Many thanks to Le Renard for this recommendation, but I recently saw the movie “Once.” It was a revelation into personal, emotional, and altogether honest film-making. It was filmed with an extremely limited budget in Dublin, Ireland, with two actors who are not actors. Their burgeoning romance is incredibly real and the camera seems in love with both of them. It also has elements of a modern-day musical, where people sing because they are emotional or practically compelled to, not on cue. The extras in scenes are not extras, but real people and they gawk at the camera and listen to the songs and react with awe or disgust, just as you would if you were standing there listening to a busker on Grafton Street.

The feelings between the two are obviously real and that is what really drives the movie’s authenticity.

There are buskers up and down Grafton Street in Dublin; some are excellent, some are horrific, but they all seemed pretty convinced that music was their direction in life. I can respect that.

In fact, I had taken some ten second videos on Grafton Street in September and came across such a musician; he was really playing his heart out.

By Michael Gallagher

My name is Michael Sean Gallagher. I am a Lecturer in Digital Education at the Centre for Research in Digital Education at the University of Edinburgh. I am Co-Founder and Director of Panoply Digital, a consultancy dedicated to ICT and mobile for development (M4D); we have worked with USAID, GSMA, UN Habitat, Cambridge University and more on education and development projects. I was a researcher on the Near Futures Teaching project, a project that explores how teaching at The University of Edinburgh unfold over the coming decades, as technology, social trends, patterns of mobility, new methods and new media continue to shift what it means to be at university. Previously, I was the Research Associate on the NERC, ESRC, and AHRC Global Challenges Research Fund sponsored GCRF Research for Emergency Aftershock Forecasting (REAR) project. I was an Assistant Professor at Hankuk University of Foreign Studies (한국외국어대학교) in Seoul, Korea. I have also completed a doctorate at University College London (formerly the independent Institute of Education, University of London) on mobile learning in the humanities in Korea.

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