I was in New York last October to be in and to help curate the Club 57 Art Show and to film the Mudd Club reunion. I did as much as I could in New York with the time that I had. I found out, much to my surprise, two days before leaving, that Richard Lowenstein was in New York. Last year Richard sent me on an Odyssey through Prague, Vienna and Berlin filming interviews for his documentary film about Rowland S. Howard. I battled with an Icelandic volcano to interview Lydia Lunch from Prague to Vienna. I struggled with technical difficulties and the decadent debauchery demons of Berlin (Chris Hughes being one of them) to interview Oliver Schutz, Christoph Dreher, Mark Reeder, Mick Harvey, Thomas Wydler, John Murphy and Steve Morell. I completed the interviews in Prague with Phil Shoenfelt, Pavel Cingl, La Petite Sonja and Hank Manchini. I enjoyed the journey very much. I was able to discover some really fascinating special people and got to know them. Some of them are friends, so it was nice to work with them and I also made new friends as a result. All in all it was work, but a nice experience. It was a pleasure to work with Richard and for me it was and is most important to help and contribute in some way in the memory and total respect of the unique talent and personality of Rowland S. Howard.
It was totally unexpected and amazing to meet Richard in New York. It was my last night in New York. I had a small going away party at the Horse Shoe Bar on Avenue B and 7th Street in the East Village. Those last few days in New York were hectic and I was in contact with Richard by email and let him know about the going away party. I did not expect him to turn up that night because of his busy schedule in New York, but sure enough he was there. It was nice to finally meet him. We had never met before. We were only in contact by email and phone. This was our first face to face meeting. I was very exhausted from all the running around, but got a second wind that night. It felt like some circle had been completed. He introduced me to some of his friends and I introduced him to fellow filmmaker Nick Zedd. Australian cinema visionary meets East Village cinema of transgression. An interesting combination to watch. That was my memory of that night anyway and I hope to meet Richard sometime soon when I have had some sleep.
What to write about Richard? For me he is a filmmaker who is a true visionary and he was way way ahead of his time. (ten years to be exact) He made his film "Dogs in Space" in 1986. It has a strong chopping chaos that captured the turbulent world of musician's lives in Melbourne. Richard made this film ten years before the film "Trainspotting" that very much works with the same sort of themes and styles. He made ground-making films prior to that with "Evictions" and "Strikebound" and won numerous awards. In between and after all this Richard made a lot of music videos and worked closely with the bands INXS and U2. Richard won five MTV Video Music Awards in 1988 for his work on INXS "Need You Tonite/Meditate" music videos. He went onto make what I consider another revolutionary film "He Died with a Felafel in His Hands" from the John Birmingham novel. It was incredible that Richard was able to make a film out of a series of anecdotes about living in share houses in Brisbane and other cities in Australia. It was considered unfilmable. The film with it's wonderful cinematography (Andrew de Groot), captures the psychology of each Australian city and the youth of each city with their day to day existence. He has co-produced the satirical australian music TV series John Safran's Music Jamboree and John Safron Vs God. Richard is a partner in the Melbourne based production Company Ghost Pictures and is also a partner in the feature film production company Fandango Australia Pty Ltd with Italian producer Domenico Procacci. There is so much more to write about Richard. I am just touching the surface here. Please click on the highlighted name/words above to find out further information. I am pleased to write that Ghost Pictures is producing the film "Rowland S. Howard: Autoluminescent" and that I am happy to be involved in it. If anyone can make a film about Rowland S. Howard, certainly Richard, the filmmaker wizard of Oz is the only one and the right one who can make that magic happen.