time and energy finishing a project.  But after shooting Closing Doors I realized I need to be making at least a film a year.  I need to keep fresh and keep my skill-set on point.   Plus making movies is fun (tagline).  And I believe I have been doing a pretty good job.  Maybe not “Superhero” good but pretty darn good.  A lot of my recent inspiration has come from knowing I have completed another project.  And they keep getting better.

The next two days are crucial.  I am going to start posting some of my filmmaker Bio from the last three or four years as soon as I finish it.  But more importantly, we shoot one of the scenes I am acting in on Wednesday from the Pilot, Underbelly.  I am really looking forward to it.  It is actually my favorite scene in the entire script.  Maybe because I am in it.  No really, the script is great and we have some really wonderful actors attached to the project and hoping to attach the final few after next week by using some of the footage we have already shot.  Maybe I can give you all a taste with some photos later in the week.  Maybe.

I wanna give a shout-out to Tim McCarthy.  You are a good dude.  I had a great time hanging with you this weekend and seeing your little boys.  You too Rick.  Have fun in Disneyland.

sweet and short today,

Lije

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SKATE or DIE…or make movies

In Uncategorized on January 28, 2011 at 10:40 am

 

Venice Skate Park

 

How rad is that photo?  A skatepark on the  beach?  The iPhone has this new setting called HDR where it takes three different exposures of the same photo.  I think it does it with a delay hence the trippy photo.  Regardless of how it does it, I am in love with it.

I was sitting at the skatepark at Windward in Venice the other day for quite a while.  It was super peaceful.  I just watched dudes skate.  I was reminiscing of the days when I used to do that.  I grew up on a skateboard.  I have ridden a skateboard since I was twelve years old.  I actually moved to California from Michigan when I was sixteen to try to have a career in it.  I thought I could have gone Pro.  Turns out I couldn’t even find a place to live at that age and I was forced back to Michigan to finish High School.  I tried though.  I really did.  I had a dishwashing job at some Hawaiian restaurant in Santa Barbara.  Hung out with a kid named Kai, whose father later f#$%ed me over for the little bit of money I moved there with.  My best friend fell into an old drug problem and bailed on me within a week of moving there.  I still tried though.  My best pal at the time John Methvin flew out to help me in driving my car back across the country.  But not without shredding the West Coast city by city and later getting robbed for our skateboards in San Francisco.  Wow, I could go on for days about this.  I need to.  This is a story that I will surely revisit.

Watching these dudes skate was fulfilling.  I posted a picture on Facebook and my buddy John, who I just mentioned, commented on it.  He said, “we gotta go skate!”  I said, “let’s do it.”  Funny that John, a best friend from High School, now lives in L.A. but we barely ever hang out.  Life moves forward.  It is weird like that.  Kinda sucks.  We used to kill it on a skateboard.  He still does.  I moved on with a different plan.  Or lack of plan.

I decided to go to college and then still move to California but with different intentions.  I am writing this little biography on how my career has gotten to where it is.  It isn’t very long but it’s very thorough.  I am going to start releasing it in pieces next week on the BLOG I think.  My career is young but it is interesting how it got to be what it is and how I definitely now know what I am supposed to be doing.  Focus baby.  First almost homeless in San Diego, then Grad school, then drug dealer, then actor, and now a filmmaker.  I will fill you all in before you know it.

 

Phillip, Christina, Dave, and Lije for Zipcar

 

Yesterday I had a nice little print job as “talent” for Zipcar.  Have you heard of them?  They are in like fourteen major cities.  San Diego, San Fran, Boston, yada yada…I just learned about them yesterday.  You sign up for an account online.  There is even an iPhone application that tells you where the different garages are.  And you can rent them by the hour.  Like $15 for an hour for a BMW.  They have different cars and you just pick what you want from what is available and use it and return it.  So awesome!  I can’t wait to use one.  If L.A. had them I would sell my car.

 

Zipcar

 

I met some new pals, Phillip, Christina, and Dave the photographer.  He was a freaking riot!  Dude was so funny.  The shoot was hilarious.  So quick and easy too.

