Daniel Day Lewis in There Will Be Blood

Film of the Day

Tommy Rettig in The 5,000 Fingers of Dr T

The 5,000 Fingers of Dr. T.

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 2 March Dr Seuss born, 1904 On this day in 1904, Theodor Geisel, author and illustrator, was born in Springfield, Massachusetts. He started to sign himself Seuss (his mother’s maiden name) while at Dartmouth College, where he was editor of the humour magazine Jack-O-Lantern. He’d been found guilty of the sin of drinking gin and in order to keep working on the mag after being barred from this extra-curricular activity started using a pseudonym. Having completed his Ivy League education he went to Oxford, in the UK, where he intended to study English. But he gave it up to concentrate on … 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
Samuel L Jackson in Snakes on a Plane

Snakes on a Plane

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 12 August Cleopatra kills herself, 30BC On this day in 30BC, Cleopatra VII Philopator, last pharaoh of ancient Egypt, killed herself. She was the daughter of Ptolemy XII Auletes and at first ruled alongside him, later ruling alongside her brothers Ptolemy XIII and XIV, the latter of whom she married. The Ptolemaic dynasty had its origins in Greece, the original Ptolemy having been one of Alexander the Great’s generals. The Ptolemaic era marked the decline of Greece and the ascent of Rome and one of Cleopatra’s strategic couplings was to have a son with Julius Caesar, who became co-ruler with her … Read more
Eddie Redmayne and Sean Bean in Black Death

Black Death

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 27 May Bubonic plague breaks out in California, 1907 On this day in 1907, bubonic plague broke out in California, USA. The disease had ravaged the known world twice before, first in the 6th century, the so-called Justinian plague. It then reoccurred most famously in the pandemic starting in Mongolia and spreading across Asia into Europe, killing a third of the population between 1340 and 1400, the Black Death. In the 17th, 18th and 19th centuries it had erupted frequently though less devastatingly, and even in the 20th century it was not unknown – Australia had 12 major outbreaks between 1900 … Read more
JBL Noel shooting The Epic of Everest

The Epic of Everest

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 5 April Birkenhead Park opened, 1847 On this day in 1847, Birkenhead Park was opened in Birkenhead on the Wirral Peninsula, UK. It is the country’s first publicly funded civic park and was designed by Joseph Paxton, best known for designing the Crystal Palace exhibition space. A feat of engineering which required that the marshy site first be drained, before vistas could be built, avenues created, terraces and lakes built, it covers 226 acres and was financed by the selling of adjoining plots to local merchants, many of them from Liverpool. It was visited by American landscape architect Frederick Law Olmsted … Read more
Robert Shaw and Paul Scofield

A Man for All Seasons

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 14 February Jane Boleyn executed, 1542 On this day in 1542, Jane Boleyn was executed. Not to be confused with her sister-in-law, Anne Boleyn, the second wife of Henry VIII, Jane went to meet her maker on the same day as Henry’s fifth wife, Catherine Howard. Jane had been born Jane Parker and had married George Boleyn (brother of Anne). She arrived at the court of the king as a young woman and had joined the household of the king’s first wife, Catherine of Aragon, before marrying George Boleyn who, according to various reports was a wild womaniser, or gay, or … Read more
Hiccup rides Toothless in How to Train Your Dragon

How to Train Your Dragon

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 8 March Raymonde de Laroche is first woman with a pilot’s licence, 1910 On this day in 1910, Raymonde de Laroche became the first woman in the world to receive a pilot’s licence. The Wright brothers had only invented the heavier than air machine seven years earlier, and Louis Blériot had flown the 21 miles across the English Channel, thus proving that long-distance flight was possible, only the year before. De Laroche had learnt to fly after visiting the factory of the Voisin brothers, who manufactured planes in their factory in Chalons, France, in October 1909, where by force of character … Read more
Patrick Riester in Computer Chess

Computer Chess

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 9 March Bobby Fischer born, 1943 On this day in 1943, the future chess grandmaster Robert James Fischer was born in Chicago, Illinois, USA. The son of a communist teacher and of either the physicist Paul Nemenyi or the biophysicist Gerhardt Fischer (the FBI believed it was the former), Bobby learnt to play chess aged six and became immediately fascinated with the game. He played against his first master, Max Pavey, aged eight and though he lost it led to an introduction to the Manhattan Chess Club, where he was tutored by William Lombardy, and then the Hawthorne Chess Club, where … 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
Ian Bonar, Kieran Bew, Lyndsey Marshal and Mathew Baynton strike the indie pose in 1234


A movie for every day of the year – a good one 3 February Buddy Holly dies, 1959 On this day in 1959, 22-year-old Buddy Holly died in a plane crash. He was in a plane because he had suddenly become insanely popular – his songs That’ll Be the Day, Not Fade Away and Oh Boy! had seen to that – and was hopping between gigs on the Winter Dance Party Tour played with a pick-up band posing as his regular band, The Crickets. With him in the plane were fellow musicians Ritchie Valens and JP Richardson aka The Big Bopper, plus the pilot, Roger Peterson. Peterson was not licensed to fly without … Read more
Tom Hanks and Philip Seymour Hoffman in Charlie Wilson's War

Charlie Wilson’s War

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 3 July President Carter agrees to topple the Afghanistan government, 1979 On this day in 1979, a US president whose reputation seems to rest on his profound desire to avoid conflict (see the Iran hostages crisis, a story told in Argo), signed a directive which would provide secret aid to opponents of the government in Kabul. The government, controlled by the People’s Democratic Party of Afghanistan (PDPA) was pro-Soviet and socialist, and Carter’s help consisted of funding the Peshawar Seven, one of two groups collectively known as the Mujahideen (the other, the Tehran Eight, was funded by Iran). The intention was … Read more
The infamous "drunken-vodka-breasts" sequence from 4


A movie for every day of the year – a good one 17 July Czar Nicholas II and family executed, 1918 On this day in 1918, the former ruler of Russia, Nicholas Romanov, Emperor and Autocrat of All the Russias, having had a disastrous reign during which he had presided over the collapse of his once-great country, was shot and killed, along with his family. He had abdicated the year before, after a series of military defeats and revolutions, culminating in the February Revolution of 1917. For a while his family had lived under house arrest but in comparative luxury, though rations had increasingly been tightened and servants had been dispensed with as the … Read more

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