Daniel Day Lewis in There Will Be Blood

Film of the Day

Niels Arestrup and Tahar Rahim in A Prophet

A Prophet

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 8 June Death of the prophet Muhammad, 632 On this day in AD632 (10 AH), Abu al-Qasim Muhammad ibn Adb Allah ibn Abd al-Muttalib ibn Hashim, aka Muhammad (spellings vary), died aged 62 or 63. Muslims consider Muhammad to be the last prophet sent by God to restore the original faith of Adam, Noah, Abraham, Moses and Jesus. Until the age of 40 he had lived a comparatively normal life – a married man with a job – but after receiving a visit from the angel Gabriel (Jibril) he started preaching the word of God, in particular that it was important … Read more
Laura Dern and fantasy girls in Inland Empire

Inland Empire

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 9 February Carole King born, 1942 On this day in 1942, the singer/songwriter Carole King was born, as Carole Klein, in New York. A prodigious talent who was playing piano at four, she had formed her own band in high school. Writing songs from her early teens, she was a professional while still in college, where one of her ex boyfriends, Neil Sedaka wrote the hit Oh Carol for her in 1959. It was however Jerry Goffin she married and went into songwriting partnership with. Together they wrote Take Good Care of My Baby, Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow and … Read more
MPAA Not Rated Card

This Film Is Not Yet Rated

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 31 March Motion Picture Code introduced, 1930 On this day in 1930, the Hollywood studios introduced a new code which laid out what was and was not acceptable in movies. It was a system of self-regulation which a scared Hollywood adopted after a series of widely reported scandals and after a number of risqué movies had prompted numerous states to introduce censorship bills. Rather than navigate through all this restrictive detail – what was fine in Iowa might not be in Texas – Hollywood bought off the objectors by introducing a code that satisfied nearly everybody. Working from a list of … 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
John Wayne in The Searchers

The Searchers

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 26 May John Wayne born, 1907 On this day in 1907, Marion Robert Morrison was born, in Winterset, Iowa, USA. He was named after the Civil War veteran Marion Mitchell Morrison, and the young Marion’s middle name would be switched in favour of Mitchell when his parents decided to name their next son Robert. In any event Marion preferred the nickname Duke, which he picked up from his Airedale terrier pet, Duke – young Marion was initially Little Duke. Morrison went to the University of Southern California to study pre-law on a football scholarship, but a broken collarbone picked up while … 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
Jack Johnson

Jack Johnson

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 28 September Death of Miles Davis, 1991 On this day in 1991, Miles Davis died. By his own estimation the Juilliard educated trumpeter, band leader and composer changed music “five or six times”. Whether that is true or not, he was there when bebop was being invented, and the same went for hard bop, orchestral jazz, modal jazz, jazz-rock and techno-funk, the last of which he tossed off almost as an afterthought, having come out of retirement after spending the late 1970s indulging his two addictions – drugs and sex. His 1959 album Kind of Blue is the best selling jazz … Read more
Josh Harris takes a shower in We Live in Public

We Live in Public

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 12 November Tim Berners-Lee publishes World Wide Web proposal, 1990 On this day in 1990, Tim Berners-Lee, an employee of the European research organisation CERN, published the formal proposal to create a more efficient information management system which would connect up hypertext documents on different computers running different operating systems, to be viewed by client-server applications (ie browsers). Building on a prediction by Arthur C Clarke that satellites would allow global access via console to vast amounts of information, telephony, video conferencing and so on, Berners-Lee took practical inspiration from the Dynatext electronic book system – which used a rigorous and … Read more
Police blindfold looters before shooting them in The War Game

The War Game

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 21 November Einstein publishes his mass/energy equation, 1905 On this day in 1905, his annus mirabilis, Albert Einstein published a paper in the Annalen Der Physik (Annals of Physics). Together with his earlier three papers that year, on Photoelectric Effect, Brownian motion and Special Relativity, his 1905 papers laid the foundation of modern physics. The November paper’s title was Does the Inertia of a Body Depend Upon Its Energy Content? In it Einstein suggested that mass and energy were the same thing, expressing the relationship between the two thus: “If a body gives off the energy in the form of radiation, … Read more
Down at the docks, in Terence Davies's Of Time and the City

Of Time and the City

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 6 July John Lennon meets Paul McCartney, 1957 On this day in 1957, a 15-year-old Paul McCartney went to a gig held after a church fete at St Peter’s Parish Church, Woolton, Liverpool. The fete had been a traditional affair, with tombola, a cake stall, games of hoop-la and a rose queen. There had also been entertainment, in the shape of a young local skiffle band called the Quarry Men – so called because most of the members were schoolboys at Quarry Bank Grammar School. The band was led by a 16-year-old John Lennon and as they set up again for … Read more
Salma Hayek and Ashley Judd in Frida

Frida

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 31 January Leon Trotsky exiled, 1929 On this day in 1929, Lev Davidovich Bronshtein, aka Leon Trotsky, was exiled from the country he had helped create. A member of the victorious Bolsheviks in the revolution of 1917 (having earlier switched allegiance from the Mensheviks), Trotsky rose quickly through the party, proving himself decisively in the civil war against the Mensheviks in 1918. Ideologically he was loosely aligned with Lenin, believed in mass democracy, permanent revolution and internationalism and was opposed to the “socialism in one country” of Stalin. Trotsky found his ideas and those of the Left Opposition increasingly marginalised in … Read more
Obligatory slo-mo explosion shot with an unconcerned Nicolas Cage in Drive Angry

Drive Angry

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 7 January Nicolas Cage born, 1964 On this day in 1964, Nicolas Coppola was born. The son of a literature professor and a choreographer, Cage is the grandson of Carmine Coppola, another of whose sons is Francis Ford Coppola (which makes the director his uncle). Cage decided that trading on the family name wasn’t for him, so changed his surname to Cage, though he was happy enough to take a leg-up by taking a role in Coppola’s cult item Rumble Fish. One of the most prolific actors in Hollywood, Cage is also one of its biggest earners and alternates between what … Read more

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