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Paul Williams Still Alive (2011)

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A documentary about legendary songwriter and 70's icon Paul Williams.

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Storyline

A documentary about legendary songwriter and 70's icon Paul Williams.

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Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG-13 for drug references and brief strong language
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1 April 2012 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

O Paul Williams zei akoma  »

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Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$6,116 (USA) (8 June 2012)

Gross:

$37,649 (USA) (27 July 2012)
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Connections

Features The Brady Bunch Variety Hour (1976) See more »

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User Reviews

 
This would have been much, much more watchable had it just been about Paul Williams.
26 January 2015 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

The reason I was interested in seeing "Paul Williams Still Alive" is because of his recent and entirely unexpected entrance into the limelight at the Grammy Awards. When the enigmatic French band Daft Punk won the award for Best Album, folks were wondering how they'd accept the award. After all, this group's members are anonymous-- wearing strange getup that conceal who they are. So their representative to speak for them was Paul Williams, as he'd produced some of their music. Imagine...a European electro-pop group whose front man is the 1970s TV and recording icon Paul Williams. His tragically unhip songs today (such as "Rainy Days and Mondays" and "Rainbow Connection") are not the sort of stuff you could imagine Daft Punk listening to, that's for sure! To me, THIS makes for a great story...and isn't even mentioned in any way, as the documentary came out just before his work with Daft Punk.

As for the documentary, I have very mixed feelings about it. On the positive side, it celebrates the huge number of hit songs he gave us in the 70s and 80s--song you heard all the time during that era. It also gives you a nice portrait of the man today--having worked on his substance abuse recovery to create a nice, but busy, life for himself. All this is great. But, the film also has a huge distraction--the filmmaker, Stephen Kessler. He is much of the film--as unlike many documentaries where you don't see or even hear from the filmmakers themselves (my favorites, by the way), much of the film is Kessler talking about himself and insinuating himself into Williams' life. And I didn't care that Kessler was like a proverbial 'ugly American' in that he refused to eat the local food when he was traveling in the Philippines...who cares if he's like this or not since the film is NOT supposed to be about him!?! Maybe I am reading something into it, but he just seemed annoying (his interviewing style was obnoxious at times) and I didn't want to hear about him and his love for Williams. I just wanted to see and hear Williams. As for Williams, he seemed like a nice guy--and put up with a lot and seemed to roll with what came. All in all, it was nice to see that he is a happy guy who isn't spending his time looking back but without Kessler's ever-present presence, i think it would have been a much better film.

To any filmmaker out there reading this, why don't YOU make a good documentary about Paul Williams? He's very interesting and a worthy topic for a film...and you couldn't possibly do a worse job than this mess!!


6 of 7 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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Stephen Kessler's projection of loserdom metatron1970
There should be a Paul Williams night on American Idol! missyrae333
LOVED this documentary...of love and redemption!! Congratulations BetsyZ
Paul Williams should host SNL jdeaver886
DVD? PACman66
Go see this! It's delightful. nona_pinkfinger
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