10 items from 2011
Paul Williams: Still Alive is certainly unlike any documentary I’ve ever seen. The project started as director Stephen Kessler’s (Vegas Vacation, The Independent) attempt to make a fairly benign documentary profile about prolific songwriter and longtime television personality Paul Williams, but it mutated into something more. Williams clearly felt somewhat awkward about being a documentary subject and the movie transformed into being as much about the loving and uneasy relationship formed between the film’s director and subject as it is about Williams himself. The result is a very funny, sweet, and revealing movie far more interesting than a more straightforward profile ever could have been. Hit the jump for more. If you’re unfamiliar with the name Paul Williams, that’s probably how he likes it at this point. There was a time when Williams was unavoidable. After a failed stab at acting Williams found a career »
- Phil Brown
indieWIRE hosted a series of Q&As at Tiff's Filmmakers' Lounge. Here's the highlights from managing editor Brian Brooks' conversation with director Stephen Kessler and Paul Williams, star and subject of the documentary "Paul Williams: Still Alive." Paul Williams claims the Tiff-debuted recovery documentary “Paul Williams: Still Alive” resembles a home movie spun out of control. A 4-and-a-half-year passion project by childhood fan Stephen Kessler, the majority of the film was »
As director Stephen Kessler notes in his documentary, Paul Williams Still Alive, in the ’70s, the tiny blond singer was everywhere. He could be found on daytime game shows (The Gong Show) and nighttime dramas (The Love Boat), on The Muppets as well as in the lead of a Brian DePalma film (The Phantom of the Paradise). And then he faded from the cultural limelight. How much of his disappearance can be explained by the simple fact that people — audiences and performers — get older? Or does the fade of Williams’ quirky and emotional star say something deeper about the state of our culture? For Kessler, the subject was also a re-entry to the feature business; it’s been over a decade since his films The Independent and Vegas Vacation. We talked to him about all of this, as well as what he’s learned from directing commercials.
Filmmaker: When did you first encounter Paul Williams? »
- Scott Macaulay
There are a couple of reasons for revisiting the Toronto International Film Festival's lineup for its documentary program, Real to Reel. One of them is Aj Schnack's interview with Thom Powers, Tiff's Documentary and Mavericks Programmer, posted just hours after the Mavericks lineup was announced on Tuesday. Discussing the highlights of both programs, they touch on another reason: Paradise Lost 3: Purgatory is making all sorts of headlines. Joe Berlinger and Bruce Sinofsky's third film chronicling the odyssey of Damien Echols, Jason Baldwin and Jessie Misskelley Jr, aka the West Memphis Three, through the labyrinth of the Us legal system, follows Paradise Lost: The Child Murders at Robin Hood Hills (1996) and Paradise Lost 2: Revelations (2000). All three films deal with what Powers calls in his Programmer's Note "an 18-year-old murder case that has become an iconic example of a legal witch hunt." In 1993, when all three men were still teens, »
By Sean O’Connell
Hollywoodnews.com: Brad Pitt, Keira Knightley, George Clooney, Carey Mulligan, Rachel Weisz, Gerard Butler and Ryan Gosling are heading to Toronto for the 36tht international film festival, which kicks off on Thursday, Sept. 8.
The fest today confirmed the hundreds of celebrities that will be attending the can’t-miss event, promoting films and making the rounds as the annual awards season starts to take shape.
Davis Guggenheim, Francis Ford Coppola, Alexander Payne, Luc Besson, Oren Moverman, Malgoska Szumowska, Bennett Miller, Sarah Polley, Jessica Yu, Michael Winterbottom and Werner Herzog are just a few of the filmmakers who have confirmed their attendance.
Celebrities making the trek include Catherine Deneuve, Charlotte Rampling, Clive Owen, Jon Hamm, Shahid Kapoor, Michael Fassbender, Michelle Yeoh, Freida Pinto, Glenn Close, Matthew Goode, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Salma Hayek, Viggo Mortensen and Woody Harrelson. Musicians U2, Pearl Jam and Neil Young also are expected to »
- Sean O'Connell
Toronto - The 36th Toronto International Film Festival® welcomes hundreds of guests this year. Filmmakers expected to present their world premieres in Toronto include: Davis Guggenheim, Francis Ford Coppola, Alexander Payne, Agnieszka Holland, Guy Maddin, Luc Besson, Bill Duke, Oren Moverman, Malgoska Szumowska, Bennett Miller, Darrell Roodt, Sarah Polley, Jessica Yu, Michael Winterbottom and Werner Herzog.
