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Chris Hemsworth as James Hunt


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
Snowtown, starring Daniel Henshall and Lucas Pittaway

The Snowtown Murders

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 17 February Jeffrey Dahmer sentenced, 1992 On this day in 1992, Jeffrey Lionel Dahmer, aka the Milwaukee Cannibal, was sentenced for the murder of 15 men and boys. Dahmer had pleaded guilty at the trial and the case had revolved around the question of his sanity. The jury had found him sane, and that his cannibalism and necrophilia were a result of badness rather than madness, a verdict Dahmer entirely agreed with. Dahmer had committed his first murder aged 18, and over the following years was frequently arrested on charges of indecent exposure and sexual assault, all the while luring men … Read more
Hannah Herzsprung, Hell


A movie for every day of the year – a good one 16 February Kyoto Protocol comes into force, 2005 On this day in 2005, the Kyoto Protocol came into force. A United Nations treaty, its intention is to get industrialised countries to reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases, so as to stabilise the climate before it collapses. The theory runs that 150 years of heavy industrial activity has increased the amount of dangerous gases in the atmosphere and that only by restricting current and future emissions can humanity hope to arrest the trend in global mean temperature rise. The gases in question are carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and sulphur hexafluoride, plus … Read more
Cillian Murphy in Sunshine


A movie for every day of the year – a good one 15 February Galileo Galilei born, 1564 On this day in 1564, the astronomer, mathematician and physicist Galileo Galilei was born. He was most famous for advocating the Copernican view of the solar system, which put the sun at the centre and had the planets orbiting about. This was in stark contradiction of the Church view, which had the earth at the centre, and also the Tychonic system (earth at centre, sun orbiting earth, other planets orbiting the sun). Galileo was an accomplished lutenist, like his father, and also considered the priesthood before choosing the life scientific. He had studied medicine before … Read more
Jake Macapagal, Metro Manila

17 February 2014-02-17

Out in the UK This Week Metro Manila (Independent, cert 15, VOD) A friend of mine used to know Sean Ellis, the director of Metro Manila, when he was an assistant to photographer Nick Knight. And there being nothing quite so irksome as the success of those even halfway close to us – I’m kidding, though not much – I was prepared to hate this, Ellis’s film debut, and was ready to file it alongside the many other failed attempts by stills photographers to join the movie guys. I was wrong. This is a great film. Made with a keen eye for detail though not photographically showy at all – the usual curse – it … 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
Angelina Jolie as Lara Croft

Lara Croft: Tomb Raider

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 13 February The 500,000-year-old rock containing a spark plug On this day in 1961, the Coso artefact was found by three people out hunting for geodes. It appeared to be a spark plug inside a rock. A geode is a hollow stone, rock or boulder formed either by bubbles forming in volcanic rock, or by the action of water dissolving away a space in a sedimentary formation, which then fills with different minerals – quartz crystals being particularly common. Either way there was little chance that a Champion spark plug from the 1920s, as used extensively in Ford Model T and … Read more
Brendan Gleeson plays Martin Cahill in The General

The General

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 12 February Art thieves steal Munch’s The Scream, 1994 On this day in 1994, thieves broke into the National Gallery, Oslo, and stole the Edvard Munch painting The Scream. It is actually one of a number of so-named works of art, there being four different Screams in a variety of media, plus a number of lithographic prints struck by Munch himself. The one stolen on the night in question was in tempera on cardboard and was in a less secure part of the gallery – it had been moved as part of celebrations held to mark the opening of the winter … Read more
Alice Barnole, Céline Sallette and Jasmine Trinca in House of Tolerance

House of Tolerance

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 11 February Cynthia Payne acquitted of running a brothel, 1987 On this day in 1987, 54-year-old Londoner Cynthia Payne was acquitted of being a madam and living off the immoral earnings of others. She’d been arrested before, in 1978, when her suburban sex parties for pensioners had attracted the attention of the newspapers, not least because she accepted Luncheon Vouchers as payment for activities including being spanked by young ladies. On the first occasion she’d been sentenced to 18 months in prison, reduced to six months on appeal, of which she served four. Payne’s notoriety stemmed in large part from her … Read more
Ice-T talks to Dr Dre in Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap

Something from Nothing: The Art of Rap

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 10 February Kanye West releases debut album, 2004 On this day in 2004, multi-instrumentalist, singer and rapper Kanye West released his debut album, The College Dropout, which is precisely what West was, having junked art school after one semester in favour of a career in music. The career in music went well, with West rapidly becoming a sought-after producer – Alicia Keys, Jay-Z, Ludacris – and beatmaker, all the while working on his own solo album, whose release got pushed further and further into the future as West spent his time making music for other people. His sample-based singles Through the … Read more
Laura Dern and fantasy girls in Inland Empire

Inland Empire

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 9 February Carole King born, 1942 On this day in 1942, the singer/songwriter Carole King was born, as Carole Klein, in New York. A prodigious talent who was playing piano at four, she had formed her own band in high school. Writing songs from her early teens, she was a professional while still in college, where one of her ex boyfriends, Neil Sedaka wrote the hit Oh Carol for her in 1959. It was however Jerry Goffin she married and went into songwriting partnership with. Together they wrote Take Good Care of My Baby, Will You Still Love Me Tomorrow and … Read more
President Putin in Olympic track suit

Putin’s Olympic Dream

“There was only a mountain, no road. A forest, a river, nothing else. Nothing there at all.” Oligarch Vladimir Potanin, a (former) investor in the Sochi Winter Olympics says with just a touch of residual pride about Sochi, a spa town on the Black Sea that is now home to the Winter Olympics. He got involved back in 2002, when it was a smallish private project, before President Putin, as he was then and is again now (having made himself prime minister for a spell, so as to sidestep an annoying constitutional restriction on being president too often) involved himself and directed the full force of the state onto the event, making it … Read more

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