The films of Bill Mousoulis
(1993, 80 mins, Super-8, color, sound on film)
Written by Andrew Preston, John F. Howard, Bill Mousoulis.
DOPs: Con Filippidis, Clem Stamation.
Sound Recordists: Rodney Bourke, Daniel Kotsanis.
Featuring: John F. Howard, Georgina Campbell, Claire Paradine, Peter Tsoukalas.
Available on DVD for purchase
Genre: narrative drama
Synopsis: Nothing ever happens in Melbourne. Or does it? A newspaper journalist in Bosnia returns home to find that things are and are not as they seem. Meanwhile ...
Screenings: 8, including: One-week run at Erwin Rado Theatre, Oct 1993.
of a new film by Melbourne film-maker Bill Mousoulis is always a cause
for anticipation. His films, both in Super-8 and 16mm, devoted to the
minutae of everyday life, have earned him both a staunch following and
comparisons with Rohmer. Open City, Mousoulis' latest work, may
create even more expectation than his other works for the simple reason
that it is an eighty minute featurelength narrative, shot entirely on
Super-8 ..... Stylistically, the film is a mixture of styles and influences,
ranging from Rossellini, Antonioni, Godard, and even Scorsese. Such an
eclectic, though seemingly contradictory, catalogue of directors and styles
is kept in balance by Mousoulis, who as a director values feeling over
form. But the question of unified style is less important in Open City
than the sheer boldness which Mousoulis displays in his narrative structure:
midway through the film a central character is introduced, while the story
of the two lead characters acts as a counterpoint to the themes of violence
"The 'open city'
of the title is observed with neither clinical detachment nor picture-postcard
glibness but almost as a central character itself in director Bill Mousoulis'
eclectic narrative. Shot entirely on Super-8 at a cost of $2000, the film
is a genuine attempt to bypass the mainstream tradition and is not to
be confused with alleged mavericks such as El Mariachi, which cost
a pittance to shoot but was significantly worked over in post production
at a cost of millions."
"This film professes
to be 'open cinema' and yet its totalising drive asserts the opposite.
It is a closed circle. This film is a retrogressive step .... the whole
package adds up to the approval of established norms, imperial narrative
and political conventions."