Music Monday

PAUL WILLIAMS STILL ALIVE

Director Stephen Kessler
Year 2011
Starring Paul Williams, Robert Blake and Karen Carpenter
Rating PG-13
Run Time 87min
Age Policy

18 and up; Children 6 and up will be allowed only with a parent guardian. No children under the age of 6 will be allowed.

More Info IMDb

Paul Williams is unquestionably one of the greatest songwriters of last century and there was a time in the 1970s that everywhere you looked, you saw Paul Williams.

From Brian De Palma’s PHANTOM OF THE PARADISE to episodes of THE LOVE BOAT, his songwriting made him an international superstar. However, the congenial and jovial Paul Williams that the public knew back then was a far different character than his offstage persona, one that relied heavily on drugs and alcohol to maintain a high-functioning rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle. As a result, Williams faded into the ether and seemingly disappeared from pop relevance.

Director Stephen Kessler, touched by Williams’ music, learns that he is in fact still alive and so reaches out to him about making a documentary. Initially an objective flashback on a life lived and fame given up for mental health, PAUL WILLIAMS STILL ALIVE becomes something altogether different, a film essay where the director is as much part of the narrative as the subject himself.

Williams and Kessler evoke a strained, if amiable, relationship that is hilariously genuine and that gradually reveals how a man whose ego spun out of control has harnessed his demons, remained sober, and now celebrates life. (Sam Prime)

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