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The films of Bill Mousoulis

Ladykiller
(1994, 80 mins, Super-8, color, sound on film)

DOP: Laki Sideris; Prod. Designer: Danica D.B. Sound Recordist: Tim Joy.

Featuring: Rhys Muldoon, Catherine Hill, Angela Twigg,  Mary Bellas, John Papp (Papanicolaou).

Genre: narrative drama

Synopsis: A portrait of a serial killer.

Available on DVD for purchase

Ladykiller


Creative synopsis: "Let me tell you something about myself, Dave. Ten years ago I was really fucked up. I sat down one day and did some serious thinking. I decided to change my life. I took my life on as a project. Do you understand what I'm saying?" A disturbing/uplifting film.

Screenings: 7, including: Kiosk 8, July 1994; Frames Film and Video Festival, Oct 1994; Cine Bohemio, Oct 1994, 2nd Melbourne Underground Film Festival, July 2001.

"In his second feature-length Super-8 film in as many years, Bill Mousoulis has turned his attention to the subject of the serial killer; a phenomenon which has produced a sub-genre in recent cinema represented by films such as Henry: Portrait of a Serial Killer and The Silence of the Lambs. Mousoulis, however, resists the temptation to psycho-analyse the protagonist or to sensationalise with graphic depictions of violence, preferring to employ a more commonplace 'realism' (against the background of contemporary suburban Melbourne) to explore, but not explain, the everyday psychic and social space of an ordinary man who murders."
                                                      - program notes, Kiosk 8, July 1994.

"Most of the killer's dialogue is pregnant with different meanings - humorous dark opposites ..... The space between men and women, for me, is the most interesting space in the universe. It is fraught with all manner of land mines which blow up in our faces, and rob us of our courage to continue exploring this space as we would like to. I do wonder what women think of this film ..... Is it necessary to make more and more films using violence against women and Is Bill a monster? - questions ..... Bill's film to me is successful as it attempts to explore an area which doesn't readily give up its secrets."                             
                                                    - Jim Bridges, Super Eight, Sep 1994.

"Mousoulis' work often deals with the very ordinary subjects no other film-maker would think interesting. An ordinary day after school, for example. His style, usually working with Super-8, is sparse and understated, following Bresson's dictum that less is more. What better talent to turn to the sensationalism of the serial killer? This is American Psycho in Melbourne. It is the everyday that is frustrating, the accumulation of little things that drive one's dissatisfaction and the mundanity that seethes. It not only provides a strangely gripping film, it offers insight into a very modern malaise that Western cinema has been using as entertainment since Janet Leigh turned into the Bate's Motel one rainy night in 1960."                               
                                                    - program notes, Frames festival, Oct 1994.

"Ladykiller is a complex film on many levels .... It has profundity in its superficiality and yet it is not pastiche or parody. Its significance is that it indicates a welcome departure from qualitative notions of depth, meaning or indeed significance."                      
                                                   - Steven Ball, Super Eight, Feb 1995.

"An excellent film"                         - Paul Harris, "Film Buff's Forecast", November 1994.

One of the year's worst films          - Adrian Danks, "Film Buff's Forecast", December 1994.

"Shot on Super-8 this feature film of a lonely office worker (Rhys Muldoon) who likes to kill people is unique and dark. Mousoulis' style of contemplative realism pays off to the max as the sombre exploits of a seriously unhinged individual come to the screen in a film that contains scenes of actual "ecstatic beauty". Using the grain and aesthetic of Super-8 to its full potential, this rarely seen OZ serial killer classic gives a nod to both "American Psycho" and Godard."
                                                  - program notes, 2nd Melbourne Underground Film Festival, July 2001.