Daniel Day Lewis in There Will Be Blood

Film of the Day

Emily Browning as Baby Doll in Sucker Punch

Sucker Punch

  A movie for every day of the year – a good one     20 June   The Beatles’ Yesterday and Today Butcher cover, 1966 On this day in 1966, the Beatles released their eleventh US release, Yesterday and Today, a compilation of tracks from the three most recent British albums – Help!, Rubber Soul and Revolver (not yet released). The record became infamous because of its cover, shot by Robert Whitaker earlier that year, which depicted the band dressed in butchers’ aprons draped with pieces of meat and various parts of plastic dolls. In terms of conceptual art, it was ahead of its time (it’s in Damian Hirst and the Chapman … Read more
Woody Harrelson in Rampart


  A movie for every day of the year – a good one     3 March     Rodney King beating caught on camera, 1991 On this day in 1991, one of the inaugural events of the age of citizen journalism occurred after paroled felon Rodney King was stopped by police after a high speed chase and then beaten by five officers. King was drunk and had been trying to outrun the police, knowing that arrest while driving under the influence would mean a violation of his parole and an immediate return to prison. George Holliday’s videotape of the beating of Rodney King was what made the event important. He’d switched his … Read more
Ivana Karbanová and Jitka Cerhová in Daisies


  A movie for every day of the year – a good one     30 July   The first defenestration of Prague, 1419 Along with the Diet of Worms, the Defenestration of Prague is one of those events that make history students giggle. And as with exsanguination, which dresses up the base act of bleeding to death in a fancy Latinate term, defenestration is nothing more than throwing someone out of the window. It should be the defenestration at Prague, then, logically? Semantics to one side, the most famous defenestration of/at Prague took place in 1618, but the first time it happened was on this day in 1419, when an angry crowd … 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 … Read more
Gerard Butler and Idris Elba in RocknRolla


  A movie for every day of the year – a good one     06 September     Idris Elba born, 1972 On this day in 1972, Eve Elba gave birth to Idrissa Akuna Elba, who shortened his name to Idris after starting school in London’s Canning Town. A big kid at school, Idris had the status that went with it, was good at sport, interested in music, keen on acting, where he found he had the self-confidence to “disappear into the character”. At 14 he was a pirate DJ. At 16 he was a theatre stagehand and also did night shifts at Ford’s Dagenham factory. In his early 20s the acting took … Read more
On the pig production line in Our Daily Bread

Our Daily Bread

  A movie for every day of the year – a good one     10 August   Henri Nestlé born, 1814 On this day in 1814, Henri Nestlé was born, as Heinrich Nestle, in Frankfurt am Rhein, Germany. His father was a glazier and the business had been passed down the family line for five generations at least. Heinrich trained and qualified as a pharmacist, changing his name to Henri Nestlé on the way, because he was now living in a French-speaking part of Switzerland and wanted to fit in. In 1843, he bought his way into a company involved in the synthesis of oil from rape seed. It also produced alcoholic … Read more
Martina Gedeck in The Wall

The Wall

  A movie for every day of the year – a good one     1 February     Alexander Selkirk rescued, 1709 On this day in 1709, a Scottish sailor named either Alexander Selkirk or Selcraig was rescued from an island in the South Pacific. But the model for Daniel Defoe’s 1719 novel Robinson Crusoe wasn’t the victim of a shipwreck. In fact he’d asked the captain of the privateer (ie pirate) ship he was sailing on, the Cinque Ports, to leave him on the uninhabited island known as Más a Tierra in the Juan Fernández archipelago about 700km off the coast of Chile. Known since his youth as a quarrelsome sort, … Read more
Jon Voight and Dustin Hoffman in Midnight Cowboy

Midnight Cowboy

  A movie for every day of the year – a good one     24 March   Robert Koch announces discovery of the cause of TB, 1882 On this day in 1882, Robert Koch announced that he had worked out what was causing tuberculosis, a disease so devastating that it went by several names – phthisis and consumption were also common. Until Koch started his research, it was widely believed that TB was a hereditary disease. But though Koch had observed that TB would often spread through families, its epidemiology was not uniform – poorer families tended to get it more than richer ones. We now know that TB is caused by … Read more
Robert Pattinson gets his haircut in Cosmopolis


  A movie for every day of the year – a good one     17 September     Occupy Wall Street starts, 2011   On this day in 2011, the Occupy Wall Street movement, unable to set up its protest against US financial institutions in its original two preferred locations, took over Zuccotti Park, New York. With its rallying cry “We are the 99 per cent,” it made reference to the growing disparity in income distribution in the US (back more or less to its levels around the time of the Wall Street Crash of 1929, in spite of more than 80 years of relative prosperity) and set off a wave of … Read more
The Road poster

The Road: A Story of Life & Death

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 25 April Red Hat Day Today is Red Hat Day. It is celebrated by members of the Red Hat Society, membership of which is open to any woman aged 50 or over. It was started in 1997 when Sue Ellen Cooper of Orange County, California, USA, gave a friend of hers a distinctive red bowler hat as a 55th birthday present, along with a copy of the poem Warning, by Jenny Joseph. Its opening lines are “When I am an old woman I shall wear purple/With a red hat that doesn’t go and doesn’t suit me.” The hat, colour scheme and … Read more
Daniel Brühl

Good Bye Lenin!

  A movie for every day of the year – a good one     12 June   Ronald Reagan’s “tear down this wall” speech, 1987 On this day in 1987, US president Ronald Reagan made a speech at the Brandenburg Gate in Berlin, where the Berlin Wall erected in 1961 by the Soviets bisected the city, making the Wall and Berlin the symbol of the Cold War. The speech was made in honour of Berlin’s 750th anniversary and in a climate of increasing openness and freedom in the Soviet-controlled Eastern Bloc. The speech has a famous peroration “General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union … Read more
Askhat Kuchencherekov in Tulpan


  A movie for every day of the year – a good one     31 August   Princess Diana dies, 1997 On this day in 1997, Diana, Princess of Wales died in a car crash in the Pont D’Alma road tunnel in Paris. Also in the car were Henri Paul, the driver, and Dodi Fayed, her boyfriend. The accident happened after Fayed and Diana had spent the evening at the Ritz in Paris, owned by Fayed’s father, Mohamed Al-Fayed. At the end of the evening they had got into a Mercedes S280 and driven off from the rear entrance of the hotel, a decoy car having already drawn off a sizeable number … Read more

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