1951 – “The Day The Earth Stood Still” is released

The Day The Earth Stood Still” was a milestone in the history of the cinema. It was perhaps the first truly serious science fiction movie, and certainly the first such film to acheive mainstream success. Before it, and for the most part, after it, science fiction films were b-movies. “The Day The Earth Stood Still” changed that.

Its combination of serious social critique with the tropes of science fiction cinema was a shocking break from the previously accepted notions of filmic science fiction cinema. It remains one of the most influential films ever made, and not merely within its own genre or medium – when Ronald Reagan was President, he made references to the warring nations of Earth uniting against an extra-terrestrial threat, appparently inspired by his viewings of “The Day The Earth Stood Still“. More recently, 2009’s “District 9” has shown that the science fiction film as social commentary is alive and well.

Referenced in:

Science Fiction Double Feature – Rocky Horror Picture Show original cast

1985 – Essendon defeats Hawthorn in the VFL Grand Final

As if they were only warming up the previous year, Essendon were never in doubt all day in the 1985 VFL Grand Final. Playing Hawthorn for the third successive year, on this day, Essendon started off strong and kept going that way. They led at the end of every quarter, finally recording a winning margin of 78 points (or 13 goals).

This game was also notable for several other reasons – it was the 332nd and final game of Hawthorn captain ‘Lethal’ Leigh Matthews, widely regarding as one the greatest players in the history of the game; Essendon won back to back premierships for the fourth time in the club’s history; and Dermott Brereton of Hawthorn acheived two records for a Grand Final player: most goals kicked by a player on the losing team (8), and most times reported during a Grand Final (3).

Referenced in:

You’re A Long Way From Home 1 — This Is Serious Mum

1977 – Eraserhead is released in the United States

“Eraserhead” is the film that, more than any other, made the career of David Lynch, its director. It is a short surrealist nightmare, noted for its iconic elements, such as the screaming baby, the hairstyle of its protagonist and the woman in the radiator.

Yeah, I don’t know what it all means either, but I still love his work.

Referenced in:

Too Drunk To Fuck — Dead Kennedys