Mature themes, drug references and coarse language

Film synopsis

“If you make something that is so magical, so unique you will pay the price…it’s the Devil’s bargain.” Lydia Lunch Rowland S. Howard appeared on the Melbourne punk scene, a phantom from Kafkaesque Prague, an otherworldly aristocrat. The demonic fury of his guitar shot him directly into the imagination of a generation. Behind the enigmatic man was an artful persona, a sardonic wit and a gut wrenching lyricist. His signature sound catalysed ‘The Boys Next Door’ into the epic ‘The Birthday Party’, the seminal band of the post punk era. With ‘These Immortal Souls’ and collaborations alongside Lydia Lunch, Nikki Sudden, his striking solo work Teenage Snuff Film and Pop Crimes, he produced a number of qualified cult classic songs. Known and loved for the timeless raw truth, beauty and wit of his words and sound, in an age of makeovers, Rowland S. Howard never ‘sold out’. Containing a selection of rare footage and moving interviews with Rowland S. Howard, Nick Cave, Wim Wenders, Mick Harvey, Lydia Lunch, Henry Rollins, Thurston Moore, Bobby Gillespie, and Adalita, AUTOLUMINESCENT traces the life of Roland S. Howard, as words and images etch light into what has always been ‘the mysterious dark’.

Running time

109 Minutes

Year of production



Rowland S. Howard
Genevieve McGuckin
Nick Cave


Richard Lowenstein, Lynn-Maree Milburn


Andrew de Groot, Rowland S. Howard, Richard Lowenstein, Genevieve McGuckin, Lynn-Maree Milburn



Available formats

DCP, E Cinema


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