That’s all I got.  Look for the BIO to start rolling out next week.  Have a great weekend!  F#$% the Pro Bowl!

Lije

P.S.  My feature I did a couple years back, Alphonso Bow, might have some BIG news very very soon…fingers crossed.  Like it on Facebook by clicking this sentence.

Bicycle Accident with a FOOTBALL reaction

In Uncategorized on January 23, 2011 at 11:21 am

Boardwalk at night...photo by E. Michael Sarki

So I  was going for a quick run before I get ready to enjoy today’s football playoffs.  I am just cruising right along the boardwalk in Venice.  I run on the bike side of the boardwalk because there are too many dang people on the walking side.  It was not very busy and I have my iPod on and I vaguely hear this crash behind me.  I turn around, still in stride, and see that one of four dudes has crashed and bailed into the cement.

Immediately one guy starts calling me “mother f$%&er” and whatever else he can think of and tells me to get off the bike path and run on the other path and basically go to hell.  I was listening to DMX at the time so I replied in a similar manner as him.  His stupid-ass buddy is the guy who slipped on the sand with his ten-speed bike and skinny tires.  I was pissed that he was pissed at me.  He fell long before I had anything to do with it.  He kept bitching so I stopped and came back at him.  I was ready to buck down with all four of them.  Think it was the DMX because I am far from a fighter.  I was just feeling it today.  Could be the thought of football in a few hours.  Could have been anything.  But for one minute this morning I was a tough guy.  He scurried back to his three buddies and didn’t do shit.

I kept running, laughing, and preaching to everyone watching that it was that idiot’s fault for slipping on the sand.  People seemed to agree.  Later the guys all passed me, mouths shut, and I realized when I saw the guy peddling that he was very uncoordinated and that that was obviously why he fell.

I now write this quickly before I head out the door.  I am sorry “guys on bikes”.  I feel bad.  That is not my person.  I apologize for showing no compassion for the fall.  But don’t call me a “mother f$%&er” for no reason.

Today’s picks for NFL.  I got the Bears and the Jets to cover to spread in one bet, and them both winning in the other.

Now since we are talking about fighting and being an idiot, I will leave you with a video of a dude trying to body slam a cop.  I got this on video in Colorado.

Have a great Sunday everyone!

Lije

my head is a constant mind-f#%k…

In Uncategorized on January 20, 2011 at 9:47 am

I am alright...I really am

Or my mind is getting away from me.  Sometimes I don’t even know what I am thinking about.

That is a stretch.  My mind works just fine.  In fact, it works too much.  Too much thinking and over-thinking.  What has really been getting to me lately is my career.  It is a serious mind-f#&k.  It is not that I don’t know what I want to do when I grow up.  Shit, I am plenty grown up even though I like to act like I am not, more times than not.

It is just that I feel that my plate is too full.  How can you be good at everything when you do so many things?  I Produce.  I started to do this TV Pilot about a month back with a talented writer/director I know and another close friend is Producing with me.  It is a great project and I think it has a lot of potential.  So I am digging through all my resources to make some shit come to life for this thing.  We start shooting this Saturday and we shall see.  We have put together a hell of a cast so far.

I Direct which by default has me producing as well, at least until someone comes in and gives me the “big bucks” to hire a great Producer.  I have two projects in the early stages of creation that are both very f#&ing good.  I have told you all before.  One is a thriller/horror feature film made for the Internet and the other is “MY NEW BABY”.  It is the creme de la creme.  The mother of all ships.  This one is gonna affect some people.  I have never been more excited and passionate about a project yet.  And best thing, the excitement and passion has not faded one bit.  Usually when you think of something it is the best right away, then it gradually fades out from being this superb idea into something mediocre.  Not this one.  I will share no details because it is that close to me.  I have lived a lot in the years I have been alive.  Soon I will get to show everyone.

