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The films of Bill Mousoulis

Open City
(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

Open City


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.

"The completion 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 and salvation."
                                                    - Michael Filippidis, Filmnews, Sep 1993.

"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."
                                                   - Paul Harris, The Age, Oct 1993.

"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."
                                                  - Steven Ball, Super Eight, Nov 1993.