New documentary carries on Leonard Nimoy’s legacy

The late Leanard Nimoy (left) and Julie Nimoy, his daughter and writer of the new documentary.
Image: Julie nimoy  and David knight

The love for Leonard Nimoy lives long and prospers, but does the world really need two Nimoy documentaries, one from each of his biological children?

Logically speaking, yes it does.

Our films are very different, said Julie Nimoy, referring to her new documentary, Remembering Leonard Nimoy, and For the Love of Spock, the 2016 crowd-funded documentary by her brother Adam.

The latter film focused on the sometimes-fraught relationship between Adam Nimoy and his father, Leonard, who played the iconic Star Trek vulcan Mr. Spock on TV and films for almost 50 years. It was also an examination of how Nimoy built the character of this seemingly emotionless and exasperatingly logical starship science officer.

Our film really is a celebration of dads life Leonards life and his career and his struggle with COPD (chronic obstructive pulmonary disease), Julie Nimoy explained.

Documentary co-writers and husband and wife David Knight and Julie Nimoy.

Image: julie nimoy and david knight

As originally envisioned, Remembering Leonard Nimoy, which premiered in April at the Newport Beach Film Festival and airs this fall on PBS, would have focused almost exclusively on COPD and the actors battle with the progressive disease. Nimoy and her husband David Knight had already made a handful of health-related films and saw an opportunity to continue Leonard Nimoys efforts to raise awareness about a disease that 11 million people, according to the American Lung Association, have been diagnosed with (though many millions more may have it and not even realize it).

Leonard Nimoy, a two-pack a day smoker from the age of 17 until he was 55, was diagnosed with the disease in 2013. An intensely private man, he hid his condition from the public until he was spotted in a wheelchair and on oxygen at JFK airport.

Julie Nimoy told me that, after talking to his second wife Susan, Nimoy decided to go public about his condition with Piers Morgan on CNN. That transformed him into an advocate who spent much of his last two years posting about the dangers of smoking and COPD on social media.

Nimoy was aware of Julie and Davids plan to make a film. He gave his blessing. We thought he could narrate it, be a part of it, said Knight.

Everything changed, though, after Leonard Nimoys death in February 2015 at 83. When Julie and David saw the outpouring of sympathy and intense interest in Nimoy, we thought, lets not just focus on COPD, lets make it a celebration of his life, said Knight.

The Nimoy family.

Image: julie nimoy and david knight

Remembering Leonard Nimoy became a family film, exploring the relationships Leonard Nimoy had with his second wife, Susan, his children, Adam and Julie, his stepson, and six grandchildren. There is, naturally, a deeper look at the intense bond Julie had with her father.

For many years, we had the same hobbies and likes, said Julie, who was 11 when Star Trek first aired in 1966 and her father became an unexpected international star.

The documentary explores what that was like for Julie, but she also makes clear that she knew Nimoy the actor far outside the Star Trek stage.

Leonard Nimoy loved the stage and, especially during the lean years in between the end of Star Trek the original series and the reboot of the Star Trek franchise on movie screens in 1979 spent years doing the summer stock circuit with him and her mom.

A poster for the documentary, Remembering Leonard Nimoy.

Image: Julie nimoy and david knight

He was involved in theater work throughout the country. I went with him and my mom to pretty much every state, remembered Julie.

Obviously, the film also explores Nimoys portrayal of Spock and how Julie witnessed the making of what is widely considered his most memorable Star Trek film scene.

Trained as a Chef and caterer, Julie Nimoy worked on the set of Star Trek: The Wrath of Kahn and watched as they filmed Spocks famous death scene (spoiler: he comes back in Star Trek III).

I was there every day. [The documentary includes] my interpretations of my feelings on the set and the impact of that scene, said Julie.

Even though the documentary will satisfy Trek nerds, it may be a deeper and sadder journey than Adam Nimoys film (Adam serves as consulting producer on the Julies documentary).

It is an intimate look at his life and his passing. said Julie.

Left to right: Adam Nimoy, Julie Nimoy, Leonard Nimoy and Susan Bay.

