A documentary about renowned actor, director and renaissance man Leonard Nimoy, directed by his son Adam Nimoy.
For The Love of Spock covers Nimoy life from his early acting struggles, his personal life, his expansive talents in multiple areas and of course his iconic role as Mr. Spock in Star Trek, where he would create one of the most popular characters in history, along with the enduring legacy and appeal he would have.
It’s a comprehensive doc done with a real reverence towards the man. There are plenty of interviews by those who knew and worked with Nimoy, footage of his other performances and interviews with Nimoy himself that creates this expansive portrait of him. Sure, there is plenty of coverage of his association with Star Trek, but it also spends as much time showing that Nimoy was more than just an actor who wore fake pointy ears.
Apparently this documentary began when Nimoy was still alive and his son initially meant it to be solely about his role as Mr. Spock and an examination on the impact the character had on the fiftieth anniversary of Star Trek. Subsequently after Nimoy’s death the focus shifted towards making more of a love letter towards the man himself.
And it certainly is done with real admiration. I learned much more about Nimoy than I had expected from this doc. When I was little the two things that I associated the most with Nimoy was not surprisingly him playing Mr. Spock, but also that he was host of Standby…Lights! Camera! Action! the behind-the-scenes documentary series about moviemaking which Nimoy hosted. I used to love that show!
This documentary goes much deeper than just his career. We learn about Nimoy’s talents and interests that many might not be familiar with. Naturally they cover his other acting and directing work outside Trek, but it also goes into his personal life. His son doesn’t shy away from the family issues that befell between him and his father.
It also really conveys how Nimoy embraced his role as Spock, respected the character and the Star Trek fans, which I found really heartwarming. It manages to pack an emotional punch when it delves into the far-reaching influence that Nimoy’s Vulcan character has reached and probably will continue to for a long time.
A really good love letter to the man. It’s definitely worth seeing.
Such a flood of memories when you mentioned “Standby…Lights! Camera! Action!” That was my first exposure to behind-the-scenes filmmaking. Probably a lot of people’s as well. The show may have been ahead of its time because they did show some DIY special effects that would have been more at home in the age of Youtube instead of the 1980’s.
I haven’t search for that show on Youtube…yet. But I have four memories from that time period.
1) A mundane memory when Nimoy was trying to stress the importance of sound. He filmed a short scene where he sneaks into a room and hides in a closet. Soon therafter, a lady comes in to use the phone while Nimoy looks on menancingly. All this with the sound off. They then play it again and all the menace drains from the scene when you realize what the woman says on the phone and what Nimoy mumbles to himself is humourly depricating.
2) Nimoy being put on a bicylce while a girl fiddles with the chain. Nimoy raps up the show and tries to give his signature phrase “See you all at the movies.” But while he does, the girl pushes him and the bike and Nimoy leave the frame while he is screaming “MOooovies.” The last thing we hear is a crash and girl giiggling embarrassingly.
3) There was a home FX episode where we learned how to make spiderwebs, frosted glass, explosions with compressed air and powder, and ending with a disappearing act where the camera is shut off and then back on. That episode had a weird “Mr. Wizard” vibe to it. I would love to see that one again.
4) My favorite memory. Nimoy invited on two fight choreographers to the show. Instead of just presenting themselves. They pretened to get in earch others faces. They would punch, slam bottles on each other or whatever. All the while Nimoy looked on pretending to be appalled. Those two guys had great chemistry which is why the sequence worked. They would then tone it down so Nimoy could interview them. I’d love to see that again.
I will now search youtube. See you at the movies.