Paul Williams Still Alive

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Paul Williams Still Alive
Stephen Kessler, 2011
USA | Format: HDCAM | 84 minutes

He won Grammys and an Academy Award; wrote many #1 songs; starred in a Brian DePalma movie; put out his own hit records and albums; was a guest on The Tonight Show fifty times; and is the president of ASCAP... and you might not have heard of him. In the 1970s, Paul Williams was the singer / actor / songwriter that emotional, alienated teenage boys all over the world wanted to be, a sex symbol before MTV, when sex symbols could be 5-foot-2 and sing songs about loneliness with the Muppets. A wistful musical journey that will re-introduce a new generation to Williams' soulful classics, Paul Williams: Still Alive is the charmingly self-narrated story of Stephen Kessler's lifelong obsession with the former superstar-and what happens when the nostalgic filmmaker finally catches up with him. Official Selection: Toronto International Film Festival, 2011; Seattle International Film Festival, 2011.

"Mr. Williams’s quiet integrity trumps Mr. Kessler at every turn. Self-aware and articulate, with a modesty born from confidence, he persistently uses the film to extol—and demonstrate—the rewards of recovery. His conviction brings necessary moral weight to Paul Williams: Still Alive, which transcends caricature to emerge an impressive personal testament." —New York Times

"An engrossing and satisfying pic, one that can be enjoyed even by people who have never before heard of its subject." —Joe Leydon, Variety

"A fascinating, penetrating look at a former celebrity who found his true self after crashing and burning." —Kirk Honeycutt, Hollywood Reporter

"The oft-hilarious push-and-pull between director and subject—Williams wryly notes that the film is turning into 'the Steve and Paulie Show'—effectively hacks away at the celebrity-enthusiast divide. By the end of this perceptive dual portrait, both men are content to merely be human." —Time Out New York

Venue: Film Center Amphitheater

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