Watch: 'Paul Williams Still Alive' trailer makes its debut on the eve of SXSW
A look back at one of the industry's best songwriters is poignant, powerful
Paul Williams is a survivor.
The notion that the greatest challenge he's overcome in his lifetime is himself is just one of the things that makes Steve Kessler's documentary "Paul Williams Still Alive" such a pleasure and a revelation. I've been familiar with the work of Paul Williams my whole life, and in many cases, I wasn't even aware when I was first introduced to his work that it was his.
When the Muppets sang "Movin' Right Along" or "The Rainbow Connection" in "The Muppet Movie," or when Jodie Foster sang "My Name Is Tallulah" in "Bugsy Malone," I didn't know who wrote those songs. I just knew that they were burned into my brain right away. When I heard Karen Carpenter sing "Rainy Days and Mondays" or "We've Only Just Begun" on the radio, I didn't even think of the songwriter. I just heard the story she was telling and the heartbreak that she wore like a badge.
I saw the film in Toronto last year and thought it was great. Even better, I got to sit down with Williams, who I think of as oddly under-appreciated, considering this is a guy who's got an Oscar. Now the film is playing SXSW, and it is my honor to be giving the trailer for a film an exclusive debut here on HitFix.
As I cover SXSW this year, expect a fair amount of discussion of music documentaries, because the line-up here this year is very strong, and this is just one of the great artists being celebrated in film. I play to see "Marley" and "Big Star" and the "Big Brains" documentary at the very least, but if my schedule works out, you can expect reviews of more than that, which should lead to me spending indecent amounts of money on iTunes.
SXSW 2012 kicks off tomorrow night.
News From Our Partners
- Cannes Film Festival: Cannes 2013, Day Three: Cheers for the young stars of The Selfish Giant, jeers for the new films by Hirokazu Kore-eda and Arnaud Desplechin Hear This: Destroy This Place shows how press releases can get it right Watch This: With Beavis And Butt-head Do America, Mike Judge skewered the idiocy of cinematic adventures
- The 'Doctors' Unite 'We Are Men' In 4 Words MTV Legend Recalls Heavy Metal Frontman's Anti-Gay T-Shirt Controversy
- The Wrap Up: Remember 'The Office' With the Ultimate Blooper Reel The Sims 3: Island Paradise's Producer Walkthrough Shows Us the Finer Points of Tropical Life 'Man of Steel' Featurette: Reinventing Superman
- Weekly Ketchup: Will Smith to Star in Wild Bunch Remake? Critics Consensus: Star Trek Into Darkness is Certified Fresh Red Carpet Roundup: Star Trek Into Darkness Edition
- The Telefile - The Most Heinous Person on Reality TV This Week The Telefile - Modern Family: The Best Lines of the Night The Telefile - Fall TV 2013: What's On When
- Beyonce Pregnant Again? Sources Confirm 'Epic' Star Is Carrying Baby No. 2 'Hangover 3' Red Band Trailer: Take a Walk Down a NSFW Memory Lane (VIDEO) Why 'Man of Steel' Didn't Use 'Superman' in the Title
- 'Anchorman 2' Trailer Had Us At 'Hello': Watch Now! Fiery 'Star Trek Into Darkness' Scene Hurt The Most: Ouch! How Far Will 'Star Trek Into Darkness' Boldly Go At Box Office?
- Doctor Who "The Name of the Doctor" Review: The Impossible Girl Made Possible What to Watch This Weekend: The Season Finales of Nikita, Doctor Who, The Simpsons, and Family Guy The Office Series Finale Review: That'll Do, Show. That'll Do.
The director's next film promises to be packed with talentSunday, May 19, 2013
This is one you'll want to watch as soon as you've seen the movieFriday, May 17, 2013
Plus we look back at a more spirited encounter with the comic actorThursday, May 16, 2013
The Channing Tatum/Mila Kunis science-fiction action movie is shooting nowThursday, May 16, 2013