A still Act.  Commercial acting pays a lot of bills.  It is great money when you get the job.  It is fairly easy too.  You don’t really have to prepare.  You can just go and show up to the audition and go into the room and do what you are supposed to do.  Rarely you will get some material ahead of time and have to learn a page of script.  But if so, it is still rather simple.  It comes down to advertising a lot.  It is common that Chevy or Bud Light wants a specific look and really you have no control over what happens.  It is a numbers game.  And it doesn’t take a lot of time.  As long as you do what you are supposed to do when you go into the room you should get a few jobs here and there.

Now theatrical acting is what has been getting to me.  That is when you get to go to audition for TV and Movies.  It is a whole different beast.  This takes time.  You have to prepare.  You get material and have to learn pages.  Sometimes six, sometimes more, sometimes less.  Sometimes you need to read an entire script to understand what is going on.  I take an acting class every Friday.  That helps keep my theatrical skills in check.  It also helps with my directing because my acting teacher is amazing and watching him adjust actors and work with them is awesome.  And stealing from him helps me out tremendously.  Thank you John Rosenfeld.  Here is the credit that is due.  But, being in class takes time.  It is the same as an audition.  You get material.  You have to rehearse it.  Learn it.  Maybe read a script.  Class is four hours long.  Let’s do some math here.  Say I have one audition for a TV show and some class material.  Let’s say I am getting really good at auditioning.  I maybe spend two hours on the TV audition, plus two hours reading the entire script (if it is a new show or a Pilot) and then two hours driving to and from the audition.  Class that week has a scene from a movie.  Two hours reading that script and another three hours rehearsing it and maybe even driving to meet a classmate to work on it.  Then four hours in class.  One audition and one class and I have spent fifteen hours on being a theatrical actor in a week.

That is fifteen hours that could have gone into creating my passion project or my horror flick or even time to prep the Pilot.

Not to mention the time I need to allocate to Alphonso Bow and Closing Doors, the last two films I completed.  Alphonso Bow is with a sales agent so that helps.  Closing Doors just got into its first festival and should have a lot more follow.  Which means traveling to all of them and having a f#%ing blast celebrating our accomplishments.

The point of all of this, I have no gosh darn clue.

I am happier than I have ever been in my career and life.  I think it stems from life at home too.  I love where I live and everything about what I have built here.  I am more successful than I have ever been.  My skill set is improving everyday.  I am pretty damn good and most of the things I listed above.  I am great at a couple of them.  The question is, can I be great at all of them?  Is my time better spent at losing one of them?  Fifteen more hours making a movie each week could be vital in it ever getting finished.  But those fifteen hours have introduced me to talented people I would have otherwise never gotten to know and which some of the actors in the Pilot would have never been cast.  Hmmm.

BUT, I will say that this is the shit that drives me as a human.  The hustle.  The f#%ing “TO DO” list that is constantly getting adjusted daily based on what I checked off from the day before and what I have added that new day.  I love this shit!

I guess the Universe is saying to keep doing what you are doing.  Stay on track.  Stay focused for now.  The train is still running on the tracks.  It is actually cruising right along.  Life is rad.  Shut up and enjoy the ride.

Deep thoughts today,

Yours truly,

Lije

this is why we call it “Nut Bucket Films”

SO and SO at “The Hotel Cafe” and G-Money’s bday at “Kibitz”

In Uncategorized on January 19, 2011 at 11:55 am

rollin' around town on a Saturday night...

You know?  Just another typical Saturday night.  This weekend I actually had a little bit of social fun.  For about four hours.  I headed out to see  Jay Dumchowski and Amie Miriello’s band at the Hotel Cafe.  They go by the name of “So and So“.  I was supposed to go to my buddy Greg’s birthday party around the same time but said “eff it” and headed to see the band I can usually never see due to life conflicts.  Greg’s wouldn’t get started on time anyway.  And Drew was going to be there.  That’s a huge bonus.

"SO and SO" at the HOTEL CAFE

I will make this short and sweet.  Amie’s voice is unreal.  I am gonna throw up a video of a song I recorded while I was there.  Jay (on the guitar) gave me permission, so Amie, if you are pissed, I am sorry, ahead of time.  They were short a keyboardist I believe but I think they were still quite awesome.  Their music has done some things.  I think they have a song on the TV show, One Tree Hill.

