For the Love of Spock

Adam Nimoy’s documentary For the Love of Spock is a moving eulogy for his late father Leonard, most famous for playing the original Star Trek‘s resident Vulcan. The movie is equal parts personal essay and star-studded tribute as Adam traces his tumultuous personal relationship with his father along with his father’s tumultuous career, showing how Spock’s becoming a cultural icon impacted each. As often happens in decade-spanning pop-culture documentaries about individuals — see also Lambert & Stamp — the timeline gets a bit fuzzy in the 1970s. It’s implied that the 1973 animated Star Trek series happened after the 1978 film Invasion of the Body Snatchers, and that Nimoy’s 1968 song “The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins” wasn’t released until long after the live-action Star Trek series went off the air in 1969. But the emotions are true, as is the sense that for all of his demons, Leonard Nimoy was that rarest of celebrities: a genuinely nice guy. (Also, J.J. Abrams reveals that Harrison Ford wasn’t the first legendary septuagenarian to injure himself on the set of an Abrams sci-fi franchise revival.) And if For the Love of Spock lingers a bit long on a memorial at Burning Man, it goes to show that the memory of Nimoy is too strong for even Burners to ruin.

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