Reviewed at the 2012 Tallgrass Film Festival
“I always thought he died too young,” notes Stephen Kessler mournfully, at the beginning of Paul Williams Still Alive—but it’s a fake-out, of course, and not one hidden for long (hell, it’s there in the title). Williams, for those not old enough to remember (or who were too high at the time), was one of the most recognizable singer/songwriters of the 1970s. He parlayed his success penning works for Streisand, the Carpenters, David Bowie, and the Muppets into a kind of all-encompassing celebrity, via his appearances in films, on talk shows, and in a seemingly endless series of TV guest shots. And then, in the mid-‘80s, his excesses got the better of him. But he didn’t die; he got sober, even working with addicts and alcoholics like himself. And he continues to perform, which is where this film comes in.