Al-Fankoosh is alive

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Shrinking globe: Edible liquor is coming to Korea... does this remind anyone of  Adel Imam's Al-Fankoosh?

by Tarek Atia

(, January 14, 2002)
Does anyone remember that old Adel Imam film about the advertising executive who made up a product called "Al-Fankoosh"?

The film co-starred Mervat Amin and Ahmed Rateb. Adel Imam was at his best playing the competitive ad exec who wants a contract so badly that he comes up with a product name and a series of commercials before he even knows what the product in question is. But the "Fankoosh" ads are so successful that he is later forced to actually come up with a product to fit the name.

He tries everything. A perfume, food, etc... He ends up hiring a mad scientist to develop a product for him that will fit the name. And what does the guy come up with?

Edible liquor.

Al-Fankoosh ends up being chocolates that pack the wallop of a bottle of whisky.

Imam and Mervat Amin -- his staunchest enemy and competitor -- eat a whole box of them and spend a wild drunken night together where they get married without really being aware of what they're doing.

So that's the power of al-Fankoosh...

Now, it seems, a company in South Korea is going to be making a real-life fankoosh-like product. Reuters reports that the Kooksoondang Brewery "has come up with an alternative way for people to enjoy their favorite tipple -- 'chewable liquor'".

The report says the company "developed a gelatin form of its popular Paeksaejoo rice wine, a mild version of South Korea's fiery soju liquor," -- a new candified alcohol product which sounds very much like al-Fankoosh.

Coincidence? Or yet another example of Egypt's continuing ability to pioneer. In the summer of 2001 we saw -- in cairolive's The critic -- how a sub plot in the blockbuster Hollywood epic Pearl Harbor seemed to be lifted from an old Mahmoud Yassin film. Now it looks like the Koreans are watching old Adel Imam films looking for ideas.

When will the madness end?

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