Daniel Day Lewis in There Will Be Blood

Film of the Day

Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe in American Gangster

American Gangster

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 11 June John F Kennedy proposes the Civil Rights Act, 1963 On this day in 1963, the US president, John F Kennedy addressed the nation. In his speech he called for legislation with would give all Americans “the right to be served in facilities which are open to the public – hotels, restaurants, theaters, retail stores and similar establishments”. He also called for equality before the law when it came to voting. His proposals would outlaw discrimination based on race, colour, religion, sex or national origin and effectively sounded the death knell for racial segregation – in buses, diners, schools, wherever. … Read more
Chief Inspector Yan Glassey and the hanging Pink Panther in his office

Smash & Grab: The Story of the Pink Panthers

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 29 October Star of India stolen, 1964 On this day in 1964, the famous Star of India gemstone was stolen from the American Museum of Natural History in New York. Though not the biggest gem in the world, this blue-green 563.35 carat (112.67g) golfball-sized sapphire is one of the most famous, thanks in large part to its distinctive markings – a star on either side of the stone. The robbery was simplicity itself. During the day the thieves unlocked a bathroom window and used it to climb back into the museum later at night – the burglar alarm system wasn’t working … Read more
Chris Pine and Zoe Saldana in Star Trek

Star Trek

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 28 December Birth of Nichelle Nichols, 1932 On this day in 1932, Grace Dell (aka Nichelle) Nichols was born, in Robbins, Illinois, USA. Having studied in Chicago, New York and Los Angeles, she first arrived in showbiz as a singer in a 1961 musical called Kicks and Co, then went on to have roles in Carmen Jones and Porgy and Bess, before touring as a singer with Duke Ellington and Lionel Hampton’s bands. In 1964 she appeared in an episode of a TV series called The Lieutenant, produced by Gene Roddenberry. Roddenberry cast her again in his next TV series, Star … Read more
Saskia Rosendahl as Lore


A movie for every day of the year – a good one 30 April Adolf Hitler kills himself, 1945 On this day in 1945, Adolf Hitler, the Führer and Reich Chancellor of Germany, also the Reichsstatthalter of Prussia, killed himself. On 22 April 1945, Hitler had railed against his generals, having discovered that his orders for SS Obergruppenführer Steiner and his detachment to attack the Red Army had been flatly ignored. On 23 April, Prime Minister Göring, in a telegram from Berchtesgaden, pointing out that Berlin was surrounded by the Russians and Hitler incapacitated, suggested that he, Göring, should assume leadership of Germany. Hitler responded by having Göring arrested and removing him from … Read more
Artwork for the original poster of The Raven

The Raven

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 23 November Boris Karloff born, 1887 On this day in 1887, the great horror actor Boris Karloff was born. Disappointingly, his birth name was William Henry Pratt and he wasn’t born in some Carpathian cave but in the inner suburb of Lewisham, South London. A well educated young man with a lisp and a stutter, he dropped out while training to become a functionary of the British Empire and instead took to farm labouring before becoming an actor. He took the name Boris Karloff while in travelling repertory theatre in Canada, and after arriving in Hollywood he played a number of … Read more
Dinara Drukarova, Nino Khomasuridze and Esther Gorintin

Since Otar Left

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 15 August Cave city of Vardzia consecrated, 1185 On this day in 1185, the cave monastery of Vardzia, on the slopes of the Erusheti Mountain in Southern Georgia, was consecrated by Queen Tamar of Georgia. Building on the site, about 19 tiers high, had started a couple of years earlier, but excavation shows that people had been living there since the Bronze Age. Tamar was a warrior queen and dedicated the site to the Virgin Mary after successes against the Muslim invader. Because of its height and its construction in the rock, the site was held to be as impregnable “as … Read more
Colin Beavan aka No Impact Man

No Impact Man: The Documentary

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 4 January Thomas Edison electrocutes Topsy the elephant, 1903 On this day in 1903, the American inventor genius Thomas Edison electrocuted a live elephant to death with electricity. And filmed the whole event. The purpose was to demonstrate how dangerous electricity delivered by alternating current (AC)was. Edison was very much wedded to direct current (DC) and had been making a bundle in licensing payments from cities in the USA that were increasingly going electric, many using his system. And in the other corner we had George Westinghouse (and behind him the patents of Nikola Tesla), who reckoned that AC was the … Read more
Caleb Landry Jones in Antiviral


A movie for every day of the year – a good one 29 February Rare Disease Day This day every leap year is Rare Disease Day. Initially chosen because the day itself is rare, and to commemorate the 25th anniversary of the Orphan Drug Act in the USA (which makes it easier for therapies for designated diseases to be developed), it was first observed in 2008. When there isn’t a 29 February in the year, the day is observed on the last day of the month. A rare disease is technically defined as one found in fewer than five people in 10,000, but there are more well known rare diseases than might at … Read more
Justin Timberlake and Jesse Eisenberg in The Social Network

The Social Network

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 3 October The Mickey Mouse Club debuts, 1955 On this day in 1955, Walt Disney launched The Mickey Mouse Club on the ABC television network. Essentially a variety show that made stars of its mini-vaudevillians (named Mouseketeers), it was hosted by a number of adult comperes. Initially this was Jimmy Dodd, who would intersperse performances by the kids and old episodes of shows such as The Hardy Boys with a song and a homily of his own composing, thus setting the tone for the MMC – sunny, positive, virtuous. The show continued until its cancellation in 1959, but then continued to … Read more
Carice Van Houten in Black Book

Black Book

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 23 May Netherlands declares independence from Spain, 1568 On this day in 1568, the battle of Heligerlee was fought and won by the rebel army of William I of Orange, against the Duke of Alba, representative of the Hapsburg ruling dynasty. It marked the beginning of the 80 Years’ War for the independence of the Protestant Netherlands from Catholic Spanish rule. Though the rebels won the battle, they lost the campaign, due to lack of funds, and the rebellion sputtered out, only to flame up again in 1572. By 1581 the Netherlands were independent, though it took until 1648 for this … Read more
Lindsay Lohan in The Canyons

The Canyons

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 22 July Paul Schrader born, 1946 Today in 1946, the writer, critic and director Paul Schrader was born, in Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA. The son of religious parents, he was brought up by strict Calvinist standards and didn’t see a film until he was 17. He studied theology, then went on to do film studies at UCLA Film School, having met the famous critic Pauline Kael by accident en route and become one of her critic protégés. His first screenplay, co-written with his brother Leonard, was The Yakuza, and commanded the highest price for a script ever paid (according to the … Read more
Charlie Sheen in Platoon


A movie for every day of the year – a good one 19 May Ho Chi Minh born, 1890 On this day in 1890, Nguyen Sinh Con, later known as Ho Chi Minh, was born, in Hoang Tru, in Vietnam. One of four children, he got an education thanks to the colonial French, at a local lycée, and under the direction of his father, a Confucian scholar. Realising there was little future for him in Vietnam after his father lost his administrative position – influence was everything – he boarded a ship for France, working as a ship’s cook, where he failed to get work in Marseille. Over the next few years he … Read more

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