Daniel Day Lewis in There Will Be Blood

Film of the Day

Craig Roberts and Yasmin Paige

Submarine

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 22 May USS Scorpion submarine sinks, 1968 On this day in 1968, a nuclear submarine called the USS Scorpion was lost at sea in mysterious circumstances with 99 crewmen on board. Scorpion had been built in 1958 and had gone into service in 1960. Operating on the US’s eastern seaboard, she mostly took part in patrols of the Atlantic coast as part of the on-going development of Cold War submarine tactics, though she did occasionally operate in European waters. In 1966 she filmed a Soviet missile launch after stealthily having made the “Northern Run” to Novaya Zemlya, a Russian archipelago on … Read more
Chris Hemsworth as James Hunt

Rush

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 18 February Enzo Ferrari born, 1898 On this day in 1898, Enzo Anselmo Ferrari was born. The man who would later be known as Il Commendatore, founder and leader of the Ferrari racing team (and car manufacturer) was taken to a racing track as a kid and realised immediately that he wanted to be a driver. By the early 1920s he was Alfa Romeo’s test driver, and when the company decided to outsource their racing unit, it was Ferrari that ran it. He went solo during the Second World War, during which time Alfa paid him not to compete, and by … Read more
Channing Tatum bullies Jonah Hill in 21 Jump Street

21 Jump Street

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 20 March Lee Scratch Perry born, 1936 Today in 1936, Rainford Hugh Perry was born in Kendal, Jamaica. Often dubbed “Little Perry” in his early days in the music business in the 1950s, on account of his 4ft 11in (1.49m) height, Perry got his start selling records for Coxsone Dodd’s sound system, before taking charge of some production duties. A studio natural, and a master of falling out with people, Perry left Coxsone’s employ and started working for equally legendary reggae man Joe Gibbs, before falling out with him and starting his own label, Upsetter, in 1968. His first single, People … Read more
Jack Cardiff with a still of Audrey Hepburn

Cameraman: The Life and Work of Jack Cardiff

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 27 July Vincent Van Gogh shoots himself, 1890 What is it that everyone knows about the painter Vincent Van Gogh? That he cut off his ear. And perhaps a lot of people also know that he killed himself. But it seems to have been forgotten that he shot himself. But he did, on this day in 1890. Having lived in a variety of places in his native Netherlands, London and Paris, Van Gogh had finally moved to Arles in 1888, where he was to have the artistic breakthrough and produce the work he is still remembered for. He was also behaving … 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
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
Dick Van Dyke, Karen Dotrice, Matthew Garber and Julie Andrews in Mary Poppins

Mary Poppins

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 13 December Dick Van Dyke born, 1925 On this day in 1925, Richard Wayne Van Dyke was born. As Dick Van Dyke he has been entertaining people since the Second World War, when he was a radio announcer. Since then he’s been an actor, Sunday school teacher, radio station owner, dancer, singer and keen amateur computer graphics man. More famous and well loved than his CV might suggest, Van Dyke’ imprint on the cultural consciousness has been made by a film and a TV series. The film is Mary Poppins, in which Van Dyke plays Bert, the chimney sweep with an … Read more
Janet Montgomery and Paul Rudd in Our Idiot Brother

Our Idiot Brother

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 1 April April Fool’s Day In many countries, today is April Fool’s Day. It’s unclear where this day – nowadays often dedicated to the playing of practical jokes – has its origin, though there was a medieval Feast of Fools (28 December) and a Roman festival of Hilaria (25 March).It is also possible that the old custom of celebrating the new year on 25 March (the weeklong holiday would end on 1 April) is involved somehow. Another theory sees Persia as the source of April Fool’s Day, the Sizdah Bedar tradition of going out and having fun on 1 April going … 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
Divine in Pink Flamingos

Pink Flamingos

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 19 October Divine born, 1945 On this day in 1945, Harris Glenn Milstead, aka Divine, was born, in Baltimore, Maryland, USA. Six months older than fellow Baltimore native John Waters, he became involved with Waters’ acting troupe the Dreamlanders in the mid 1960s and starred in Waters’ first four films, Mondo Trasho (1969), Multiple Maniacs (1970), Pink Flamingos (1972) and Female Trouble (1974). In fact it was Waters who gave Harris (or Glenn as he was known to family and school friends) the name Divine, after a character in Jean Genet’s debut novel, Our Lady of the Flowers. Waters was intent … Read more
Original cinema poster for Murder, My Sweet

Murder, My Sweet

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 14 November Dick Powell born, 1904 On this day in 1904, Dick Powell was born. A remarkably adaptable man, Powell started his career as a singer in the 1920s, then became a movie star in the 1930s. In the 1940s he switched from light comedy and musical films to weightier, tough-guy roles. In the 1950s he was one of the founders of a TV company, Four Star Television, who made The Big Valley and Burke’s Law, among other hits shows, and gave an early leg up to talent such as Steve McQueen, Mary Tyler Moore and Sam Peckinpah. Powell also became … Read more
Driss shows Philippe the finer things in life in Untouchable

Untouchable

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 20 April Enoch Powell’s Rivers of Blood speech, 1968 On this day in 1968, the senior Conservative British politician Enoch Powell made a speech in which he alluded to Virgil’s Aenid – “As I look forward, I am filled with foreboding; like the Roman, I seem to see ‘the River Tiber foaming with much blood’.” A Greek scholar who also spoke Urdu – Powell as an ambitious young man had set his sights on becoming the viceroy of India, only to find in later life that the Indians were coming to him – Powell was referring to the prospects for race … Read more

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