Paul Williams Still Alive
About IDFA
Paul Williams Still Alive
IDFA 2011

Paul Williams Still Alive

Stephen Kessler
United States
84 min
European Premiere
Festival history
Nobody remembers Paul Williams, but everyone remembers the songs Paul Williams wrote. Williams was one of the biggest stars of the 1970s, he won an Oscar and several Grammys, and wrote compositions for Barbra Streisand and the Carpenters. But then he got addicted to alcohol and drugs and vanished from the public eye. Stephen Kessler, for whom Williams was always a "television friend," discovers that the songwriter is still alive and decides to make a documentary about him. Kessler presents himself as a comedic character, both in his film and in Williams's life. Sometimes to the annoyance of Williams and his family, who don't hesitate to let this intruder have it. This leads to hilarious moments during interviews in which Kessler and Williams harshly correct each other. Sometimes the film seems to be as much about Kessler as it is about Williams: the director showcases his filmography, relates his preference for squid and his fear of the Philippines. Nevertheless, in the end he seems to get to the core of the man who wanted so badly to be "less different" and "more special."
Screening copy
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    3W Films
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    3W Films