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LES ECHOS

Paris Art-House Cinema On The Verge Of A Nervous Breakdown

Amid fierce competition in the global film capital, a big movie chain opens an art-house theater in Paris that raises questions about the feasibility of independent cinema itself.

Paris's Les Fauvettes art-house movie theater
Paris's Les Fauvettes art-house movie theater
Clarisse Fabre

PARIS — A new cinematic hub is emerging in Paris, along Avenue des Gobelins in the 13th arrondissement. It's not exactly Broadway, but insiders are keeping a close watch on the neighborhood for signs of the industry's future.

In early November, after extensive work, the Gaumont-Pathé cinema reopened in the area, and Les Fauvettes (formerly Gaumont Gobelins) has assigned five devoted theaters to restored films. That number will soon expand to 11 screens as part of a project of the Jérôme Seydoux-Pathé Foundation that aims to preserve films to educate young audiences.

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Coronavirus

In Shanghai, A Brewing Expat Exodus As COVID Crackdown Shows "Real" China

Not only strict rules of freedom of movement as part of Zero-COVID policy but also an increase in censorship has raised many questions for the expat population in the megacity of 26 million that had long enjoyed a kind of special status in China as a place of freedom and openness. A recent survey of foreigners in the Chinese megacity found that 48% of respondents said they would leave Shanghai within the next year.

People walk in Tianzifang, located in Huangpu District, a well-known tourist attraction in Shanghai.

Lili Bai

SHANGHAI — On the seventh day of the lockdown, Félix, a French expat who has worked in Shanghai for four years, texted his boss: I want to "run,' mais je sais pas quand (but I don’t know when). A minute later, he received a reply: moi aussi (me too).

Félix had recently learned the new Mandarin word 润 (run) from social network postings of his local friends. Because its pinyin “rùn” is the same as the English word “run,” Chinese youth had begun to use it to express their wish to escape reality, either to “be freed from mundane life”, or to “run toward your future.”

For foreigners like Félix, by associating the expression “run” with the feeling of the current lockdown in Shanghai, “everything makes sense.” Félix recalled how at the end of March, the government denied rumors of an impending lockdown: “My Chinese colleagues all said, Shanghai is China’s top city, there would be no lockdown no matter what.”

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