Autoluminescent: Rowland S. Howard Reviews
Rating: Four stars
From the atmospheric opening credits it was clear that Lowenstein was taking as much of a poetic approach to his subject as that of a compiler of information. The chronology of Howard's life was interspersed periodically with more lyrical passages, which served as backdrop to readings from his as yet unpublished novel Etceteracide. Read by Howard's friend and band mate JP Shilo, who also provided the spooky incidental music, these passages were a true scoop, and for most of the audience the first glimpse of a heretofore unknown side to the guitarist's creative output. Thematically, the novel appears to be a melange of science fiction concepts, Burroughs-esque grotesque and thinly veiled autobiography.
Visually and sonically, Autoluminescent was sumptuous and polished, with the music remaining the focus throughout. Refreshingly, the bulk of the film consisted of archival interviews with Howard himself. Some of this footage was only unearthed very recently, so the director made the very wise choice to replace some of the more conventional second-hand testaments from fellow musicians and admirers, minimising the often cringeworthy "Bono-effect".
Mess & Noise