The films of Bill Mousoulis
Me, Knowing You
(1988, 6 mins, Super-8, color, sound on film)
Featuring: Bill Mousoulis (V/O)
Synopsis: An essay film about the failure of post-modernism.
Creative synopsis: Bill Mousoulis: Abba, Michael Hutak, Bruce Springsteen, Julianne Phillips, David Parkin, Alan Johnson, John Coleman, Roland Barthes, Belinda Carlisle.
Available on DVD for purchase as part of
or as part of Super Dreams
Screenings: 7, including: 3rd Melbourne Super-8 Film Festival, Aug 1988; 9th Sydney Super-8 Film Festival, Nov 1988; Metro TV broadcast, Nov 1988; "20 Years of Hits and Misses", Nov 2002..
"The thrust of
this film - that the reflexivity of postmodernism, forseeing no future
and believing in nothing, is a dead-end - is assembled in the film's central
shot: an oval mirror on a brick wall reflecting another brick wall facing
it - one dead-end reflecting another....... a philosophy that can only
'reflect' its own language can only end up returning to itself - and the
mirror gives us the circularity in which all such discourses are obliged
to frame themselves ...... the film is a symmetrical construction, the
mirror-shot dividing it in the middle, with magazine iconography on either
side and shots of a brick house and trees bracketing that; it begins and
ends with pop-media noise ..... The wave that Bill gives in the mirror
engulfs and erases the circle drawn by Hutak on his desolate beach."
"I admire Mousoulis'
narrative fiction but it is his essay films which are the most interesting
for me. Knowing Me, Knowing You is so contained within its rhetoric,
those of us in the audience can only wonder what he's getting at. It seems
to be a direct reply to a Michael Hutak article "Moral Fiction" that appeared
in On The Beach. Is Sydney the centre of the postmodern universe?
I don't know but Mousoulis seems to think that those of us in Emerald
City imagine it is. Mousoulis quotes from a variety of sources, binding
it together with references to the ABBA song of the title .... As much
as Mousoulis might deny it, the distance between a Hutak and a Mousoulis
film is not that great. I believe that sincerity does not preclude irony,
and irony is not synonymous with nihilism. Perhaps Mousoulis knows this,
maybe we're talking about the same things, perhaps the emphasis is the
difference. I hope Mousoulis continues with this series of films, possibly
the most philosophically contained and interesting of its kind in Super-8."
- Voted 6th Best Super-8 Film of 1988, Super-8 Yearbook, Feb 1989 (on 4 Top Ten lists).