Image: julie nimoy and david knight

While they were never able to interview Leonard Nimoy for their documentary, the film does include footage from his last birthday on March 2014.

I shot it with my phone, she said, I did not know it would end up in my film.

The documentary chronicles Nimoys fast decline and his difficult decision to, when even the most aggressive therapies had failed, to decline further treatment.

Julie recalled that, by late 2014, the actor couldnt breathe without oxygen.

He made a decision about treatment, said Knight, Controlling his destiny.

While Leonard Nimoy was a private person, he did enjoy his retreats, activities (photography, piloting) and time with friends, much of which COPD took from him.

The disease may also be at the root of his break with Star Trek co-star and long-time friend William Shatner. In his own book about Nimoy, Shatner recounted how, in the last few years of Nimoys life, they lost touch. Shatner couldn’t pinpoint the root cause.

William Shatner (as Captain Kirk) and Leonard Nimoy (as Spock) on Star Trek VI.

Image: Paramount/Kobal/REX/Shutterstock

I honestly dont know, said Julie when I asked her if she had any insight into the rift. Both she and David were aware that Nimoy and Shatner had drifted apart, but, said Julie, her father didnt get into detail. She also noted how supportive Shatner has been of her efforts to complete and promote her documentary.

But then she added, It was really hard during last year and a half of [Leonards] life to be real social. He had this debilitating illness and found it very hard to breath, be active, and be around a lot of people.

Perhaps, Nimoy just retreated a bit from his world as COPD began to curtail his activities, including spending time at his beloved Lake Tahoe home. The 6,000 ft. of the elevation made breathing on his own virtually impossible. The disease, said Julie, took away pleasure.

Leonard Nimoy and Julie Nimoy on his boat at Lake Tahoe.

For as difficult as some of the subject matter is, Remembering Leonard Nimoy is also a celebration of his life and will offer fresh insight into the personal side of Leonard Nimoy. Julie promises video and photographs that no one has ever seen, as well as an interview with Susan Bay, whom Nimoy married in 1989. She opens up about what it was like, marriage, health, what it impacted, said Knight.

If nothing else, making the documentary, which airs this fall on PBS networks across the U.S. was a cathartic experience for its author, Julie Nimoy. It kept him close to me. It was good for me, she said, adding that it was also sad. There were a lot of hard moments looking back at all the old family photos and memories.

Ultimately, Remembering Leonard Nimoy could work on multiple levels. Its a permanent record of the bond between a father and daughter and a call to action for smokers and others susceptible to COPD. My goal is to continue my dads mission to create awareness around this disease, said Julie.

Bonus: Things you didn’t know about Star Trek

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‘An Inconvenient Sequel’ gets more screenings after Paris Climate Agreement fallout

In the wake of President Trump’s devastating decision on the Paris Agreement, the makers of An Inconvenient Sequel are adding extra free screenings of the film around the country on June 6.

The documentary about climate change has been updated for its official July release to reflect recent developments regarding the Paris Agreement and what that means for the United States and the rest of the planet.

Currently, scheduled screenings include Boston, Chicago, Denver, Los Angeles, New York, San Francisco, Seattle, and Voorhees, New Jersey, with updates being added to the site as they are scheduled.

Directors Bonni Cohen and Jon Shenkissued a statement following Trump’s decision:

“We were shocked and disappointed to hear President Trump’s announcement…In our new film,An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power,we filmedbehind-the-scenes in Paris to show thehard work, finesse, and passion that went into making the agreement happen.We hope that the hard work of those who made the deal happen will not be in vain. The good news is that there is a great deal to be hopeful about. The technology exists to create enough clean energy for the world economy and to avoid total climate catastrophe. Now that President Trump is pledging to do less to keep America’s commitment tothe world, we must all step up to do more to ensure the health of our planet.”

Al Gore, who appears in both An Inconvenient Sequel and An Inconvenient Truth and has been a vocal advocate of climate change action for decades, called Trump’s decision “reckless and indefensible,” adding that it “undermines America’s standing in the world and threatens to damage humanitys ability to solve the climate crisis in time.”

