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What “Paranormal Activity” has to do with Mussolini.

What “Paranormal Activity” has to do with Mussolini. (photo)

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You thought you were done with “Paranormal Activity”? Well, “Paranormal Activity” isn’t done with you. While “Dear John” was busy knocking “Avatar” off the top of the charts here, Germany did the same with domestic rap biopic “Times Are Changing” and Iceland succumbed to the enjoyable looking “Mr Bjarnfredarson,” “Avatar” was busy having its per-screen average topped in Italy by “Paranormal Activity.”

But all is not well: across Italy, children are having panic attacks, because someone had the bright idea to release it with no age restrictions! In Naples, especially, Saturday night saw dozens of calls to emergency services to report panic attacks — children with irregular heartbeats, fears of dying, and one 14-year-old girl who arrived catatonic (!) at the hospital. SCARIEST MOVIE EVER.

Not everyone is so impressed. Newspaper La Stampa ran a front-page editorial noting that, in generall, Italy’s in one hell of a mess in general: “Parliamentarians, do get upset about the paranormal, but if all the rest seems normal to you, maybe you are also a bit paranormal?” (Shaky translation via ABC, but you get the idea.) And perhaps it’s no coincidence that the majority of the calls are from Naples, aka “Gomorrah,” home to large levels of organized crime.

02112010_mussolini.jpgEven “Paranormal Acitivity,” it seems, can be turned into a political football for shamelessly self-promoting Italian politicians. The story also provided a reminder that Mussolini’s granddaughter is a force in Italian politics, currently heading a parliamentary committee on children. Alessandra Mussolini isn’t just a politician, but an apologetically right-wing one who once answered charges of fascism from a trans-gendered candidate with the line “It is better to be a fascist than a faggot.”

With the aforementioned “Gomorrah,” Berlusconi documentary “Videocracy” (opening in NYC today), secret-life-of-Mussolini drama “Vincere” and the satirical Andreotti biopic “Il Divo,” you have to wonder how “Paranormal Activity” could possibly measure up to the scares to be found in Italy’s recent cinematic self-portraits.

By the way, in 1982 Alessandra Mussolini recorded an album of love songs called (duh) “Amore,” released only in Japan. Here’s her Japanese-language version of “Tokyo Fantasy” (wrap your head around that!):

[Photos: “Paranormal Activity,” Paramount, 2009; Alessandra Mussolini via Wikipedia Commons, photo by Giuseppe Nicoloro, 2007]

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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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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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

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