The films of Bill Mousoulis
(1989, 37 mins, 16mm, color, sound on film)
DOP: Mark Lane;
Sound: Phillip Healy;
Music: Widdershins and These Future Kings.
Featuring: Phillip Dean, Sharon Rider, Juliet Ward, James Cruickshank, Alex Robertson.
Genre: narrative drama
Available on DVD for purchase as part of
or on its own - Between Us
Synopsis: The story of Rick, a washing-machine serviceman, and his relationships with two very different women.
Screenings: 17, including: "Blown Up", Sydney, Mar 1990; St.Kilda Film Festival, May 1990; Dendy Awards, Sydney Film Festival, June 1990; Melbourne International Film Festival, June 1990; Frames Film and Video Festival, Adelaide, Sep 1990; Jump Cut Film Festival, Perth, Oct 1990; Greek Film Festival, Melbourne, Apr 1993; Buenos Aires Festival of Independent Cinema, May 2003.
- Funded by Australian Film Commission ($66,686).
is a simple, unpretentious film about relationships, motivation, and self-esteem.
What impressed me most about it was how such an un-dramatic film moved
me to feel for its characters. There are very few moments of passion in
this film. The characters are not complicated. The images are not sophisticated.
The conflicts are not deep. Yet the final result is satisfying...... This
film is, I believe, a masterly narrative, constructed with an enviable
economy of style that always pleases and surprises."
"Without a doubt,
Bill Mousoulis is the most controversial and prolific film-maker in the
Melbourne underground film scene. His new film, Between Us, maintains
the innocence and simplicity of his earlier excursions into naturalism
with the slicker production values that come with a little money and experience."
"The story moves
swiftly, and, for anyone who grew up in an Australian suburb in the last
fifteen years, it is a painfully familiar tale as the hero battles the
comfortable inertia of suburban life against his desire to construct a
personality. The film won me over with its steadfast grace and dignified
"What has always
disturbed me about Bill Mousoulis' work is his presentation of himself
as auteur. Behind every character and every longheld take lies
Bill's self-congratulation on his ever so perceptive displays of humanity's
search for meaning. I may be a voice in the wilderness but this search
for meaning to me merely obfuscates a more fundamental issue: how to live
in a world where the idea of meaning is in crisis? Mousoulis' publicity
blurb is very fond of quoting Adrian Martin: 'Can there be any doubt that
Bill Mousoulis is a visionary?' Well, yes, there can be."
on ordinary characters, everyday events and almost embarassingly naturalistic
dialogue, the film suggests the sadness, triumph and mystery of people's
lives, stamped with Mousoulis' own sensitive and stylish signature."
"I think that
Between Us is Bill's best film. I think it is a great film. There
is no question about that."
developed his unobtrusive style into something powerful."
"‘I think she’s affected me somehow’: this offhand line in Between Us could stand as a motto for the cinema of Bill Mousoulis, a tireless independent whose career since the early 1980s spans six self-funded features (shot on Super 8, 16mm and digital video) and a hundred shorts. Mousoulis’ characters essentially dwell in their solitude; the random, spontaneous encounters they experience in daily life certainly touch and change them, but in small, indirect, sometimes barely visible ways. Mousoulis’ minimalist, unadorned, style is a homage to the spiritualists Bresson and Rossellini, but in tone it is closer to the secular, suburban mosaics of Taiwan’s Tsai Ming-liang, Iran’s Sohrab Shahid Saless, Kazakhstan‘s Darezhan Omirbaev or Greece’s Dimitris Athanitis. Between Us is about potential relationships, virtual connections, intersecting lives, nagging dilemmas of wish and denial. Its emotion creeps in subtly, especially through the use of live musical performances by local bands Widdershins and These Future Kings."
- one of Top 5 Films of 1990, Tina Kaufman, Filmnews, Dec 1990.
- 4th Best Film, St.Kilda Film Festival, May 1990.
- Nomination Best Short Fiction Film, Dendy Awards, Sydney Film Festival, June 1990.
- Available through Australian Centre for the Moving Image Lending Collection.
- See also Roger Griffin's Widdershins page.