Official Trailer for The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks Released

By March 16, 2017News, Television, Video

It’s almost a year since it was announced that nonfiction book The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks was to be made into a movie. Oprah Winfrey was soon announced as star and producer and production started back in September. And now, we have the first trailer, and a release date for the movie and it looks like it’s going to be fantastic!

The movie is based on the 2010 nonfiction works by American author Rebecca Skloot. The book looks at the immortal ‘HeLa’ cell line that came from Henrietta Lacks cervical cancer in 1951 and tackles ethical issues of race and class in medical research.

The movie is set to air on 22nd April so if you haven’t yet read the book there is still time to do so. Here’s that first trailer:

Henrietta Lacks was an African American woman who was the progenitor of the HeLa cell line, one of the most important findings in medical research ever discovered. However, Lacks wasn’t aware that she was the donor of these cells, taken from a cancerous tumour on her cervix at John Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland in 1951.

It would take until the late 1990s and long after Lacks death until she would receive any recognition for the contribution to science and her story would be fully known.

99 Year Old Ex-Librarian Receives a Celebrity Visit!

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Connie Mauro, currently living in a nursing home in Marietta, Georgia, spent almost 50 years working in the Mount Vernon, New York library. Her job was one many Reading Addicts would covet: recommending books, collating and organising titles, and prescribing many people their first library cards.

One day in 1961 a little boy of 7 years old walked into her library, asking if he could join. Of course Connie helped the lad, gave him his first library card, and enabled him to cultivate his love of reading. Despite it being so long ago, Connie never forgot that young man as he had a pretty memorable name: “Denzel Hayes Washington Jr”, and that little boy grew up to be a world famous, award-winning actor, director, and producer.

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Spike Milligan Reads On The Ning Nang Nong

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Spike (Terence Alan Milligan) was born on 16 April 1918 to parents Florence and Captain Leo Milligan. His father was serving in the British Indian Army so Florence gave birth to Spike while living in Ahmednagar, India. Spike grew up as an ‘British army brat’ in Pune and Rangoon, and was educated at various Roman Catholic schools where he learned to play the cornet, cultivating his love for jazz.

During a stint in the services in the 1930s and 40s, Milligan allegedly entertained the troops with his humour and playful nature, and reflected on his times there in his memoirs, Adolf Hitler: My Part in His Downfall, Rommel, Gunner Who?, Monty: My Part in his Victory, among others. 

He is perhaps best known for his part in The Goon Show, an irreverent radio comedy full of nonsense and jollity, but many of us know his nonsense rhyme and poetry we were entertained with as children.

One of his most famous short poems, On The Ning Nang Nong, was voted the ultimate favourite comic poem in 1998 in a UK wide poll. It was streets ahead of other nonsense poets such as Lear or Carroll.  When set to music it became a favourite on Australia’s children’s show Playschool. The Office for Standards in Education (UK) reported that the poem is one of the most commonly taught poems in British primary schools. 

Take a look at the man himself reading the famous rhyme below and see why…

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Simon Callow Reads from The Canterbury Tales

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Simon Callow is best known as an actor, on screen and in theatres; many of you will recognise him from his role as Charles Dickens in Doctor Who (2005 and 2011), or as the voice of Grasshopper in the 1996 film adaptation of James and the Giant Peach.

I adore his silky smooth voice, and wonderfully English manner, so I was thrilled when I came across his reading of an excerpt of Chaucer’s The Canterbury Tales.

The Folio Society provides such lusciously illustrated versions of popular books: The Canterbury Tales was wonderfully crafted by illustrator Eric Gill, and boasts many sumptuous designs to feast our eyes upon. The price tag is quite steep at nearly £400, but other versions are available (see links under the video).

We can see the stunning, unique collector’s edition, read by Simon Callow, in the video below.

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Listen to Charles Bukowski Discuss His ‘Crappy Life’

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Blank on Blank is an excellent YouTube channel which finds old, obscure, or all but lost interview recordings and puts them to excellent and often surreal animations. The channel features iconic figures from Ayn Rand to Jimi Hendrix and allows the viewer to listen to said figure discuss an important issue or point. From Jim Morrison discussing why he feels fat is beautiful to Jane Goodall on instinct, there are a variety of videos that will give you food for thought. Read More



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