Europe

French fuel shortages: The jokes on social media

Tweet of the Total logo Image copyright Twitter/@GaelSimon1

French people affected by a fuel shortage that has hit a fifth of the country's petrol stations have taken to social media, changing film titles as a joke to reflect the problem.

The hashtag #penuriecarburantdansunfilm, which translates as "fuel shortage in a film", became France's top Twitter trend on Tuesday, with more than 5,000 tweets.

A strike over new labour laws is now affecting all of France's eight oil refineries.

An estimated 20% of petrol stations have either run dry or are low on supplies.

In their posts, French social media users talk about films such as Total Recall, the title of both a 1990 and 2012 science fiction film. Total is also the name of a French multinational oil and gas company.

Some users also changed film titles to reflect the shortage: Pulp Fiction was renamed Pump Friction, The Full Monty became The Fuel Monty and Mad Max: Fury Bicycle Lane replaced Mad Max: Fury Road.

Last and Furious

Image copyright Twitter/Bejamin Levy

American actor Vin Diesel's surname and his Hollywood blockbusters attracted particular attention, with people inventing several titles for his Fast and Furious series: Last and Furious, Pas Fast Mais Furious (translation: Not Fast But Furious), Immobile and Furious and Fuel Furious.

Others renamed 8 Mile, a semi-biographical drama staring US rapper Eminem, 0 Mile and 8 Miles a Pied (translation: 8 Miles on Foot).

American director Stanley Kubrick appeared to inspire people who posted about Fuel Metal Jacket, referring to Kubrick's 1987 film Full Metal Jacket.

Image copyright Twitter/@Redd_Vladikator

2001, l'Odyssee de l'espace is the French title of Stanley Kubrick's 2001: A Space Odyssey. But Espace is also the name of minivan built by French car manufacturer Renault.

Pictures of people filling jerrycans at petrol stations led people to incorporate the term into film titles. Tom and Jerrrycan, Jerrycan Beauty and Catch Me If You Jerrycan were the result.

Another obvious target was Nicolas Winding Refn's 2011 film Drive which social media users changed to Walk and Drive Pas.

Image copyright AFP
Image caption Workers barricaded the western port of Saint-Nazaire before blockading Donges refinery on Tuesday

French labour reform bill - main points

  • The 35-hour week remains in place, but as an average. Firms can negotiate with local trade unions on more or fewer hours from week to week, up to a maximum of 46 hours
  • Firms are given greater freedom to reduce pay
  • The law eases conditions for laying off workers, strongly regulated in France. It is hoped companies will take on more people if they know they can shed jobs in case of a downturn
  • Employers given more leeway to negotiate holidays and special leave, such as maternity or for getting married. These are currently also heavily regulated

Read more about France's controversial new labour laws

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