WAS AT DEAUVILLE OVER THE WEEKEND, AS FESTIVAL SEASON HITS FULL SWING
Brian De Palma is pictured speaking at the Talent Lab at the Toronto International Film Festival earlier today, the first day of the festival. This year's TIFF will include the premiere of Paul Williams Still Alive, a documentary by Stephen Kessler. Colin Geddes provides a TIFF description of the film, which premieres this Sunday (De Palma's birthday)...
With songs about loneliness and his outsider persona, Williams struck a chord with many, including director Stephen Kessler. When he began to investigate his childhood idol, Kessler was surprised to learn that Williams is still very much alive, and set out to make a documentary. Williams allows Kessler to accompany him on his travels, but the director soon discovers that his subject isn’t the same man from television that he once idolized.
Despite Kessler’s initial plan to stay behind the camera, Williams coaxes him out, and Kessler becomes part of the story. He follows Williams from small hotel gigs to celebrity golf tournaments to a stadium show in the Philippines — where the downright manic and nervous director must accompany Williams on a six-hour bus ride through a terrorist-infested jungle to get to a gig. During this expedition, their strained relationship helps shape a candid examination of an artist who fought against his own drug-fuelled ego run amok and then became more in love with the attention than the music.
Paul Williams Still Alive is both a rollicking pop-culture flashback filled with great television and performance clips, and the humorous journey of an awkward documentarian and his reluctant subject. Yet it ultimately evolves into the touching tale of a man who has made peace with the beast that fame and celebrity awoke.
DE PALMA PICTURED AT DEAUVILLE
De Palma was photographed at the Deauville Film Festival in France over the weekend, courtesy News De Stars.