Daniel Day Lewis in There Will Be Blood

Film of the Day

Andy Serkis (possibly) and James Franco in Rise of the Planet of the Apes

Rise of the Planet of the Apes

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 12 July Julius Caesar born, 100BC Most people have some inkling about the death of Julius Caesar – “et tu, Brute” etc – but he was born too, so it seems. In the year 100BC, on this day, to a family of patricians who already bore the cognomen Julia – descendants of the mythical Iulus (or so they liked to say) aka Ascanius, king of Alba Longa, son of Trojan hero Aeneas. Julius Caesar’s given name was Gaius, his family name Julius, the cognomen or family nickname Caesar – because one of his ancestors was born by caesarean section (from the … Read more
Aaron Taylor and Anne-Marie Duff in Nowhere Boy

Nowhere Boy

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 8 December John Lennon murdered, 1980 On this day in 1980, John Lennon was murdered by Mark Chapman outside the south entrance of the Dakota building, where Lennon and his wife, Yoko Ono, had had an apartment since 1973. Chapman shot Lennon four times in the back and Lennon probably died immediately. He was certainly dead by the time medics at the Roosevelt Hospital saw him. Lennon and Yoko Ono had been out for the evening, mixing a track from their forthcoming album. Lennon had the final mix of the track, Walking on Thin Ice, appropriately, in his hand when he … Read more
Lucas Biscombe and Isabelle Huppert in Time of the Wolf

Time of the Wolf

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 11 August Mesoamerican long count calendar, 3114BC On this day in 3114BC, the world was created. Or it was if you are using the MesoAmerican, or Mayan, long form calendar, which takes 11 August 3114BC as the day the universe sprang into life. The calendar uses a modified base 20 scheme to tally its days, modified so that the second to last digit rolls over to zero when it reaches 18 (so this second to last digit is in base 18). The calendar is notable for using a zero to indicate a place with nothing in it (so 0.0.0.0.1 is the … Read more
Bruce Willis and Ben Affleck in Armageddon

Armageddon

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 7 November The Ensisheim meteorite hits Earth, 1492 On this day in 1492, a large meteorite landed in a field outside the walled town of Ensisheim, in Alsace (present-day France). The flaming passage of the meteorite through the sky was visible from over 150km away. It was one of the earliest instances of a meteorite fall on record. The stone can still be seen today in the town’s museum, though it is now nowhere near the original 127kg it weighed when it fell – the locals, having dug it up from a metre down in the soft arable land, started prising … Read more
Paul Reubens and Shirley Henderson in Life during Wartime

Life during Wartime

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 28 July Earl Tupper born, 1907 Who is Earl Tupper? He invented Tupperware, and was born on this day in 1907, in Berlin, New Hampshire, USA. After studying at Bryant and Stratton University, he went into business for himself, in landscaping and nursery, before the depression of the 1930s made him bankrupt. So he took a job with DuPont, where he found a use for polyethylene slag – a waste product from oil refining – reprocessing it and fashioning it into unbreakable containers. Later, he worked on the airtight lids and in 1938 he formed the Tupperware Plastics Company. The breakthrough … Read more
Gary Oldman as Sid Vicious in Sid and Nancy

Sid and Nancy

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 12 October Sid Vicious arrested, 1978 On this day in 1978, Sid Vicious, the former bassist with the punk rock band The Sex Pistols, was arrested for the murder of his girlfriend, Nancy Spungen. The two of them had been staying at the Chelsea Hotel. Vicious had woken up, groggy from a night of heroin-taking, to find his girlfriend dead from a knife wound. “I stabbed her but I never meant to kill her,” he later told police, though he also claimed that she had fallen onto the knife. Vicious, born John Simon Ritchie, was 21 and just over three months … Read more
John Bishop in Route Irish

Route Irish

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 16 January Operation Desert Storm starts, 1991 On this day in 1991, in what is now known as the First Gulf War, the troop and weapons mobilisation operation known as Operation Desert Shield came to an end and Operation Desert Storm, the invasion of Iraq, began. The invasion had been prompted by the Iraqi invasion of Kuwait, to seize oil fields and territory that Iraq claimed were rightly theirs – a dispute that went all the way back to when the borders between the two countries were drawn by the British in 1922. Kuwait and the international community didn’t take Iraq’s … Read more
Peter Finch delivers his "mad as hell speech in Network

Network

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 02 September 50th Anniversary of CBS Evening News On this day in 1963 CBS’s flagship news show – broadcast since 1948 – assumed the title CBS Evening News. At which point it became US network TV’s first half-hour weeknight news broadcast. Walter Cronkite was its presenter (he’d taken over from Douglas Edwards the year before), a position he’d hold until 1981. A solid, progressive middle-American with natural gravitas, Cronkite became known as “the most trusted man in America” and the CBS Evening News became the country’s ratings-leading and most authoritative news broadcast. To this day when footage about the assassinations of JFK and Martin … 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
Johnny Depp in Pirates of the Caribbean On Stranger Tides

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 31 July Black Tot Day, 1970 Today in 1970 was the last day on which British sailors were issued with a daily rum ration. The ration had initially been beer – much safer than water – and had been set at a gallon (4.5 litres) a day in the 16th century. But that’s a lot of beer if there are a lot of men, and so the ration became a half pint of rum in 1655, after the British had secured whole chunks of the rum-rich West Indies. Drunkenness being a problem, the half-pint ration was mixed with water 1:4 and … Read more
Mulberry Street zombie

Mulberry St

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 27 March Typhoid Mary quarantined, 1915 On this day in 1915, Mary Mallon was quarantined for the second and final time. A carrier of typhoid who remained healthy herself, Mallon’s career as an itinerant cook meant she was perfectly placed to spread the disease. As she moved from position to position after arriving in the US from Ireland, she spread typhoid at every kitchen she worked in. 49 people came down with typhoid; three died. She resolutely refused to give any samples to health researchers, claiming that since she was healthy herself, she couldn’t be spreading illness. She had been quarantined … Read more
Saddam Hussein and Satan get cosy in South Park: Bigger Longer and Uncut

South Park: Bigger Longer & Uncut

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 2 November Lady Chatterley Trial verdict, 1960 On this day in 1960, a jury in the trial of Regina versus Penguin Books found the UK publisher not guilt of obscenity. The trial against DH Lawrence’s novel Lady Chatterley’s Lover was brought under the provision of the Obscene Publications Act, which had only come into force the previous year and was intended to more clearly mark off pornography from works of artistic and scientific merit. And so the trial hinged on whether Lawrence’s 1928 novel did indeed possess artistic merit, or whether its litany of rude words and rude acts would tend … Read more

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