Sept. 1, 2009
Nicholas Meyer reads from his memoir about directing ‘Star Trek’ movies
University of Iowa theater and film alumnus Nicholas Meyer will return to Iowa City to read from his new memoir, “The View from the Bridge: Memories of Star Trek and a Life in Hollywood,” at 7 p.m. Monday, Sept. 14, in Prairie Lights Books at 15 S. Dubuque St. in downtown Iowa City.
The free event will be streamed live and archived by the Writing University -- http://www.writinguniversity.org.
The writer and/or director of “Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan,” “Star Trek IV: The Voyage Home” and “Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country,” had never been interested in “Star Trek” until he was brought on board to save the film series.
Meyer (right) shares how he created the script for “The Wrath of Khan,” the most revered “Star Trek” film of all, in 12 days -- only to have William Shatner proclaim he hated it. He reveals the death threats he received when word got out that Spock would be killed, and finally answers the long-pondered question of whether Khan's chiseled chest is truly that of Ricardo Montalban.
He includes reminiscences on everyone from Gene Roddenberry to Laurence Olivier, while chronicling his involvement in a myriad of Hollywood projects. In addition to the “Star Trek” films, his many credits include an Oscar nomination for the screenplay of “The Seven Per-Cent Solution,” (adapted from his New York Times bestseller), writing and directing the classic sci-fi thriller “Time After Time,” and directing “The Day After,” the controversial film about nuclear war that became the most watched movie ever televised.
Recently he adapted “Orpheus” for TV, and Philip Roth's “The Human Stain” and the Roth novella “The Dying Animal” for the screen as “Elegy.”
A review of the new memoir on trekmovie.com asserts, “It is arguable that Meyer is a main reason ‘Star Trek’ survives to this day. ... Meyer belongs to the short list of those who followed in the footsteps of Gene Roddenberry to make ‘Star Trek’ workable for subsequent generations.
“This is why his memoir, whose title ‘The View From the Bridge: Memories of Star Trek and Life in Hollywood’ is a riff from the famous Arthur Miller play, is essential reading for any ‘Star Trek’ and movie fan. The book chronicles Meyer’s experiences in Hollywood, beginning with his comedic telling of being a publicist for films during the 1970s (hilarious and ridiculous corporate decisions abound), all the way to his latest Teddy Roosevelt biopic screenplay. Along the way, there are many thoughtful and controversial commentaries about politics, actors, filmmaking, limitations of artists and art, and of course ‘Star Trek.’”
A Hancher-Finkbine Award winner and a UI Distinguished Alumnus, Meyer has said of his time at the UI, “This place created me. It really sharpened my thinking.”
He has remained closely involved with the UI, where he has been a strong advocate of the arts and humanities: He has established scholarships for playwrights, enabled the premiere of his play “Loco-Motion” in the Department of Theatre Arts, was an Ida Beam Visiting Professor for a Nicholas Meyer Film Festival and was the 2009 featured speaker at the Presidents Club Assembly (a pdf can be downloaded at http://www.uifoundation.org/pc/2009-meyer/iowa-speech.pdf). The Nicholas Meyer papers are held in the Special Collections Department of the UI Libraries.
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STORY SOURCE: University of Iowa Arts Center Relations, 300 Plaza Centre One, Suite 351, Iowa City, IA 52242-2500