Posted on his official website, Gore’s statement continued, “But make no mistake: if President Trump wont lead, the American people will.” Gore’s comments are already being backed up by a growing grassroots movement from individual American citizens and local and regional U.S. leaders who have pledged to uphold the tenets of the Agreement.

An Inconvenient Sequel will be released nationwide on July 28.

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Fans of its diversity are pissed ‘Sense8’ was canned during Pride Month

Someone just told them about the cancellation …
Image: netflix

Netflix canceled Sense8 after two seasons, the streaming service announced Thursday.

It was a bitter blow to fans of the diverse show, especially on the first day of LGBT Pride Month.

Created by The Matrix masterminds Lana and Lilly Wachowski, Sense8 won praise for its diversity and inclusivity both on screen and behind the scenes, which made the cancellation especially hard for fans to swallow and they made their disappointment known on Twitter.

Netflix also heralded the show’s diversity in a statement announcing the cancellation.

After 23 episodes, 16 cities and 13 countries, the story of the Sense8 cluster is coming to an end, said Cindy Holland, VP of original content for Netflix. It is everything we and the fans dreamed it would be: bold, emotional, stunning, kick ass, and outright unforgettable. Never has there been a more truly global show with an equally diverse and international cast and crew, which is only mirrored by the connected community of deeply passionate fans all around the world. We thank Lana, Lilly, Joe and Grant for their vision, and the entire cast and crew for their craftsmanship and commitment.

The news comes a week after Netflix pulled the plug on Baz Luhrmann’s The Get Down after one season.

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‘Mom’ ditches Emmy campaign to donate to Planned Parenthood

(CNN)CBS’s “Mom” put its plans for an Emmy campaign on hold in support of Planned Parenthood.

Explaining their decision, star Allison Janney told “Access Hollywood”: “It just seems like now is a time to do something like this — as the House of Representatives voted to defund Planned Parenthood.”
Janney, who plays Bonnie on the series, is a long-time advocate for the organization. Janney said her great-grandmother worked with Planned Parenthood founder Margaret Sanger and her mother once sat on the board of an affiliate organization.
    Planned Parenthood has been a frequent target of GOP initiatives.
    In April, President Donald Trump signed a bill that allows states to withhold federal money from organizations that provide abortion services, like Planned Parenthood.
    The majority of federal money given to the organization funds preventive health care, birth control, pregnancy tests and other women’s health services, according to information on Planned Parenthood’s website.
    “It’s been part of my family,” Janney said. “It’s an organization that’s important and needs to be here.”
    Janney has won two Emmys for her work on “Mom” and seven Emmys total.
    “Mom” has been praised during its four seasons for tackling issues like addiction, breast cancer and adoption.
    “I’m proud of all of us at ‘Mom’ for making that decision,” she said.

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    Caitlyn Jenner doesn’t regret voting for Trump despite LGBT ‘mistakes’

    (CNN)Caitlyn Jenner may not like everything US President Donald Trump’s administration has done so far — especially when it comes to actions affecting transgender Americans like her.

    But she does not regret her decision to vote for Donald Trump, she told CNN’s Don Lemon on Tuesday.
    “As far as LGBT issues, yes, he’s made some mistakes,” she said. “I don’t support him in everything that he does. But we needed to shake the system up.”
    It’s been almost two years since the famed US Olympian came out as transgender in an interview with ABC’s Diane Sawyer, revealing she had “the soul of a female.” Weeks later she debuted her new look in a Vanity Fair cover story that was heralded as a watershed moment for transgender visibility.
      Jenner reveals what the past two years have been like for her in a new memoir, “The Secrets of My Life.”
      At the time, Jenner said she was still a Republican despite the party’s anti-LGBT positions. She later said Trump appeared to be a champion for women and LGBT rights. When Trump famously said people should use “whatever bathroom they feel is appropriate,” including Jenner, she took up his offer to use the women’s restroom in Trump Tower.
      Her position evolved when the Trump administration withdrew Obama era guidance protecting transgender students from discrimination in public schools. She called the decision a disaster and urged him to “fix it.”
      She told CNN she’s still a Republican and she still believes Trump is the man “we need to turn this country around,” for better or worse.
      “To, you know, to have career politicians constantly, the Clintons, the Bushes, run this country. We need to get outside that box and shake things up again.”

