For the Love of Spock was initially envisioned as a film celebrating the iconic character, just in time for the 50th anniversary of Star Trek. While conceived as an exploration of Spock the pilot (until the J.J. Abrams reboot), the film’s direction changed when Leonard Nimoy died. For Adam Nimoy, the film’s director and Leonard’s son, it became clear that he should tell a more personal story. Presenting Leonard as a complicated man, it explores not only his work, but his life and role as a father. The new direction contributes to a far more nuanced understanding of not only Leonard, but also Spock.
While made with Star Trek fans in mind, the film’s expanded voice works towards appealing to a wider audience. It also works to change the perception of Leonard Nimoy’s career, devoting time to how the actor regarded and worked his craft, thus revealing an intricate artist. Spock was not just a character, but a creation, whose desires, fears and impulses reflected those of Leonard as well. Beyond that, though, For the Love of Spock explores the economic conditions of his upbringing and decade-long career prior to his big break, and how it motivated him to accept every offer of an appearance as long as it was paid. Later on, the film also explores Leonard’s little-known career on Broadway and as a film director, widening our conception of Leonard Nimoy as an artist.
Told very much from Adam’s point of view (he not only directs but also becomes a partial subject), For the Love of Spock reflects on the nature of artistry and private life. Looking beyond the struggle of growing up in the public eye, Adam also zeroes in on the difficulty of growing up with Spock. The film evolves to explore not only the relationship between a father and son, but also a character and fanbase. As a result, For the Love of Spock downplays the tone of adoration, highlighting how even the most alien among us can be the most human.
Presented at the 2016 Fantasia International Film Festival as an international premiere, For the Love of Spock has an expected iTunes release on September 9th, 2016. Vague Visages sat down with the director, Adam Nimoy, in Montreal to discuss his film.
Interview: Justine Smith
Produced, Edited and Shot by Francisco Peres
Justine Smith (@redroomrantings) lives and writes in Montreal, Quebec. She has a bachelor’s degree in Film Studies and a passionate hunger for all kinds of cinema. Along with writing for Vague Visages, she has written for Vice Canada, Cleo: A Feminist Journal and Little White Lies Magazine.