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Martin Newell is a poet, raconteur, songwriting genius and the Godfather of British Lo-Fi. 'Upstairs Planet' is an independent film about the greatest band you've possibly not heard of: Cleaners From Venus. They were the jangly-guitar, synth-driven outliers from the edges of the 1980s, and beyond.
Looking like the "keeper of a 19th-century asylum", Newell gives us his eccentric, irascible world view and hints at why he's admired by so many well-known artistes (MGMT, XTC, Ariel Pink, John Cooper Clarke, Mac deMarco, etc) - though largely shunned by an industry he cares little for.
The film uncovers cassette culture, a DIY punk attitude and intelligent, poetic lyricism that should have found a much wider audience.
'Upstairs Planet' is a sympathetically independent and Lo-Fidelity affair, as offbeat and singular as the subject it defines.
But also funny, moving and hugely entertaining.
"A really good film!" - John Cooper Clarke
"The film works beautifully....a fascinating person with a moving story. It tells of artistic integrity, self-sabotage, mental health and drug abuse, and forms a document that will hopefully introduce new listeners to a beautiful body of work." - The Quietus
"Graham Bendel's Upstairs Planet completes what the director describes as "his Tea Trilogy" following docs about fellow English pop eccentrics Vic Godard and Billy Childish. 'He only had one camera and I thought it was unglamorous and gritty and I really liked it,' says Newell. "It reflects the way I make records" - UNCUT
Graham Bendel's previous films include 'Derailed Sense' (about Subway Sect ) and 'Billy Childish is Dead' (nominated for a British Independent Film Award).