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Marion Cotillard and Owen Wilson in Midnight in Paris

Midnight in Paris

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 25 October Birth of Picasso, 1881 On this day in 1881, the Spanish artist Pablo Ruiz y Picasso was born. Prodigiously talented, Picasso was painting at a high level as a child, and continued experimenting with different media and styles – the rose period, the blue period, the African period, cubism, surrealism, and neo-expressionism and so on – right up until his death in 1973. Media included paint, sculpture, collage, cardboard, string, pencil, pen, photograph, torch (on film), chalk, oil, whatever was going. He’d draw on napkins to pay bills, draw on walls, any time, place or where. A key figure … Read more
The full monty moment approaches in The Full Monty

The Full Monty

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 24 October World’s first football club formed, 1857 On this day in 1857, Sheffield Football Club was founded, in Yorkshire, UK, as an offshoot of a local cricket club. It is now considered to be the oldest still existing football club in the world. Over the years there have been competing claims from different clubs and from different forms of football – though we’re talking here about a football club not the game itself (American football goes back to the 1860s though rugby, on which it is based, goes back centuries before that; Australian rules football goes back to the 1860s). … 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
Keanu Reeves and Patrick Swayze in Point Break

Point Break

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 22 October World’s first parachute jump, 1797 On this day in 1797, André-Jacque Garnerin made the first descent by frameless parachute. Ascending from the Parc Monceau in a basket attached to what looked like a large furled umbrella, itself attached to a balloon, Garnerin got to around 900 metres (3,000 feet) before unpacking the chute and severing a cord attaching him to the balloon. His descent was ungainly and his basket fell rapidly and swung wildly. He arrived back on the ground with a thump but unhurt. Garnerin was not the first person to dabble with the parachute however. There are … Read more
Sam Riley and Kristen Stewart in On the Road

On the Road

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 21 October Jack Kerouac dies, 1969 On this day in 1969, the writer born Jean-Louis Kérouac died, from internal bleeding brought on by long-term alcohol abuse. He was the child of French Canadians and his first language was French, though he picked up English later and was fluent in his teenage years. He won a football scholarship to Columbia University, New York, but dropped out. There, in New York, he met Neal Cassady, Allen Ginsberg and William S Burroughs, among others, the core of the Beat Generation writers, the latest iteration of 20th century romantics. Discharged from war service in the … Read more
Titanic goes down in A Night to Remember

A Night to Remember

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 20 October RMS Olympic launched, 1910 On this day in 1910, the White Star liner RMS Olympic was launched. The lead ship of the company’s Olympic class of liner, she was built at Harland and Wolff shipyard in Belfast and captained on her maiden voyage by Edward Smith. Smith was later captain of the Titanic, the Olympic’s sister ship, and her other sibling, Britannic. Titanic sank on her maiden voyage after hitting an iceberg and Britannic hit a mine while working as a hospital ship during the First World War and sank also, taking 1,500 down to their deaths. Unlike her … Read more
Brad Pitt in World War Z

21 October 2013-10-21

Out in the UK This Week The Conspiracy (Arrow, cert 15, Blu-ray) Mock-doc of the week is about two film-makers (Aaron Poole and James Gilbert), a pair of cocky guys who think it would be kinda cool to turn the camera on a local conspiracy nut who harangues office workers with his loudhailer. The Illuminati, the Bilderberg Group, the CIA, whatever’s going, being his currency. So far, so standard. Quick namecheck of Alan C Peterson, who is very very good as the stumbling, bumbling, frothing ranter. But at about 15 minutes in, this standard piece of “what’s true/what’s not” mockuwhatnot morphs into something altogether different, after the guys’ amateur fulminator disappears and the … 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
Richard Dreyfuss, Roy Scheider, Robert Shaw in Jaws


A movie for every day of the year – a good one 18 October Moby-Dick published, 1851 On this day in 1851, Herman Melville published what is considered to be one of the great American novels, about the elemental struggle between one Captain Ahab and the whale that once bit off his leg. The story is told from the viewpoint of Ishmael, and “Call me Ishmael”, its opening sentence, has become one of the most recognised opening lines in literature. The book is based on two actual events. One took place in 1820, when a sperm whale rammed and sank the Essex, a whaler that was in hot pursuit of it. The other … Read more
Isabella Rossellini in The Saddest Music in the World

The Saddest Music in the World

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 17 October The London Beer Flood, 1814 On this day in 1814, a huge vat containing the equivalent of one million imperial pints of porter ruptured in central London, causing a tidal wave of beer to cascade down the road and through neighbouring houses. Eight people died, either by drowning or underneath the buildings brought down by the liquid. The brewery was owned by Henry Meux (pronounced myooks) and could be found just off the Tottenham Court Road, London, roughly where the Dominion Theatre is today, and its giant vat was one of a series constructed around that time, big vats … Read more
Alfredo Castro in Tony Manero

Tony Manero

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 16 October Former Chilean president Pinochet arrested, 1998 On this day in 1998, Augusto Pinochet, the former president of Chile, was arrested in London, having been indicted by a Spanish judge of crimes against the human rights of his countrymen. It was the first time that European judges had applied the principle of universal jurisdiction, which asserts that states or international organisations can lay claim to legal authority over somebody, regardless of where the crime took place. The most notable use of the principle to date was in the trial of Nazis at the Nuremberg Trials after the Second World War, many … Read more
János Derzsi and Erika Bók in The Turin Horse

The Turin Horse

A movie for every day of the year – a good one 15 October Friedrich Nietzsche born, 1844 On this day in 1844, the philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche was born in Röcken, near Leipzig, Germany. A philologist initially, Nietzsche was a university professor at the age of 24, in Basel, where he counted Richard Wagner as one of his friends. Within ten years, because of a variety of illnesses, both mental and physical (one of which was possibly syphilis) Nietzsche resigned from Basel and took up life as an independent philosopher, choosing to spend his winters in warm southern European towns, such as Genoa, Nice and Turin. It was during this time that he … Read more

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