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Autoluminescent: Rowland S. Howard (2011)

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From myth to legend Rowland Howard appeared on the early Melbourne punk scene like a phantom out of Kafkaesque Prague or Bram Stoker's Dracula. A beautifully gaunt and gothic aristocrat, ... See full summary »

Writers:

Lynn-Maree Milburn (concept), Rowland S. Howard (excerpts from the manuscript "ETCETERACIDE" by) | 1 more credit »
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Cast

Credited cast:
Rowland S. Howard Rowland S. Howard ... Himself - Interviewee
Genevieve McGuckin Genevieve McGuckin ... Herself - Interviewee
Nick Cave ... Himself - Interviewee
Mick Harvey ... Himself - Interviewee
J.P. Shilo J.P. Shilo ... Himself - Interviewee
Lydia Lunch ... Herself - Interviewee
Adalita Srsen Adalita Srsen ... Herself - Interviewee (as Adalita)
Jonnine Standish Jonnine Standish ... Herself - Interviewee
Bobby Gillespie ... Himself - Interviewee
Harry Howard Harry Howard ... Himself - Interviewee
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Bronwyn Adams Bronwyn Adams ... Herself -Interviewee
Barry Adamson Barry Adamson ... Himself - Interviewee
Greg Ades Greg Ades ... Himself - Interviewee
Janet Austin Janet Austin ... Herself -Interviewee
Katy Beale Katy Beale ... Herself -Interviewee
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Storyline

From myth to legend Rowland Howard appeared on the early Melbourne punk scene like a phantom out of Kafkaesque Prague or Bram Stoker's Dracula. A beautifully gaunt and gothic aristocrat, the unique distinctive fury of his guitar style shot him directly into the imagination of a generation. He was impeccable, the austerity of his artistry embodied in his finely wrought form, his obscure tastes and his intelligently wry wit. He radiated a searing personal integrity that never seemed to tarnish. Despite the trials and tribulations of his career, in an age of makeover and reinvention, Rowland Howard never 'sold out'. With recent and moving interviews, archival interviews and other fascinating and original footage, AUTOLUMINESCENT traces the life of Rowland S Howard. Capturing moments with the man himself and intimate missives from those who knew him behind closed doors; words and images etch light into what has always been the mysterious dark.

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Plot Keywords:

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Genres:

Documentary | Music

Certificate:

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Details

Official Sites:

Official Facebook | Official site

Country:

Australia

Language:

English

Release Date:

25 April 2013 (USA) See more »

Company Credits

Show more on IMDbPro »

Technical Specs

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital

Color:

Color
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Did You Know?

Crazy Credits

R.I.P Noonie 1988 - 2011 See more »

Connections

Features Wings of Desire (1987) See more »

Soundtracks

Marry Me
written by Rowland S. Howard (as R. Howard) (Mute Music/Mushroom Music Publishing Ltd)
performed by 'These Immortal Souls'
See more »

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User Reviews

 
He floated into our world fully-formed, like some ghostly aristocrat...
29 December 2013 | by gopal75See all my reviews

This is a nice portrait of a unique guitar player with a noisy yet melodic style, whose presence helped define a decade or more of primitive, arty and ambitious rock music.

It relies on first hand accounts by a number of people close to Howard, including Nick Cave, Wim Wenders and Howard himself. Interspersed with waist-up interview shots are clips from various club and festival gigs, and a few still photographs.

They pay special attention to the seeming contrast between Howard's droll sense of humor and the rather tragic melancholy of his music, and to some extent, his countenance.

Like most rock docs, it has a sort of up then down trajectory that traces the subject's rise to prominence and subsequent fall into despair. But Autoluminescent doesn't really dwell on the drugs or the sickness or the failed romances. Instead, it uses them to set up each segment of the artist's musical development, from teenage prodigy to prodigal middle- aged son, returning to form from the brink of irrelevance.

Cave's recollections seem especially affectionate, while rock doc stalwart Henry Rolllins seems typically awestruck by having crossed paths with such a transcendent talent.

You get a good appreciation for the high regard in which Howard's contemporaries held his playing style, despite the difficulties they had maintaining personal connections with the man.

I came away wanting to delve much further into his discography, beyond the Birthday Party stuff which mostly defines his career.


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