Check them out!  

After the show at Hotel Cafe I headed over to the Kibitz Room.  The place is on Fairfax in West Hollywood.  I have been to a ton of watering holes over there but never once to this place.  It is super grunge but very cool.  It sits right connected to Canters bakery and deli.  You can see the bakery thru plexiglass.  Weird.  But I guess they can’t see you in the bar.  I have never sat at a bar and watched people eat croissants before.  Well, I didn’t watch them the whole time.  Just for a second.  The booths are like booths at a diner.  The spot where the band plays looks like what it would look like in your garage during band practice.  Actually it just looks like a garage.  And sounds like band practice.  Very cool.  I am not talking trash.

view from the door at the "Kibitz Room"

Greg and I

I ran in to so many people I had not seen in forever.  My pal Brett Cranston who own’s the Hudson.  The Hudson is  bar that is a half of a block away from Baby Blues BBQ.  A place that I am at four times a week (Baby Blues BBQ).  Crazy I haven’t seen the guy in months.  Check out both Baby Blues and The Hudson.  Both are bomb-ass spots to watch sports and eat grub.

the bar at "Kibitz Room"

The Kibitz party was for my pal Greg.  It was his birthday.  He is the proud owner of Alternative Apparel.  Shop there.  The clothes are rad.  The material is more rad.  The owner it the most rad.  The King.  I won’t say the age because I can’t remember he is so old.  I hope he reads this one day.  Greg, I am going to give you a “beat down” on the basketball court this weekend.  Matty, Brett, Gavin, and Keith, I will see you on the basketball court.  Good to see you.  And Gable, you too!

This is the secret to finding out if anyone reads your blog.  Just talk shit on it.  And see if they respond.  He he.  I love ya Greg and it is great to know we have so many mutual friends.  Means that good peoples roll with good peoples.

That was my fun for the week.  I will rap a little tomorrow about what is going on with the films and projects.  A lot of great stuff has happened this week but why waste all the sharing in one post.

Love you all,

Lije

whale watching and my NFL picks

In Uncategorized on January 15, 2011 at 10:04 am

actually made in Traverse City, but close enough

I am going to try to write everyday.  “They” say to write everyday.  For the BLOG, ya know?

I don’t write unless I feel like writing.  Maybe three times a week, maximum.  It is hard.  I am so dang busy with life.  Maintaining a BLOG is a commitment.  It is like a girlfriend or a kid.  Maybe not a kid.  It needs attention.  You have got to keep the relationship fresh.  No one wants repetition.  Unless you repeatedly BLOG about the super cool shit.  That is good repetition.  You have to do something nice for it once in a while.  Maybe throw up a video or change the theme.  This is all very new to me.  I just started writing this thing in August.  I try to keep it relevant.  I talk about life, work, and the hustle.

As we hit the 15-day mark in January I feel I have never been more on track in my entire life.  I am happier than I have ever been.  My career is plowing ahead as a filmmaker.  The acting world has been lucrative as of late.  I love my roommate and living where I live.  A half of a block off the beach in Venice, CA.  Big bonus, I got Lindsey Lohan as my neighbor.  And most of all, I got a fu#%&ng iPhone!!!  My life is synced up.  I don’t know why I fought the change for so long.  I am stubborn.  I will try to be less stubborn.  It is complete for now.  OMG, and on my bike ride up the coast yesterday, not only did I see dolphins just kicking it in the water, I saw whales!  It was crazy.  I have never seen them in real life unexpectedly like that.  It was so true to the feeling yesterday.

the whale is in the middle...

I have a three-year plan including a TV Pilot, A feature-length thriller/horror for the Internet with my boy, Jeff Grettler from the Fu Man Kru, and my life-project feature film that just came to me on Christmas Day, a film that will knock socks off.  This bad boy is gonna make an emotional impact on the world.  This is my passion project.  I am lucky enough to be working with my childhood friend to write/make the fu#%er.  I have not felt so good and powerful about anything in my life yet.

