A successful filmmaker tracks down the songwriting hero of his youth,
a household celebrity who walked away from fame...
PAUL WILLIAMS: STILL ALIVE
Director Stephen Kessler's Portrait of - and Moving Interaction With - Tunesmith and Actor Paul Williams Comes to Virgil Films DVD on February 5, 2013
Paul Williams was everywhere in the 1970s - on records, the radio, TV and movies - but he suddenly walked away from it all, and a new generation of pop music lovers has no idea who he is. Director Stephen Kessler sets out to remedy that situation in PAUL WILLIAMS: STILL ALIVE. Kessler's "fascinating" (Entertainment Weekly) and "endearing" (Paste) film about his journey to find his musical hero will bring the songwriting genius to longtime fans and new listeners alike when it arrives on DVD on February 5, 2013, from Virgil Films. The music-filled documentary has an SRP of $19.99.
Even if you don't know songwriter Paul Williams, you know his timeless classics, such as the Carpenters' "We've Only Just Begun" and "Rainy Days and Mondays," Barbra Streisand's "Evergreen," Three Dog Night's "Just an Old Fashioned Love Song" and the Muppets' "Rainbow Connection." Elvis Presley, Frank Sinatra and David Bowie, among other giants, have recorded his songs. He has won Grammys and an Oscar, made his own hit records, had a busy acting career, including starring in "Smokey and the Bandit" and Brian DePalma's "The Phantom of the Paradise," and made 50 appearances on Johnny Carson's "Tonight Show."
But where has he been for the last 20 years? Stephen Kessler ("Vegas Vacation") wanted to know, so he set out to find Williams. The result is an exhilarating film about a fan finally meeting his hero and getting him to open up about his career and why he seemed to simply give it all up. The revelations in PAUL WILLIAMS: STILL ALIVE will stun and move fans, particularly when Williams opens up about his personal struggles and his triumphant return to the music industry as the president of ASCAP.
A wistful musical journey that will reintroduce a new generation to Williams' soulful classics, PAUL WILLIAMS: STILL ALIVE is the charmingly self-narrated story of what happens when a nostalgic filmmaker finally catches up with his hero.
Wrote Betsy Sharkey in the Los Angeles Times: "Filmmaker Stephen Kessler's sheer delight in following around his boyhood idol, whose music framed much of the '70s when Kessler was a lad in Queens, is thoroughly infectious."