Updated: Dec 17, 2021
It’s often opined that Chris Murphy was the 7th member of INXS and, from a business point of view such sentiment, seemed more than legitimate. However, it’s without doubt that artistically Richard Lowenstein was that 7th member. Joining the INXS family in Northern Queensland as that pasty, vitamin D-deprived emerging auteur in early 1984, he would go on to be an intrinsic and artistic tour-de-force shaping INXS’ ascent from hard-working, freshmen musicians to globe-trotting superstars. All of that aside, Access all Areas would love to provide an origin story backdrop of who just Richard Lowenstein is and the lead-up of how he came to work with INXS.
The son of parents who fled Nazi Germany via the UK and ultimately to Australia in 1940, Richard was the proud graduate from Swinburne Institute of Technology, Film and Television Department in 1979. Within a year, he had directed his first music video embracing the Melbourne punk rock scene and was awarded the illustrious Erwin Radio Prize for Best Short Film at the Melbourne International Film Festival. With an impressive résumé building, Richard’s life was to change with his ground-breaking music video of the Hunters & Collectors’ classic “Talking to a Stranger”, a video that aroused the attention of one “Michael Hutchence”. Being a man in demand, Richard produced and directed clips for Cold Chisel, Tim Finn (ex-Splitz Enz), Jo Jo Zep and the Falcons, plus The Church, all whilst releasing in 1984 his first full feature film Strikebound, the story of 1930’s coal miners’ strike (based on his mother’s book and union research) that coincidentally featured the INXS track “All the Voices”.
A true auteur to his craft, Richard has always remained humble, stylistically unique and a true innovator in celluloid. Never one to embrace the mainstream and dumb it down (hello Michael Bay), Richard’s early work shows a true passion, instinct and distinctive approach in the art of filmmaking, whether it be short-form or long-form, and we hope you enjoy the first instalment of this career retrospective of the great Richard Lowenstein (not steen ).
Love and Peace