Friends are not like what they used to be.  I grew up in Michigan and had a tight-knit crew before heading off to college.  Those were the ride-or-die types of Peoples.  I have been doing a lot of reminiscing lately.  Mainly because I am writing this movie and studying a bunch great films that I love and it is bringing back so many memories.  I wish I could still have those relationships I had in the 90’s.  But there is something about just remembering them that makes me happy.  The shit that we would do, the fun and trouble we would get into, and how it drove me to be the man I am today.  Hell of a story.  I would give some shout-outs but they know who they are.  Plus, I need to save it for the movie.

It is a 78 degree day here in Los Angeles.  The sun is shining and there are bluebird skies.  Tyler is heading over to give me a lesson on the Canon 7D that I just bought.  Nut Bucket is shooting the Pilot, Underbelly, on it.  I shot Closing Doors on it.  It is a hell of a pretty camera and relatively inexpensive.  I ordered sound equipment yesterday so we should be all set for our little guerilla filming crew.

worth posting...beautiful day on 1.14.11

Closing Doors got into its first film festival yesterday.  It got into the first one it could have gotten a response from.  1 for 1 so far.  We are happy as hell about it.  I will announce in a day or two when all the dust clears and it is set in stone.

Most of all today, I am fired up to watch some NFL playoffs!  My picks for the weekend are as follows.  I hope I don’t offend anyone.  I got the Ravens and Packers winning today.  I got the Jets covering tomorrow.  And I got the Bears destroying the Seahawks.  Sorry Hawks but you had your game.  This is a Superbowl defense that the Bears are runnin’ with.  Even if Cutler sucks balls they will still put on a “beat down”.

Oh, and since I tell you people everything, I met a chick.  I am really into her.

Peace out,

The “NBF”

P.S.  This is my boy Cooper.  I miss the fellow.  He is getting older.  I have known him since I was in college.  In the 90’s.  I love you Cooper.  See you this summer.

Cooper aka Copper...baddest doggie on planet Earth.

Closing Doors’s FESTIVUS’S’S’S 11111

In Uncategorized on January 11, 2011 at 10:25 am

"you know you at the top when only heaven's right above it"...thx Weezy

Dudes, Chick, Adults, Kids, friends, family, and small mammals,

It is clearly time for an update on the status of the film, Closing Doors.  Let’s start with the most recent stuff since a lot of you keep up with it already.  Let me jump into the snow to show you how excited I am.

The film is completed.  Yup, I finished editing the f#%$er and, oh man, it was a ride.  I will save the trials and tribulations for the acceptance speech.  Or the DVD “special extras”.  I am really proud of it and want to thank everyone who has been involved so far.  I am keeping good track on Facebook and in the credits so I promise no one will be missed.

We have officially entered the festival circuit.  We got a few “late” submissions into a couple of the “Top 10” fests and also some community festivals that we felt were right for the film.  This movie has been funded by all those I addressed at the start of this post, therefore I feel they should get to know exactly what is going on.  So here are the festivals so far.

The kinda big ones:  Tribeca, SXSW, Seattle, LA Film Fest, and Cleveland.

The “other big one” goodies:  Aspen, Athens, Martha’s Vineyard, Atlanta, Ashland, USA Film Fest, Gasparilla, and Nashville.

I want to give a broad “thanks” to all of the festivals that I mentioned.  They have all been very responsive to the film and to my emails.  And most of them have helped in one way or another.

We are in consideration for a couple already.

Closing Doors stars Dave Rodriguez, a super talented director and filmmaker, and Brendan Coughlin, a very talented actor.  Here is an interview with them:

https://nutbucketfilms.wordpress.com/2010/10/13/two-on-one-with-dave-rodriguez-and-brendan-coughlin-stars-of-closing-doors/

Closing Doors is a coming-of-age story of a father struggling to find his way and let go of the past, in order to raise the daughter he loves.

We have been able to get this far because of the donated time from the wonderful cast and crew, the $$$$ donated from the crowds, and of course the awesome staff over at Nut Bucket Films.  They are working their juevos rancheros off everyday.