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      6 reasons you need to watch this British dating show immediately

      Looking for love is far from easy. Sometimes it can feel like you’re doing it all wrong. But one British reality dating show is bringing joy, laughter, and even the odd tear, to viewers by showing the more human side to first dates.

      Set in a restaurant in the heart of London, Channel 4’s First Dates allows viewers to eavesdrop on real-life blind dates.

      Of course, there’s crippling nerves, wardrobe malfunctions, excruciating silences and table manner slip-ups. But, it’s so much more than just a spectacle of hilarious encounters.

      With each date featured on the show (now in its eighth season) you hear people’s backstories, and you find out why, for some people, going on a date is a huge milestone.

      If you’re a dater who’s had more than your fair share of bad dates, First Dates will reassure you that you’re far from alone. If you’re coupled up, First Dates will give you a cheeky glimpse into other people’s love lives. And, if you’re a sucker for romantic stories, this show will undoubtedly move you to tears.

      Here are just a few of the reasons you need to watch this cult hit immediately.

      1. You’ll see that first-date nerves are very common

      Not a single episode of First Dates goes by without someone admitting that they feel very, very nervous. One recurring dater on the show was named “Nervous Louis” because his first date was derailed by his crippling nerves. But, Louis persevered and he came back on the show for a date with someone new, and spoiler alert it went really well! The pair agreed to see each other again. Hurrah!

      2. You’ll see proof that first dates can lead to very happy endings

      When a date goes really well on First Dates, it’s truly a pleasure to watch. From the moment they connect, you’re rooting for them. You want them to go out again and maybe, just maybe stay together forever.

      And, the wonderful thing is: that actually happens on the show. When Ibiba and Aarron share a lovely date together on the show, they talk about some very real feelings about their pasts. And, they later return to announce that they’re having their first baby together!

      When Scott and Victoria met on the show, they hit it off straight away. After 3 weeks they moved in together. They returned to First Dates for another special moment.


      3. You’ll hear people’s life stories and it will probably make you cry

      First Dates is a show about dating at all stages of life. Some daters have tragically lost their previous partners, and many share their stories and their reasons for re-entering the world of dating. These stories are profoundly touching, and a reminder that dating is far from easy at any stage in life.

      Octogenarians Patricia and Alan shared the many troubles they had faced during their lifetimes, adding that they want to live life to the full. Widower Alan talked about losing his wife and his son, and it’s safe to say his story had people reaching for their tissues.

      “Life is so bloody short and so many people don’t realise that. I don’t want to die with any regrets,” said Alan. “I love life.”

      Some people on the show talk about the impact of past heartbreaks. On one very emotional date, Damian opened up to his date Kai about developing Tourettes after a very bad breakup, which impacted on his mental health. Kai then revealed that he has been living with depression for much of his adult life.

      “I was in love and I took that breakup really hard. I just didn’t think that I could cope. It was at that time that the tics started,” he said.

      4. You’ll see that other people get stood up too

      The course of true love doesn’t always run smoothly. And sometimes people don’t show up to dates. First Dates has had its fair share of no-shows over the seasons. But, every single deserted dater has had another bite at the cherry. As they say, second time’s a charm.

      5. You’ll see that it really is a very small world

      For many of us, the idea of going on a date with an ex-partner is not entirely our idea of a good time. But, a couple of times on the show, daters have been accidentally reunited with blasts from their past. In one episode, Vince and Anna shared a date and both mention that they feel like they’ve met before. Turns out they dated when they were teenagers…

      6. You’ll see that embarrassing moments are all part of the charm of dating

      There are heaps of awkward moments on the show, and they only serve to make the daters even more endearing to their dates.

      First Dates is a lesson to us all: even when we’re making fools of ourselves, we’re still lovable. Most importantly of all, the show teaches us that dating can be hard for just about everyone.

      But, just like the First Dates daters, there could be a happy ending right around the corner.

