Daniel Day Lewis in There Will Be Blood

Film of the Day

Gael Garcia Bernal and Diego Luna in Rudo y Cursi

Rudo y Cursi

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 16 March The Wanderers FC win first FA Cup, 1872 Today in 1872, the London football club Wanderers won the first football association cup, the oldest football competition in the world. It was the first of three wins of the cup for the club. The FA Cup is a knockout cup open to all football clubs who are established enough, and with facilities enough, to take part. In 1871-72, being the first season of the cup, there was a piecemeal and eccentric series of regulations – Wanderers managed to get to the final having won only one of their four games … Read more
Still of a naked woman from The Substance: Albert Hoffmann's LSD

The Substance: Albert Hofmann’s LSD

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 13 April MKULTRA launched, 1953 On this day in 1953, CIA director Allen Dulles officially created the MKULTRA program. Its purpose was to investigate ways of controlling human behaviour, using drugs and other methods. It was a continuation of Operation Paperclip, Projects Chatter, Bluebird and Artichoke, whose purpose was also mind control and the exploration of more effective interrogation techniques. The MK of the name marks it out as being a project under the aegis of the Technical Services Staff division of the CIA. The ULTRA indicates that it was classified as being the very highest level of secret. Its main … Read more
John Turturro, Hank Azaria and Ralph Fiennes in Quiz Show

Quiz Show

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 10 September The “Coughing” Major, 2001 On this day in 2001, Charles Ingram, a former major in the British army, won £1,000,000 in the UK TV gameshow Who Wants to Be a Millionaire. But before the payout could be made, accusations were already flying that he’d been tipped off as to the real answer to various questions by two plants in the audience – his wife, Diana, and a friend, Tecwen Whittock – who would cough when the right answer was read out. Ingram did not cough himself, nor was he any longer a major, but tabloid newspapers, preferring a story … Read more
Onkalo Spent Nuclear Fuel Depository

Into Eternity: A Film for the Future

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 5 August Nuclear Test Ban Treaty, 1963 On this day in 1963, the “treaty banning nuclear weapon tests in the atmosphere, outer space and under water” was signed by the governments of the USSR, the United Kingdom and the USA in Moscow. Though there was general unease about the increase in radiation on planet Earth, the ban had been proposed first by the USSR in the early 1950s, though in its version of the treaty, no rigorous procedures would have been included to verify whether signatories were keeping their end of the bargain. The USSR finally yielded to the US and … Read more
Sandra Bullock in a space suit, Gravity


A movie for every day of the year – a good one 14 April Sputnik 2 falls from orbit, 1958 On this day in 1958, the second satellite to be launched into Earth orbit, Sputnik 2, fell back to earth. It had been launched on 3 November 1957 and was carrying Laika, a samoyed terrier cross chosen for her good nature – the first animal launched into space. Sputnik 2 carried enough food, water and air to keep Laika alive for ten days, but because of a malfunction, the temperature inside Sputnik 2 got too high (104ºF/40ºC) and Laika died after a few hours into the mission, from heat and stress. If she … Read more
Marion Cotillard and Owen Wilson in Midnight in Paris

Midnight in Paris

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 25 October Birth of Picasso, 1881 On this day in 1881, the Spanish artist Pablo Ruiz y Picasso was born. Prodigiously talented, Picasso was painting at a high level as a child, and continued experimenting with different media and styles – the rose period, the blue period, the African period, cubism, surrealism, and neo-expressionism and so on – right up until his death in 1973. Media included paint, sculpture, collage, cardboard, string, pencil, pen, photograph, torch (on film), chalk, oil, whatever was going. He’d draw on napkins to pay bills, draw on walls, any time, place or where. A key figure … Read more
Groucho Marx in Duck Soup

Duck Soup

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 2 October Groucho Mark born, 1890 On this day in 1890, Julius Henry Marx, one of the 20th century’s most distinctive comedians was born, in New York City. He started off in a vaudeville singing troupe with various members of the family, including his mother at one point. When pure singing didn’t work for them, the Marx brothers started to include comedy in their act, losing non family members on the way and eventually settling down to be the four brothers, Julius, Adolph, Leonard and Milton (aka Groucho, Harpo, Chico and Gummo). Gummo decided to leave and Zeppo, considered the funniest … Read more
Cary Elwes and Robin Wright in The Princess Bride

The Princess Bride

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 22 February Ladislaus the Posthumous born, 1440 On this day in 1440, Ladislaus the Posthumous was born. His father, Albert II, had died four months before and so it was that Ladislaus became Duke of Austria and head of the house of Habsburg as soon as he arrived in the world. Ladislaus grew up under the protection, as a prisoner more or less, of Frederick V, who was the de facto ruler of Austria. Meanwhile John Hunyadi ruled Hungary in Ladislaus’s stead, and George of Podebrady fulfilled the same function in Bohemia. At the age of ten, Ladislaus swapped one guardian … Read more
Bérénice Bejo and Malcolm McDowell in The Artist

The Artist

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 16 May First Academy Awards, 1920 On this day in 1929, the first Academy Awards presentations were made, at a private dinner hosted by Douglas Fairbanks at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel. Louis B Meyer had created the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences two years earlier, and later stated that “I found that the best way to handle [filmmakers] was to hang medals all over them… that’s why the Academy Award was created.” These were the only Academy Awards not to get radio (later TV) coverage. The awards covered the years 1927 and 1928 and had been announced three months … Read more
Morgan Spurlock before and After in Super Size Me

Super Size Me

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 15 April Ray Kroc opens the first McDonald’s, 1955 On this day in 1955, sanctioned by the McDonald brothers Richard and Maurice, Ray Kroc opened the first franchise of one of their McDonald’s hamburger restaurants, in Des Plaines, Illinois, USA. The ninth of a chain started by Richard and Maurice in 1948 in San Bernadino, California, the place was an immediate hit, taking hundreds of dollars in its first day. Kroc, a businessman by nature, itched to open more but the McDonalds weren’t particularly expansionist. So, in 1961, Kroc bought the entire company off them for $2.7 million and set about … Read more
Patrick Riester in Computer Chess

Computer Chess

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 9 March Bobby Fischer born, 1943 On this day in 1943, the future chess grandmaster Robert James Fischer was born in Chicago, Illinois, USA. The son of a communist teacher and of either the physicist Paul Nemenyi or the biophysicist Gerhardt Fischer (the FBI believed it was the former), Bobby learnt to play chess aged six and became immediately fascinated with the game. He played against his first master, Max Pavey, aged eight and though he lost it led to an introduction to the Manhattan Chess Club, where he was tutored by William Lombardy, and then the Hawthorne Chess Club, where … Read more
Paul Walker, Dwayne Johnson and Vin Diesel in Fast and Furious 6

Fast & Furious 6

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 5 February John Boyd Dunlop born, 1840 John Boyd Dunlop, Scottish inventor and accidental businessman, was born on this day in 1840. After studying to be a veterinarian at Edinburgh University, he moved to Ireland and set up practice with his brother, in Downpatrick. His most famous invention was the pneumatic tyre, which he developed in 1887 as a way of making his son’s tricycle roll easier over the hard ground of his back yard. Dunlop was immediately struck not just by how much smoother the ride was, but by how much more easily the wheel rolled with a pneumatic tyre … Read more

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