Monday, June 25, 2007

"Paris je t'aime" and Brief Hybrid Workshops

"Paris je t'aime"
18 brief movies (average 6 minutes, many less than 5) one after another, each filmed in Paris, each a complete episode, each having something to do with Paris and with love. The directors, actors, crews had no other obvious limitations and the composite they achieved together is funny, surprising, poignant, and memorable.

Wikipedia (June 24, 2007):,_je_t'aime

Official Web Site (June 24, 2007 - according to Wikipedia):
Watch the trailer! (Just under 2.5 minutes)

The trailer is charming, and only slightly dilutes and misrepresents the quality of the entire movie. Can't blame them too much for trying to use the popularity of Natalie Portman's face as the beginning of the trailer, but this movie absolutely does NOT dwell on her face or any other easy option. Together, the 18 clips offer glimpses and insights into many more dimensions of love than suggested either by the trailer or by my own expectations of what could be done by these filmmakers under these limitations.

When Sally told me she wanted to go to a movie last night and that this was the one, I reluctantly overcame my end-of week lethargy and joined her. Especially after she told me she had already purchased the tickets online. We were a little later than we liked arriving at the theater (parking on a beautiful, warm summer night in Bethesda Maryland was challenging).

Sally went in to get our seats while I waited in line to buy the largest popcorn bag and some bottles of water - and I thought several times about when I would get to the restroom. I decided that I would try to last through the section with Juliette Binoche (one of my favorites - especially since seeing her in Blue) and then would slip out to the bathroom. I didn't expect I would much mind missing one or two episodes.

I joined Sally in the theater just in time for the beginning. Juliette Binoche was not in the first few. But I never thought again of leaving my seat. Each clip was complete. Some were quite funny. Many were poignant. Some were powerful, memorable, surprising.

In the last year I've become obsessed with the educational potential of "Brief Hybrid Workshops" - combinations of brief "eClips" with face-to-face or online synchronous interactions. By "eClips" I mean multimedia recordings available via the Web. We're combining the new power, availability, ease of use, and low price (much free) of new tools and resources for producing and publishing eClips with Todd Zakrajsek's idea of "5-Minute Workshops". Visit our growing set of ideas and resources and links to some great examples about Brief Hybrid Workshops at

"Paris je t'aime" demonstrates the remarkable variety and power of what can be communicated in a few minutes by talented people. I don't expect that our educational "brief hybrid workshops" can often achieve anything close to this level, nor do we need to. But if we move even a little in this direction, we will achieve a lot!

I hope you will be inspired - not daunted - by the quality and variety of episodes in "Paris je t'aime," to join our work on Brief Hybrid Workshops.

Please send more examples of brief, effective "eClips" or ideas for using such things for educational purposes - especially to help with enabling and encouraging faculty members to take advantage of new opportunities to improve teaching and learning with technology.

Send to or, better, add a comment to this posting - click on "comment" below. Please include your email contact info so that we can invite you to introduce your idea in one of our online sessions!

Sally and I are going to return to see "Paris je t'aime" again soon - maybe tonight.

Hope you enjoy it, too - soon!


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