Karim Debbache, French cinema columnist

© Karim Debbache
© Karim Debbache

Karim Debbache’s work is only available in French, but as I have already mentioned him, let me introduce him to you a little further.

Karim Debbache is an author for Le Joueur du grenier, a French video maker which is worth seeing if you know some French, but it is not this aspect of his work I want to present here. In his own name and with the help of his friends Jérémy Morvan and Gilles Stella, Karim Debbache realizes video columns on cinema. This work started on Jeuxvideo.com with the series entitled Crossed. In this series, he presents films that are linked to video games. Now, he realizes the Chroma series – for CHROnique cinéMA (cinema column), which also alludes to the Greek χρῶμα (Khrôma), meaning colour – which is a sequel of the previous one, except that it is not restricted only to films linked to video games. Both series are available on his Dailymotion homepage.

These columns have several interests. First, each one is an opportunity to propose some original perspective. More importantly, the three friends have some real knowledge on theory and practices for film making, considering its technical aspects as well as its cultural and aesthetic aspects. In their columns, they present in a quite educational way some of this knowledge, allowing viewers to casually build a cinematographic culture based on a consistent theory. Finally, the videos have a particularly good pace and are full of humour, which makes them entertaining and never boring.

Of course, there are some flaws. The most important one being that in each column they make a fairly complete summary of the film being reviewed. The first problem with this is that, to avoid revealing the end of the film to those who have not seen it, you are regularly encouraged to skip some part of the video. Though this has been the occasion for some particularly amusing gags, such as Le Twist des twists (The Twist of twists), it leads to the paradox of a portion of the video that is not addressed to the persons who should be those who would find the most interest on it, since those who have already seen the film does not need its end to be tell … Moreover, it tends to encourage you to consult the columns only after seeing the films, while it gives some clues and keys that may be interesting when viewing the films. In addition, the summary takes an important part of the chronic, at the expense to the analysis part (especially in Crossed), while it constitutes the main interest on the column. Of course, it is often difficult to present an analysis without giving some details of the plot, but usually there is no need to reveal the entire story in order to give a pertinent analysis.

This small limit should not mislead you: Karim Debbache’s video columns are really among the best that is done in this area, both considering the interest and the care taken to the form. They constitute, except for the pace, one of my references for my series A Vue from the attic – which quality is, I must admit, at least for the moment lesser. If you know some French, I therefore strongly recommend you take interest to them.

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Yoann Le Bars

A researcher and teacher with slightly too many interests to sum this up …

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