SXSW Review: PAUL WILLIAMS STILL ALIVE

By Mark Saldana

 

            As a child of the 70s and 80s, I grew up watching Paul Williams on television.  I remember him vividly as a guest on THE MUPPET SHOW and also performing on other various music and variety shows.  My sister Yvonne religiously played her vinyl copy of the movie soundtrack to A STAR IS BORN (1976) that I probably had some of those songs memorized.  The last time I saw Williams via movies or television was his cameo in 1991’s THE DOORS.  It came as a pleasant surprise that the man is still alive and doing what he likes best, making music and performing for audiences.  Granted, the audiences in theUSare much smaller, but the man can still carry a tune and write songs like no one else can. 

            Most of his fans are probably even more thrilled than I am to hear that this talented gentleman still lives and works.  Of course the question on everyone’s mind is what happened to Paul Williams and why isn’t he in the public radar like he was during his hey-day in the 70s and early 80s?  Director and adoring fan, Stephen Kessler attempts to answer that question with this documentary.  Kessler finds Williams playing small venues and living a relatively quiet and peaceful life with his wife.  Kessler awkwardly struggles to capture Williams on film, but eventually earns his trust and friendship.  The result is a lovely and excellent portrait of a sweet and multitalented soul who got caught up in the excesses of fame, but has survived and has used his life experiences to help others.  This is an excellent and touching documentary which I recommend for die-hard fans or anyone who watched him rise during the 70s.

 

You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.