This definitive portrait of Paul Simon follows him inside the studio making his new album Seven Psalms while looking back on his six-decade career with countless musical peaks from Sounds of Silence to Graceland.
In Restless Dreams: The Music of Paul Simon
At 81, Paul Simon remains happily engaged in the making of new music and is willing to reflect on his life’s highs and lows. Oscar-winning filmmaker Alex Gibney captures the artist looking both forward and back in this definitive film portrait.
Simon invites Gibney inside the studio as he works on his 2023 album Seven Psalms and we get to watch as he tries out lyrics, explores new sounds, and performs a duet with Edie Brickell, his wife of 30 years. As the album comes together, Simon opens up about his six-decade career that’s visualized with a bounty of archival footage, some of it never before seen. The film takes us on a journey starting out in Queens with his childhood friend Art Garfunkel for a partnership that produced many indelible classics. Simon then shifted to an even longer solo career, during which he constantly sought new ways of crafting songs. The musical peaks are numerous: Sounds of Silence, Bridge Over Troubled Water, Still Crazy After All These Years, Graceland, and The Rhythm of the Saints, to name only a few. What a joy it is to revisit them in this film.
The word “restless” in the title is key. Simon’s life is abundant with love affairs, breakups, inspirations, and setbacks. But he always comes back to the magic of making a new record. “I’m looking for the edge of what you can hear,” he says. “I can just about hear it, but I can’t quite. That’s the thing I want.”
Official Selection, 2023 Toronto International Film Festival