Actors expected to attend include Catherine Deneuve, Charlotte Rampling, George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Clive Owen, Gerard Butler, Jeon Do-Yeon, Jon Hamm, Shahid Kapoor, Michael Fassbender, Michelle Yeoh, Freida Pinto, Glenn Close, Matthew Goode, Philip Seymour Hoffman, Rachel Weisz, Ryan Gosling, Salma Hayek, Viggo Mortensen and Woody Harrelson. Musicians include: U2, Pearl Jam and Neil Young.
The Festival also welcomes thousands of producers and other industry professionals bringing films to us.
The following filmmakers are expected to attend the Toronto International Film Festival:
- Michelle McCue
News is rolling out of Toronto for this year's festival, with the Galas and the Special Presentations sections announced. As always with Tiff, the sheer number of films can seem overwhelming, but with new films by David Cronenberg (A Dangerous Method, pictured above), Terence Davies (!), Francis Ford Coppola, Wang Xiaoshuai, Marjane Satrapi & Vincent Paronnaud, and William Friedkin added to big names that premiered already this year (including Almodóvar, Von Trier, Nanni Moretti, and Nicolas Winding Refn) it looks like the 2011 iteration will be as packed with must-see cinema as ever before. We'll be updating this listing as new lineups are announced. See Tiff's official website for details.
Albert Nobbs (Rodrigo Garcia, Ireland) Butter (Jim Field Smith, USA) A Dangerous Method (David Cronenberg, France/Ireland/UK/Germany/Canada) From the Sky Down (Davis Guggenheim, USA) A Happy Event (Rémi Bezançon, France) The Ides of March (George Clooney, USA) The Lady (Luc Besson, »
The Toronto International Film Festival has released the complete line-up of their impressive documentary slate which include new works from directors such as Morgan Spurlock, Werner Herzog and Alex Gibney. Herzog explores a triple homicide case in Texas in Into the Abyss; Morgan Spurlock follows fans to San Diego’s Comic-Con in Comic-Con: Episode IV – A Fan’s Hope; Jessica Yu delivers a wake-up call about the world’s water supply in Last Call at the Oasis; and Nick Broomfield visits Wasilla, Alaska in his search for the ‘real’ Sarah Palin in Sarah Palin – You Betcha! Here is the complete line-up. Enjoy
German master filmmaker Wim Wenders shoots in 3D to capture the brilliantly inventive dance world of Pina Bausch and her company, Tanztheater Wuppertal. Excerpts from many of her most famous pieces are shot outside in the streets and parks of »
A week after the announcement of the first, and largest, wave of films added to this year’s Toronto International Film Festival slate, the festival is now finally rounding out its list, with some of the most interesting additions yet.
Criterion Collection fans will again see a few of their more beloved filmmakers involved here, as Wim Wenders will be bowing his latest film, Pina, during the festival, as will Werner Herzog (not truly a Criterion Collection approved filmmaker, but we’ll count it). Herzog will be bringing his new documentary, Into The Abyss, which looks at those behind at triple homicide, including one man who is on death row and will be put to death just days after speaking with the filmmaker.
- Joshua Brunsting
Photo: Content Media The 2011 Toronto International Film Festival announced 56 more movies added to its festival line-up this year with selections in the Vanguard, Midnight Madness, Documentaries, City to City and Tiff Kids programs. And to be honest, the line-up is filled with titles, most of which are absolutely new to me.
I have seen one of the films under the Vanguard banner, a selection of young and cutting edge features and I've heard of Joachim Trier's Oslo, August 31, Ben Wheatley's Kill List (watch the trailer to the right) was a hit at South by Southwest earlier this year and the documentary selections include familiar names such as Werner Herzog, Morgan Spurlock, Jonathan Demme, Alex Gibney and Wim Wenders, the latter of which is delivering a 3D documentary centered on the dance world of Pina Bausch and her company. »
- Brad Brevet
10 items from 2011
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