Exactly six months ago, the Owl turned its large eyes onto William Shatner, examining some of his work which is missed or unknown. It only seems fair to address his sometimes involuntary life partner, Leonard Nimoy… the Mr. Spock to his Captain Kirk.
People remember him from his time on Star Trek, or Mission Impossible. Some recall his work as the narrator for the investigative television show In Search Of that focused on paranormal, odd science and unusual history that was professionally created but not always the best at making predictions. (Here are episodes on killer bees invading America and the coming ice age.) A few lucky(?) individuals might recall his work in the television movie Baffled, covered by the Owl early last year.
Fans of the arts know him for other reasons. If you’re a music fan, you might recall his rendition of The Ballad of Bilbo Baggins.
Lovers of the written word would be more inclined to know him from his books of poetry, like Warmed By Love. As a devotee of free verse the target audience of his books was admittedly fairly small… smaller than the number of people who appreciated his most popular musical effort, above.
Photography was also one of his loves, and once again he decided to pursue directions that many contemporaries rejected. In this case, it was the Full Body Project, a series of black and white images of obese women, photographed nude while in the process of performing normal daily activities.
He rounded out his odd art choices with his directorial work. Not the items people recall, like Star Trek movies or Three Men and a Baby, but rather… Body Wars, a film which was seen by millions of people from throughout the world, but which never saw wide distribution. This is because, after the commercial success of Three Men and a Baby, Nimoy turned his attention to Disney.
Body Wars was shown to attendees of the Epcot Center ride of the same name. Viewers watched the movie from inside a motion simulator, which allowed them to feel as if they were racing through the body, entering organs and helping to fight off attacking white blood cells.
He was a heartthrob of the 1960s and a respected actor throughout his life. But the other Nimoy – creator of odd art – was always present as well, for those who might happen to see him.
Question of the night: What is your favorite mode of artistic expression?