War

War

Pan’s Labyrinth

Doug Jones as the pale man in Pan's Labyrinth

It’s not every fantasy film that comes complete with a scene of a brutal fascist captain sewing his own face up, but that’s what you get in Guillermo Del Toro’s best film since The Devil’s Backbone (better, certainly, than Blade II and Hellboy). It’s a dark fantasy reminding us that the Grimm brothers’ original tales …

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The Patience Stone

Golshifteh Farahani and Hamidreza Javdan in The Patience Stone

A movie for every day of the year – a good one     19 August   Afghanistan independence, 1919 On this day in 1919, King Amanullah Khan declared Afghanistan a sovereign and independent country. His country had been at war with the British since May of 1919, in what is now called the Third …

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Grave of the Fireflies

Grave of the Fireflies

  A movie for every day of the year – a good one     6 August   US drops atomic bomb on Hiroshima, 1945 On this day in 1945, about ten days after the US, UK and USSR had threatened Japan with “prompt and utter destruction”, an American B-29 bomber, Enola Gay, dropped the …

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The Bomber

Ekaterina Astakhova and Nikita Efremov on the set of The Bomber

  A movie for every day of the year – a good one     1 July   SOS adopted, 1908 On this day in 1908, the second International Radiotelegraphic Convention became effective. It made standard the Morse code distress signal of three dits, three dahs, three dits, which had first been adopted by the …

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Gone with the Wind

Vivien Leigh and Hattie McDaniel in Gone with the Wind

  A movie for every day of the year – a good one     22 June   David O Selznick dies, 1965 On this day in 1965, one of the great names of Hollywood’s golden era died. David O (the O meant nothing at all) had been born into a movie family in 1902 …

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Rome, Open City

Anna Magnani runs after her fiancee in Rome, Open City

  A movie for every day of the year – a good one     2 June   The sack of Rome, AD455 On this day in the 455th year of the Christian or Common Era, Rome was sacked. Actually, this is a touch ambiguous, because Rome had already been pillaged twice before, in 390BC …

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Black Book

Carice Van Houten in Black Book

  A movie for every day of the year – a good one     23 May   Netherlands declares independence from Spain, 1568 On this day in 1568, the battle of Heligerlee was fought and won by the rebel army of William I of Orange, against the Duke of Alba, representative of the Hapsburg …

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Platoon

Charlie Sheen in 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 …

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Lore

Saskia Rosendahl as Lore

  A movie for every day of the year – a good one     30 April   Adolf Hitler kills himself, 1945 On this day in 1945, Adolf Hitler, the Führer and Reich Chancellor of Germany, also the Reichsstatthalter of Prussia, killed himself. On 22 April 1945, Hitler had railed against his generals, having …

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Inglourious Basterds

Brad Pitt in Inglourious Basterds

  A movie for every day of the year – a good one     16 April   Colditz liberated, 1945 On this day in 1945, the infamous Colditz Castle PoW camp was relieved by the US Army. Dating back nearly a thousand years, though extensively rebuilt in the 19th century, the castle had been …

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