Sunday, June 20, 2010

Trekkies (1999)

Well, I guess I am a Trekkie. Because, according to some of the people in this fantastic doc, a Trekkie is "a casual fan, who has seen the movies and/or television show(s)," while a Trekker, the true fans, are the ones who, as Kate Mulgrew affectionately puts it in the film, "on the journey with them." They are the ones who incorporate aspects of Star Trek cannon into their everyday lives, whether it is by adorning their homes with overpriced memorabilia or going to court in their Starfleet-mandated uniforms, and they are the beloved subject of this film. Intercut with investigations by former Next Generation cast member Denise Crosby are interviews with cast and crew members of all the Trek incarnations, where they explain how deeply their fans have been affected by the saga, and how they, in turn, have been touched by the fans' response. Leonard Nimoy and James Doohan have particularly moving stories of how Trek fandom surprised them, but all the interviewees wear their reverence for Trek's power on their sleeve. The fans are, expectedly, a hoot in their devotion. Pretty much every bit is humorous and interesting, but several memorable ones include a Klingon club devouring burgers at a burger shack, a 15 year old editing his 175 page fan-fic Trek screenplay, and a handy fan who devised his own working Captain Pike wheelchair device (with beeping light for "yes" and "no"). The film is paced delightfully for a doc, and not only justifies its running time, but leaves room for a sequel, which does, indeed, exist (as to its quality, I have no idea).

Highly Recommended for fans of humorous subculture documentaries, and Trekkies and Trekkers alike. As someone who has seen all the films and much of the original series, I was moved to tears by some of the moments where the fans and the cast and crew alike reflect on how innocent and optimistic Trek's image of the future is, and how that is just as legitimate as anything else as something to believe in and revolve one's life around.

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