We need to raise more money.  It seems like every week someone new and special hops on the “Closing Doors” train and gives a helping hand.  If you want to be that person, all you have to do it click this link and donate as little at $10.  Below.

http://www.freedreampictures.com/patronofthearts/Patron_of_the_Arts_-Sponsor_a_Filmmaker_Program/Closing_doors.html

If that is too slow or doesn’t work, go HERE.

$25 gets you more free stuff regarding the film and perks to go with it.  $50 gets you more than $25 and so on.  To check out the different perks, click HERE.  I listed them all.  All from an old BLOG where you can find out even more about the movie and the road already travelled.

https://nutbucketfilms.wordpress.com/2010/11/11/tit-for-a-tat-closing-doors/

https://nutbucketfilms.wordpress.com/2010/08/17/want-to-be-a-part-of-the-nbf-film-closing-doors/

And lastly, please pass it around to anyone who might want to help.

JUST WAIT UNTIL YOU ALL SEE WHAT I GOT COMING NEXT!!  Watch the heck out 2011.

Lije and NBF

You’re F#%*in out…and I’m F#%*in’ in!

In Uncategorized on January 8, 2011 at 10:31 am

see you in Lakeland...love Kenny

See you in Lakeland, FL biatches!!

I just purchased spring training baseball tickets for the Detroit Tigers.  I am so fired up!  I have always wanted to go to spring training.  I have never been.  And Kenny Powers plays for them now, so it is PERF.

might even do a little boating...ha!

So here is the plan people!  I am flying my favorite, Virgin Airlines, right into Orlando!  They really are the best.  We arrive in FL on Thurs. the 24th of March and head straight to see the Nat’s at Joker Merchant Stadium.  That’s a home game for the Tigers.  I hope that dude, Strasburg, has a miracle healing session so we can see him pitch against the new and improved, Ricky Porcello.  Friday, we head to Kissimmee to the home of the Atlanta Braves to watch a little “roar” session up there.  Chipper, we are coming for ya, ya douchebag.  And I hope that dude that looks like Pedro Cerrano from Major League, Jason Heyward, is there too.  He is Monster.  “F#%k you Jobu.” Saturday, oh good ole’ Saturday, this is the one…the top dog of them all…the one to make you cream  in your pants. The Tigers at home against the Phillies!!!  Woohoo!  “Bring it f#%*ing on Cliff Lee!”  This is where we see the new and unstoppable Justin Verlander take it to the house at home in Lakeland.  Sunday will be a chill day in Houston’s home in Kissimmee again.  Those tickets are not available yet.  Everything moves slower in Texas.  And is supposedly bigger.  But we are in Florida, so WTF?

Detroit, you should be paying me to document this.  Or at least pay for the expenses.  I would gladly do this for free.  I love you Tigers and cannot wait for this special little trip with my best pal, Justin E’dog, straight out of Livonia, MI.  I want to thank his wife, Mel, for letting me steal him.  And his lovely daughter for allowing these memories to be born so they with have some shit to talk about when she is growing up.

Florida deserves a big thanks.  Shana Marie, out of Tampa, “Thanks” to you for hooking up the dope-ass hotel room for us to stay at in Tampa.  Oh, and regardless of the film in the festival or not, we will be at all the parties and dancing our asses off in the streets of Tampa!!  Woohoo, party time, excellent, yeah!

Tampa, this is coming for ya...

Oh, and yes, it gets better.  The GIFF (Gasparilla Film Fest) is strongly considering Closing Doors for their festival this year.  Guess what?  It falls on the exact same dates as this dang trip!

Check out my Film. “like’ it on Facebook.  Check out the festival.  Check out the best baseball team of 2011.  Check out Tampa, Orlando, Lakeland, and Kissimmee.  Yanks, we might even stop in your hood on Friday night to see you play.

If you can’t tell I am excited, you are retarded, a little.  Love and respect…Detroit, please acquire a future Hall of Famer before March 24th…

Lije