The films of Bill Mousoulis
(1987, 27 mins, Super-8, color, sound on film)
Written by Mark La Rosa and Bill Mousoulis; Lighting: Matthew Rees.
Bradshaw, Loren Daniel,
Genre: narrative drama
Synopsis: The faith of a heart and the faith of a look. A period in the life of a young Australian couple.
Available on DVD for purchase as part of
or on its own - Faith
or as part of Super Dreams
Screenings: 11, including: 2nd Melbourne Super-8 Film Festival, Aug 1987; "Transcendental Super-8", Nov 1987; 8th Sydney Super-8 Film Festival, Nov 1987; Melbourne Cinematheque, July 1988; RMITV broadcast, July 1989; TVU broadcast, June 1990; "Super-8 films by Bill Mousoulis", July 1998.
direction, Bill does not impose a story upon the viewer. Faith
lets its story grow from its spaces, revealing how the cinema and its
meanings can be very hard to pinpoint. By distancing himself from his
work, Bill does not invest the film with obvious/meaningful editing, framing,
etc. Instead, he lets meaning grow out of silence; significance grow out
of the fact that he has faith, as much as the viewer slowly begins to
realise, that the characters do not have to be spoken for. Their
richness slowly rises to the surface. It is controlled by the ordinariness
in which the film believes and endeavors to capture."
"Faith is a gripping, austere depiction of a couple moving mechanically from point to point as if under the spell of predestination." - Chris Windmill, Super Eight, Sep 1987.
"I'm always reminded,
when I see Bill's films, of neorealism (rather than his stated influence
of transcendental film-makers such as Ozu and Bresson, or the simple "real"
people of Spielberg's films), particularly Cesare Zavattini's wonderful
manifesto from 1953, with passages like: 'In short, to exercise our own
poetic talents on location, we must leave our rooms and go, in body and
mind, out to meet other people, to see and understand them. This is a
genuine moral necessity for me and, if I lose faith in it, so much the
worse for me.' "
Bill's latest and to date best film, is the last in a trilogy (following
Back to Nature - about adolescent dreaming; and Physical World
- about young romance) which thematically fabilises what you could call
ordinary experience - love, memory, destiny and its metaphysical counterparts
in the 'external' world ...... A polarity of desire exists in Faith;
between that which we externalise as the ideal and that which, through
human frailty and social obligation, makes us prisoner of our own personal
"What marks Faith
out from many Super-8 films is its sincerity."
Mousoulis scores some points for effort with Faith. The
film is well paced and intriguingly shot but I have reservations.
Mousoulis is perhaps the only film-maker in
the history of the Cinema who trades off foregrounding his
own self-effacement. Talk about an unseen hand! His
invisibility so dominates this film that it undermines,
nay upstages the more obviously 'noble'
attempt to highlight the banality which a simple
working class Australian couple endure (?).
I can still hear the camera whirr in the chilly, endless
stillness signposting both auteur and his medium."
- Voted Best Super-8 Film of 1987 in Super-8 Yearbook 1988 (making 12 Top Ten lists).