      WATCH: 20 British sex terms to you can totally use in America

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      It’s the worst possible time for ‘Girlboss’ on Netflix

      Britt Robertson as Nasty Gal's Sophia Amoruso in 'Girlboss.'
      Image: Karen Ballard/netflix

      When Netflix signed on for Girlboss, it probably sounded like a great idea. Feminism, fashion, and San Francisco? We were about to have our first female president, so what could go wrong?

      When the show starts streaming on Friday, things will be a little different. Not only are we living in Trump’s America, but Nasty Gal, the multi-million-dollar startup the show was based on, is bankrupt. The soul-searching of the feminist movement post-election has caused more people to realize that feminism as used by businesses to sell their products, no matter how cool, is at least an incompatible match, if not an entirely hypocritical one.

      Girlboss is fictional. The show, based on the 2014 book #Girlboss by Nasty Gal founder Sophia Amoruso, follows a 23-year-old, shoplifting, aimless version of Amoruso who can’t keep a job and has an epiphany when she makes hundreds selling a $9 thrift store leather jacket on eBay. Through the series’ 13 episodes she steals a rug, eats her boss’s sandwich, launches an eBay store, dates a drummer, goes on a worse version of the San Francisco tour from The Princess Diaries, and eventually reaches the early days of Nasty Gal.

      As a TV show, Girlboss has its own problems character, story, and all that. But it’s also arriving at the absolute worst time.

      Nasty Gal, launched in 2006 as Amoruso’s vintage eBay store that grew into an ecommerce success story with $300 million in sales, filed for bankruptcy in November. Before that, the company had two rounds of layoffs and was hit with a lawsuit alleging the site fired women when they got pregnant. On the fashion side of things, the once edgy site faced a slew of more affordable, teen-friendly competitors like Tobi and Missguided.

      Weeks before the show debuted, the similarly buzzy (albeit style-wise, very different) ModCloth was bought by the less-than-feminist Walmart. Before that, Thinx founder Miki Agrawal stepped down from her prominent role as the period underwear startup’s CEO, kicking off a barrage of stories about her company’s inappropriate work environment and a sexual harassment complaint from a former employee.

      Not to mention, our president is Donald Trump, a result that has inspired a re-evaluation of feminism’s aims as a political movement and whether a version of feminism that centers its praise on individual women who make the Forbes list has any use anymore (or ever did).

      If Amoruso’s #Girlboss (the book) were just a memoir, its television adaptation might be able to skate by as a period piece, capturing a particular mid-2000s moment in fashion and Silicon Valley. But #Girlboss was also a manifesto about how to be a feminist success, just like Amoruso. Since stepping down as Nasty Gal’s CEO in 2015, Amoruso has leaned into her #Girlboss brand. She published a second book, the “lushly illustrated embodiment of the collective spirit of the Nasty Gal brand, Sophias own personal brand, and girlbosses everywhereNasty Galaxy, in 2016.

      Even with the disclaimer that appears before every episode of the Netflix show “what follows is a loose telling of true events… real loose” something about the show just doesn’t sit right. A story that glorifies startup success found through a particular kind of male-inspired determination, with a title that’s always been connected to some sort of feminism, is unsettling in 2017. Crazy Ex-Girlfriend co-creator Rachel Bloom released a music video at a Vanity Fair conference on women entrepreneurs gently mocking the many flaws in the “Girlboss” idea. That just so happened to take place the day before the Netflix show’s debut.

      This all isn’t entirely Girlboss‘s fault. The show’s creators, who have emphasized that the show is fictional, couldn’t have known that their project would arrive in this political moment, or after a rush of feminist startup failures. In the alternate timeline where Hillary Clinton won (maybe helped by Nasty Gal’s “Nasty Woman” t-shirts), the show would probably feel fine, I guess, even if Nasty Gal were still bankrupt.

      The issue isn’t that the protagonist is unlikeable although she is, which is kind of the point. That’s fine! It’s just that for anyone who has any idea about Girlboss‘s real-world origins, it’s impossible to watch the show without remembering that origin story and its eventual disappointments.

      Girlboss ends with Sophia launching the real, independent Nasty Gal. Maybe by season two, we’ll all be able to separate the show’s narrative from where its inspiration ended up.

      WATCH: Lady Gaga FaceTimed with Prince William to discuss a very important issue

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