Daniel Day Lewis in There Will Be Blood

Film of the Day

Fred Astaire, Nanette Fabray, Jack Buchanan in the Triplets sequence

The Band Wagon

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 3 May Betty Comden born, 1917 On this day in 1917, lyricist, librettist and screenwriter Betty Comden was born, as Basya Cohen, in Brooklyn, New York. After finishing high school she studied drama at New York University, where she formed a small revue troupe with Judy Holliday, Leonard Bernstein and Adolph Green. Green would go on to be her lifelong writing partner. Being performers and writers, both Comden and Green liked to write themselves into their works. Which is what they did with On the Town, their first big Broadway success. After a couple of flop shows, the duo headed to … Read more
Abraham Foxman, of the Anti-Defamation League

Defamation

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 25 June Anne Frank’s Diary published, 1947 On this day in 1947, a book originally called Het Achterhuis. Dagboekbrieven 14 Juni 1942 – 1 Augustus 1944 (The Annex: Diary Notes 14 June 1942 – 1 August 1944) was published by Contact publishing in Amsterdam. The annex being the place where the 13-year-old Jew Anne Frank and her family, along with another Jewish family called the Pels, hid in order to avoid arrest by the Nazis. The annex was in the upper, hidden rooms of Anne’s father’s business premises and the family hid there from 6 July 1942 until their discovery and … Read more
Sergey Dreyden as the Marquis in Aleksandr Sokurov's Russian Ark

Russian Ark

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 18 May International Museum Day Today is International Museum Day, held annually by museum professionals as a way of highlighting the work that museums do in preserving the past. It was created in 1977 and has gained in popularity ever since, participating numbers rising from 20,000 museums in 2009 to 30,000 in 2012. Each year a theme is chosen: in 2002 it was “Museums and Globalisation”; in 1993 it was “Museums and Indigenous Peoples”. In 2012, the organisers, the International Council of Museums, encouraged people to take selfies of themselves at their local museum, under the rubric “Me and My Museum”. … Read more
Mickey Rourke in The Wrestler

The Wrestler

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 2 December Big Daddy dies, 1997 On this day in 1997, the wrestler born Shirley Crabtree in Halifax, England, in 1930, died. Crabtree came from a wrestling family – his father, also named Shirley Crabtree, was a wrestler, as were his nephews Steve and Scott Crabtree (though they both wrestled under the name Valentine). Shirley Crabtree followed his father into the ring in 1952 (the same year that Vince McMahon was creating the WWF brand in the USA). With his 64 inch chest and blond hair, Crabtree became a prominent blue-eye (ie hero type) and won the European Heavyweight Championships twice … Read more
Charlie Sheen in Platoon

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
Son Ye-jin and Sol Kyung-gu make their escape in The Tower

The Tower

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 10 July London burns, 1212 Ask any British schoolkid about the Great Fire of London and 1666 is the date they have ready before the question has even been finished. But if you’d asked a schoolchild of 1665 about the Great Fire of London, they’d have offered you one of two dates – either 1135 or 1212. Fires on both of those dates started near London Bridge, built of wood at the time of the 1135 fire and only just rebuilt in stone when the second fire started on 10 July 1212, south of the river in Southwark. The 1212 fire … Read more
A spirit walks the forest in Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives

Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 23 October Chulalongkorn Day, Thailand Every year on 23 October in Thailand, the country celebrates Chulalongkorn day. It is named after Phra bat Somdet Phra Poraminthra Maha Chulalongkorn Phra Chunla Chom Klao Chao Yu Hua also known as Rama V, who was the fifth monarch of Siam. Chulalongkorn was driven by a desire to be an actual ruler of his country, rather than a puppet dangling on the end of various aristocratic intrigues. In fact even his ascension to the throne of his country, aged 15, was at least in part down to aristocratic chicanery, since his father’s instructions on his … Read more
Louise Bourgoin in The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec

The Extraordinary Adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 31 May Ramesses II becomes pharaoh of Egypt, 1279BC On this day in 1279BC, the king often called Ramesses (or Rameses, or Ramses) the Great, became pharaoh of Egypt. Known as Ozymandias by the Greeks, the pharaoh most remembered by history was a great military campaigner and a great builder of cities, temples and monuments. He became pharaoh in his late teens and ruled for the following 66 years. The Egyptian army consisted of about 100,000 men, and he used it to wage war against the Hittites and Nubians, routed the Sherden sea pirates who were harrying ships on the Mediterranean … 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
Jude Law and Jennifer Jason Leigh in eXistenZ

eXistenZ

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 14 June Charles Babbage’s difference engine, 1822 On this day in 1822, Charles Babbage presented a paper to the British Royal Astronomical Society. It was called “Note on the application of machinery to the computation of astronomical and mathematical tables”. What he was proposing was, in effect a mechanical computer. First conceived in 1786 by JH Müller, an engineer in the Hessian army, the difference engine was of interest to governments because it allowed them to produce tables (of whatever sort – tides, for instance) much more economically. To this end, in 1823 the British government gave Babbage £1,700 to make … Read more
Kevin Kline, Joan Allen and Christina Ricci in The Ice Storm

The Ice Storm

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 8 August President Nixon resigns, 1974 On this day in 1974, facing impeachment for his involvement in the Watergate affair, Richard Nixon went on air to declare that he would resign the next day. His speech admitted no wrong-doing and spent at least half of its duration cataloguing the achievements of his administration, especially in foreign policy. Watergate brought Nixon down not because he admitted what he knew – he possibly didn’t know that Republican hirelings had broken into a Democrat HQ to steal vital documents – but because he didn’t admit that he had learned about it some days later … Read more
Audrey Dana in What War May Bring

What War May Bring

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 31 December President Truman declares the Second World War over, 1946 On this day in 1946, the US President declared that hostilities had come to an end in the Second World War. Whether this means that the war itself ended on that day depends on your terms. The war in Europe ended on VE day (8 May 1945). Some suggest that the war ended with the defeat of Japan and the signing of an armistice, with VJ day (14 August 1945). Still others reckon the war can’t be termed over until the signing of the peace treaty with Japan (1951). And … Read more

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