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Overview of Bill Mousoulis' films

 

Bill Mousoulis is one of Australia’s most distinctive filmmakers – prolific, resourceful, and independent, with 10 features and 100 shorts to his name since 1982. Most of his work was made in his hometown of Melbourne, but in 2009 he based himself in Greece (producing two features there), and from 2017 he has been based in Adelaide.

Mousoulis’ work is unconventional and eclectic. Influenced by the realist, humanist and formalist cinema of European auteurs such as Robert Bresson, Jean-Luc Godard, Roberto Rossellini and Chantal Akerman, he has created a body of feature films of remarkable variety, across different genres: feminist portraiture (My Blessings), queer cinema (Desire), horror (A Nocturne), serial killer study (Ladykiller), l’amour fou tale (Lovesick), political docu-fiction (Wild and Precious), and neo-realist musical (Songs of Revolution).

His short film work is even more varied, ranging from his initial home movies (Family Life), to tributes to famous films (J.C.: The Jewellery-Case), to impressionistic documentaries (Streets),  to everyman social studies (Faith), to essay films (Melbourne ’89), to autobiographical diary films (Rich Woods ’90 – ’95), to music-clip type films (How Soon is Now?), to experimental films (How to Use Your Camera), to poetry films (A Sufi Valentine), and even to the occasional foray into comedy (Daddy-Long-Legs).

Mousoulis works under the banner “Innersense Productions”, and that moniker indicates his distinctive working process: his cinema practice is an intuitive and enquiring one – his “inner sense” combining with his “innocence”, to produce films outside the dictates of fashion. His work is both inspired by the various traditions of cinema, and also uniquely his own.

Self-taught (he never attended any film school), Mousoulis bought cheap Super 8 equipment in 1982, making his early films on this domestic format, before obtaining government funding for 16mm shorts in the late ‘80s, and he kept working with these film formats until 2003, at which point he switched over to the digital video medium. Only one of his feature films (Blue Notes) was a funded film, and even that one cost only $20,000 to make. All the other self-funded features cost even less than that to produce.

His 100+ films have screened at over 500 events, including film festivals such as the Melbourne International Film Festival, Sydney Film Festival, Athens International Film Festival, and others, picking up various awards. A number of his films are held within the National Film and Sound Archive.

"Bill Mousoulis is an independent film legend" – Jake Wilson, The Age

"Can there be any doubt that Bill Mousoulis is a visionary? – Adrian Martin, Cantrills Filmnotes.

For a more personal, biographical note on Mousoulis' career, click here.