SXSW 2012: Paul Williams: Still Alive Review

Part of the magic of Paul Williams: Still Alive is that you don't need to have ever heard of Paul Williams to enjoy the film.  Director Stephen Kessler does an excellent job of sharing his adoration for Williams, and then keeping us hooked as we watch the complex relationship between a fan and his idol.  Through humor, patience, and perhaps a tad too much self-absorption, Kessler shows us what happens when an idol becomes human in the eyes of his fan, and why that can turn adoration into admiration. Kessler brings us into his fandom from the start by making sure that if you don't know who Paul Williams is, you understand his popularity within the first five minutes of the documentary.  Williams was the songwriter behind some of the all-time great pop hits like "Old Fashioned Love Song", "We've Only Just Begun", and "The Rainbow Connection".  Armed with a sharp wit and easy-going demeanor,
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