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Moustapha Akkad, 1935-2005.

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Anthony QuinnThe BBC reports that over 2,000 people attended Sunday’s burial of producer Moustapha Akkad, who, along with his daughter, was among the 57 people killed in last week’s hotel bombings in Jordan.

Akkad was best known as the producer of the "Halloween" movies — from the Telegraph‘s obit:

Akkad was making an epic about the Islamic world called "Lion of the Desert" when he was approached by the director John Carpenter, who said that he wanted to make a picture for $300,000. "I laughed," the producer later recalled. "You get worried when the budget is high or low. I asked him about the story. He told it to me in four words and I grabbed it. He said, ‘Babysitter to be killed by the boogie man.’ The babysitter part grabbed me because every kid in America knows what a babysitter is. I told him, ‘Let’s do it.’ I was spending $300,000 a day on ‘Lion of the Desert.’"

Akkad also directed "The Message," a story about the foundations of Islam that surmounted the challenge of Muslim beliefs forbidding any depiction of Mohammed or his immediate family by having the actors (including star Anthony Quinn, who played Mohammed’s uncle) speak directly to the camera as a stand-in for the prophet.

From Shahed Amanullah at alt.muslim:

"The Message" performed poorly at the box-office (despite critical acclaim) but won the hearts of Muslims worldwide for being the "Passion" of its day. "I felt that it was my obligation [and] my duty to tell the truth about Islam," said Akkad, whose first experience with the type of extremists that took his life was when a group of Muslims who thought that "The Message" portrayed the Prophet (which it did not) took hostages at three Washington, DC theaters, demanding the movie not be shown in the US. Having lived in California for most of the last 50 years, Akkad’s passion was to tell stories of import to the Arab and Muslim worlds, but in a way that would be relevant and entertaining to Americans. "In my house, I am a pure Arab, mentally and everything," he told a Jordanian newspaper last year. "When I step out, I am thinking like an American." Akkad has inspired a generation of Muslim Americans – among them his son Malek – who have entered the creative fields, determined to tell their stories and to entertain others.

+ Thousands mourn Syrian producer
+ Moustapha Akkad (Telegraph)
+ A Lion Of The Desert: Remembering Moustapha Akkad (alt.muslim)

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Rev Up

Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Give Back

Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

It’s the final countdown to Christmas and thanks to IFC’s movie marathon all Christmas Eve and Christmas Day, you can revel in classic ’80s films AND find inspiration for your last-minute gifts. Here are our recommendations, if you need a head start:

Musical Instrument

Great analog entertainment substitute when you refuse to give your kid the Nintendo Switch they’ve been drooling over.

Breakfast In Bed

Any significant other or child would appreciate these Uncle Buck-approved flapjacks. Just make sure you’re not stuck on clean up duty.

Cocktail Supplies

You’ll need them to get through the holidays.

Dance Lessons

So you can learn to shake-shake-shake (unless you know ghosts willing to lend a hand).

Comfy Clothes

With all the holiday meals, there may be some…embigenning.

Get even more great inspiration all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC, and remember…

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A-O Rewind

Celebrating Portlandia One Sketch at a Time

The final season of Portlandia approaches.

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GIFs via Giphy

Most people measure time in minutes, hours, days, years…At IFC, we measure it in sketches. And nothing takes us way (waaaaaay) back like Portlandia sketches. Yes, there’s a Portlandia milepost from every season that changed the way we think, behave, and pickle things. In honor of Portlandia’s 8th and final season, Subaru presents a few of our favorites.


Put A Bird On It

Portlandia enters the pop-culture lexicon and inspires us to put birds on literally everything.

Colin the Chicken

Who’s your chicken, really? Behold the emerging locavore trend captured perfectly to the nth degree.

Dream Of The ’90s

This treatise on Portland made it clear that “the dream” was alive and well.

No You Go

We Americans spend most of our lives in cars. Fortunately, there’s a Portlandia sketch for every automotive situation.

A-O River!

We learned all our outdoor survival skills from Kath and Dave.

One More Episode

The true birth of binge watching, pre-Netflix. And what you’ll do once Season 8 premieres.

Catch up on Portlandia’s best moments before the 8th season premieres January 18th on IFC.

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