Daniel Day Lewis in There Will Be Blood

Film of the Day

Pertti Kurikka and the band in The Punk Syndrome

The Punk Syndrome

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 28 May Wendy O Williams born, 1949 On this day in 1949, one of punk rock’s most colourful performers came into the world. Named Wendy Orlean Williams when she was born in Webster, New York, Williams was a music student, playing clarinet at high school before dropping out at 16 and hitchhiking to Colorado. Over the next few years she sold string bikinis, worked as a cook in London, as a dancer with a gypsy troupe in Europe before arriving back in New York in 1976 and, after answering an ad in a paper, became a member of Rod Swenson’s experimental … Read more
Original art for the poster of The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

The Good, the Bad and the Ugly

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 9 January Lee Van Cleef born, 1925 On this day in 1925, Clarence Leroy Van Cleef Jr was born, in New Jersey, USA. Best known for his portrayal of baddies, Van Cleef served on submarine chasers in the Second World War before becoming a time and motion man after the war ended. Not looking enough like a traditional penpusher to satisfy his colleagues, Lee was persuaded by them, and his friends, to give the stage and film world the benefit of his hawk nose and eyes, each of which was a different colour, thanks to the heterochromia iridium mutation. Van Cleef’s … Read more
Rel and Nev Schulman go angling in Catfish


A movie for every day of the year – a good one 14 May Mark Zuckerberg born, 1984 On this day in 1984, Mark Zuckerberg was born, in White Plains, New York. The son of a dentist and a psychiatrist, he came into the world on the day that Lionel Richie’s “Hello” was the number one in the USA – appropriate, considering that he’d make his fortune introducing people to each other. Zuckerberg was a computer nerd at school, having learnt Atari BASIC from his father, and his precociousness encouraged his parents to get him a tutor. Interestingly, Zuckerberg was also into sport (he was fencing captain) and was interested in the arts … Read more
The original magic bus, whose name was Further

Magic Trip

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 29 January Mantra Rock Dance, 1967 On this day in 1967 one of the key events of the era of psychedelic rock, and the hippie era generally, took place. It was organised by the International Society for Krishna Consciousness, who saw it as an opportunity for their founder, AC Bhaktivedanta Swami, to speak to a broader public than normal. The reason why there would be a broader public was because of the other people taking part – the bands Grateful Dead and Big Brother and the Holding Company (lead singer: Janis Joplin), Moby Grape, beat poet Allen Ginsberg, LSD guru Timothy … Read more
Party hats on for the finale of Import/Export


A movie for every day of the year – a good one 7 February Maastricht Treaty signed, 1992 On this day in 1992, the Treaty on European Union, aka the Maastricht Treaty, was signed by members of the European Community, in Maastricht, Netherlands. Its purpose, as its name suggests, was to create a union of Europe. It proposed and established three pillars of the Treaty –the European Community, a common foreign and security policy and a similar arrangement for justice and home affairs. In effect it formalised arrangements that had already existed, but it also extended them – the European Community was the continuation of the European Economic Community, with the “Economic” being … Read more
Samantha Morton and dead boyfriend in Morvern Callar

Morvern Callar

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 29 July Mama Cass dies, 1974 On this day in 1974, Mama Cass Elliot, the large-size singer with the Mamas and the Papas, died from eating a ham sandwich. Except she didn’t. Die from eating a ham sandwich, I mean. Instead she probably died from extreme dieting, in an attempt to lose weight. She’d found fame with the Mamas and the Papas, singing songs such as California Dreamin’ and Monday Monday, and when the band split she embarked on a solo career. Her debut show, in Las Vegas in October 1968, was a disaster, Elliot barely being able to sing, partly … Read more
Jürgen Prochnow in Das Boot

Das Boot

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 1 November Death of Jacques Piccard, 2008 On this day in 2008, Jacques Piccard, one of the pioneers of really deep deep-sea exploration, died, aged 86. The son of Auguste Piccard, a balloonist who had ascended higher than any other human in the early 1930s, Jacques initially started out working on bathyscaphes as a favour to help out his father, who had switched from high altitude to the depths. Together, between 1948 and 1955 they built three bathyscaphes. But Jacques was only a hobbyist – by day he was a professor of economics. It was only after governments started to become … Read more
Asami and Minase Yashiro in The Machine Girl

The Machine Girl

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 25 July Gavrilo Princip born, 1894 On this day in 1894, the man who started the First World War was born, in Obljaj, Bosnia and Herzegovina, to a family of serf farmers, Serbian Orthodox Christians. Gavrilo Princip didn’t go to school till he was nine, but was bright and a quick learner. His brother, sensing a family member who could lift the entire clan out of poverty, encouraged Gavrilo to move to Sarajevo when he was 13, using money earned as a manual labourer to put his younger brother through merchant school. Gavrilo became a passionate campaigner for Yugoslavian unification and … Read more
Groucho Marx in Duck Soup

Duck Soup

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 2 October Groucho Mark born, 1890 On this day in 1890, Julius Henry Marx, one of the 20th century’s most distinctive comedians was born, in New York City. He started off in a vaudeville singing troupe with various members of the family, including his mother at one point. When pure singing didn’t work for them, the Marx brothers started to include comedy in their act, losing non family members on the way and eventually settling down to be the four brothers, Julius, Adolph, Leonard and Milton (aka Groucho, Harpo, Chico and Gummo). Gummo decided to leave and Zeppo, considered the funniest … Read more
The opening shot from Once Upon a Time in Anatolia

Once Upon a Time in Anatolia

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 30 October The Bridge over the Bosphorus completed, 1973 It is one of the polite fictions of what used to be called the civilised world that Europe is a continent. Looked at objectively, with space goggles on, the continent is more properly Eurasia, Europe getting special treatment because of its historical importance. One of the “border” points of Europe has always been the Black Sea, the point where it empties out into the Mediterranean being one of the great dividing lines between Europe and Asia (the Urals, Ural River, Caspian and Caucasus Mountains forming the rest of the dividing line). Thus … 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
City of God, Douglas Silva

City of God

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 1 March Rio De Janeiro founded, 1565 On this day in 1565, the Brazilian city of Rio de Janeiro was founded. The city’s full name was decided as São Sebastião do Rio de Janeiro – in honour of the Portuguese king, Sebastian I, whose patron saint was also a Sebastian, and because it sat on the January River – so named because it had been discovered in 1 January 1502. After gold and diamonds were found in the area, Rio became a major centre of export and the Portuguese moved their Americas administrative centre there in 1763. It became important for … Read more

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