a film by Bill Mousoulis

(1999, 16mm/video, 77 mins)

Juliet Hone and Belinda O'Connor

Juliet Hone
Belinda O'Connor
Paul Wilson
Rad Rudd
Monica Pereira

D.O.P.:  Con Filippidis
Production Designer: 
Ellen Mac Lennan

Music:  Bill McDonald and Shane O'Mara (Rebecca's Empire)

    Desire is a low-budget, self-financed feature film produced and directed by Bill Mousoulis, a prolific Melbourne independent film-maker. It is an unusual narrative film, poetic but also realistic, in the vein of directors such as Jean-Luc Godard, Wong Kar-wai, Takeshi Kitano, Hal Hartley. It weaves several interconnecting stories of love, loss, desire and despair, among both gay and straight characters. The main story concerns Anna, a successful but lonely novelist, who falls for Finola, a vivacious young writing student.

  Desire is a unique film, both in its artistic achievement and its production history. A low-budget feature shot on 16mm. for an astonishingly productive amount ($8,000), Desire is the latest film from the maverick Melbourne film-maker Bill Mousoulis, a director driven to make films at any cost. Under conditions that most would find terrifying (borrowed equipment, inexperienced crew, one take only for the actors), Mousoulis has fashioned an intriguing and engaging piece of cinema. Desire is an arthouse film, but it is not glossy (like European films) or grungey (like the American "indie" films). It presents its myriad of characters (male, female, gay, straight) and themes (desire, abandonment, sexual discovery, redemption in love) in a highly stylized, impressionistic, moody, poetic way: there is little dialogue or action, just plenty of small moments heightened and transfigured.
On location
  In this sense, Mousoulis displays a style reminiscent of arthouse directors such as Egoyan (The Sweet Hereafter), Kitano (Hana-Bi), Cholodenko (High Art), and Hartley (Henry Fool) - a style that is understated, cool, sensual, elegant, but which also has a sinister edge to it, allowing dark and unnerving realistic elements into the picture. Thematically, Desire explores various states of love, sexuality and desire (desire to love, but also desire to live). The character of Anna holds the complex matrix of characters and situations together, as we see love perpetually come and go throughout the film. At first, the character of Cindy and her story (one of failure and depression) may seem totally out of place within this structure, but it soon becomes clear what the film's thesis is: no matter what you are, gay, straight, in a relationship or out, the important thing is ... desire.


Desire was screened at "NovaDose", Cinema Nova, Melbourne, May 2001 and the 10th Brisbane International Film Festival, Brisbane, August 2001.

Available for purchase on DVD

Check out The Films of Bill Mousoulis