Beijing cinema cafés: Forbidden films, foamy lattés

by Stephan Larose
Posted: September 2nd, 2010 | Updated: May 5th, 2011 | Comments
Film lovers, especially fans of socio-politically challenging or experimental subject matter, may rue the resemblance China's cinematic landscape bears to the barren, crater-pitted surface of a planet where features deemed objectionable by China's State Administration of Radio, Film, and Television have been blasted to oblivion by seemingly omnipresent censorship drones. Only occasional oases of color pop out in the form of the limited pre-censored films that China allows to be screened in its theaters. Fortunately, China's art house refugees are finding shelter with a little help from ARTINFO, which recently reported on four fabulous Beijing art house cinema cafés, a place where Chinese and expats alike can find solace in what ARTINFO calls "a wealth of cinema that you would never see in a lifetime of attendance at China’s regular movie houses." And there are a lot of like minds in the house. As founding owner of  Beijing's Trainspotting Café puts it: "Sure, you get better image quality in a big conventional movie theater watching mainstream flicks, but here at a private place like Trainspotting our main priority is dialogue and exchange." Sure, you could find much of what you might want to watch in one of China's countless gray-market DVD shops, but real film is about the shared experience of viewing... and real film geekhood is all about passionate discussion of what you just saw. So, if you're in Beijing to live or visit for a spell and you're looking a good film experience,  check out the ARTINFO: Four Art House Cinemas Thriving in Beijing. Photo source: Artinfo.com
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