I’ve mentioned on the site before how much I enjoy the music of Paul Williams, especially his work with the Muppets, Bugsy Malone, as well as the fantastic soundtrack from the Phantom of the Paradise. Director Stephen Kessler is a fan of Williams as well…and had thought the singer/songwriter/actor had passed away as he hadn’t heard anything from him in so many years. He was shocked to learn that Paul Williams hadn’t passed away and he decided to make a documentary detailing what became of the entertainer.
Today marks this independent film’s expansion to the Lincoln Center(Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center) and will see a National expansion later this year. Our friends at ABRAMORAMA were kind enough to share this Press Release with us:
“PAUL WILLIAMS STILL ALIVE is currently playing at the Angelika and beginning June 15th will additionally be playing at Lincoln Center (Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center) with a national rollout to follow.
Paul Williams will appear in person for a Q&A after Friday’s 7:30pm screening at Lincoln Center!
“*PAUL WILLIAMS STILL ALIVE premiered to acclaim at the 2011 Toronto International Film Festival and had its U.S. premiere at the 2012 SXSW Film Festival.*
From the company that brought you ANVIL: THE STORY OF ANVIL comes PAUL WILLIAMS STILL ALIVE which critics are hailing as a “remarkable achievement in a documentary” and a “stirring and sweet story of survival.”
He won Grammys and an Academy Award; wrote many #1 songs from Barbara Streisand’s “Evergreen” to the Carpenter’s “We’ve Only Just Begun” as well as Kermit the Frog’s biggest hit, “The Rainbow Connection”; starred in a Brian DePalma movie; put out his own hit records and albums; was a guest on The Tonight Show fifty times; and is the president of ASCAP… and you might not have heard of him. In the 1970′s, Paul Williams was the singer / actor / songwriter that emotional, alienated teenage boys all over the world wanted to be, a sex symbol before MTV, when sex symbols could be 5″2 and sing songs about loneliness with the Muppets. One of those boys was Steve Kessler, a chubby kid from Queens. Thirty years later, Kessler discovered something amazing: Paul Williams didn’t die. And no one had ever tried to make a documentary about him. A wistful musical journey that will re-introduce a new generation to Williams’ soulful classics, Paul Williams: Still Alive is the charmingly self-narrated story of Stephen Kessler’s lifelong obsession with the former superstar-and what happens when the nostalgic filmmaker finally catches up with him.”
Please follow The Retroist on Twitter.