Watch: Paul Williams Still Alive 2011 123movies, Full Movie Online – A documentary about legendary songwriter and 70’s icon Paul Williams..
Plot: Filmmaker and longtime fan Stephen Kessler’s portrait of the award-winning 1970s singer-songwriter-actor, who disappeared for much of the 1980s and ’90s, but still performs today.
Smart Tags: #timeframe_1970s #songwriter #has_been #four_word_title #name_in_title #performer_name_in_title #award_winner #composer #performance #performer #recovering_alcoholic #musician #singer
|6.9/10 Votes: 971|
|97% | RottenTomatoes|
|72/100 | MetaCritic|
|N/A Votes: 19 Popularity: 4.699 | TMDB|
This would have been much, much more watchable had it just been about Paul Williams.
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!!
You Too Will Be Glad That Paul Williams Is Alive!
The gist of “Paul Williams Still Alive” (which I caught at its final SXSW screening in Austin this March) is simply this: would-be feature film documentary maker Stephen Kessler was so obsessed with the way the AM-radio hits penned by diminutive 1970s entertainer Paul Williams had made his teen-aged heart go all a-flutter that he decided to make a documentary about Williams — without even realizing that his “late, great” musical hero was still very much alive!
This is a cinematic concept that should’nt have worked — but, thank the Pop Culture gods, it did!
Mind you, it never would have come close to passing muster if Williams hadn’t kept a veritably complete reference library of his clips on every bad music, comedy, variety, game and chat show that existed during the 70s and 80s. Nor would it have worked if Williams hadn’t allowed Kessler full use of that library to reveal the inevitable downhill slide that nearly all of Hollywood’s denizens of that time period were prone to follow!
For his part, Kessler reveals himself to be (potentially) the world’s worst director of a film like this as well! It’s only when he and his childhood hero miraculously find them-selves on “the same page” (courtesy of an encounter with third-world terrorism, of all things!) that the alchemy begins to take place and the hill of Tinseltown dross turns miraculously into a mountain of pure gold!!!
Fans of schlock will be delighted either way, as they roll about ecstatically in the slushy mounds of 70s celebrity offal expelled by the coked-up likes of Robert Blake, Karen Carpenter, Dick Clark, Kermit the Frog, Jack Klugman, Peter Lawford, Tony Randall, Burt Reynolds, Telly Savalas, Barbra Streisand, John Travolta and more!
But more sensitive viewers will find themselves fighting to hold back the tears as the characters refuse to merely remain the two-dimensional “stars” that we enjoyed chuckling derisively at on our little cathode-ray tubes.
Watch in stunned semi-silence as a slack-jawed star-gazer, obsessed with the tear-jerking tune-age that kept his appreciation of Paul Williams from advancing beyond the analytical level of a 12-year-old, metamorphoses into an insightful, savvy observer of character before your very eyes! Shudder in awe as the short-statured subject reveals himself to be more than worth the effort of analyzing!
Whether your personal reference point to Williams is The Muppets (“The Rainbow Connection”), The Carpenters (Rainy Days & Mondays”), or Brian DePalma’s midnight movie cult classic “The Phantom of the Paradise”, you can trust me at least on one thing about this film: it WILL make you glad that Paul Williams is still alive!
— Kenneth W. Lieck
Original Language en
Runtime 1 hr 27 min (87 min)
Genre Documentary, Biography, Comedy
Director Stephen Kessler
Writer Stephen Kessler
Actors Paul Williams, Warren Beatty, Robert Blake
Country United States, Philippines
Awards 4 nominations
Production Company N/A
Sound Mix N/A
Aspect Ratio N/A
Film Length N/A
Negative Format N/A
Cinematographic Process N/A
Printed Film Format N/A