About Bill Mousoulis
Bill Mousoulis is one of Australia's premier independent film directors.
Since 1982, he has made over 100 films, including 10 features, the latest of which is Songs of Revolution (2017). His work has screened in film festivals in Australia and overseas.
Film critic Adrian Martin has labelled Mousoulis a "visionary" and "one of Australia's most committed independent filmmakers". The Age daily newspaper in Melbourne has called Mousoulis "an independent film legend".
Mousoulis' film work is realist, humanist and formalist. In his films, he approaches the everyday world with both sincerity and experimentation, which has caused critics to compare his films to the films of directors such as Rohmer, Bresson, Rossellini.
Dreams Never End
Born in 1963, Mousoulis, without any film schooling, picked up a Super 8 camera in 1982, at the age of 19, and began making short films. With such Super-8 shorts as Dreams Never End (1983, 9 mins), Back to Nature (1985, 13 mins), Physical World (1986, 10 mins) and Faith (1987, 27 mins), amongst others, Mousoulis began developing his unique style, with its transcendental vision of the world.
Using understatement and subtlety as effective tools, Mousoulis managed to capture ordinary people's lives, dreams, failures, in the process drawing a compelling portrait of the human soul. This work continued in the two 16mm. shorts, After School (1988, 20 mins) and Between Us (1989, 37 mins).
Alongside this more conventional narrative work, Mousoulis also made a number of experimental Super 8 shorts, either impressionistic documentary type films (such as The End of the World, 1987, 10 mins), or essayistic works (Knowing Me, Knowing You, 1988, 6 mins), or quasi "musical" works (How Soon is Now?, 1990, 3 mins).
In 1993, Mousoulis expanded his canvas to the feature film format, with two features made on Super 8 - Open City (1993, 80 mins, Super-8) and Ladykiller (1994, 80 mins, Super-8). With these two features, Mousoulis continued his exploration of the human psyche in his distinctively subtle style, but with a greater intensity and depth. Open City is a relationship study with the Bosnian conflict as a backdrop, whilst Ladykiller is a de-sensationalised portrait of a serial killer, using the thriller genre.
After this, whilst continuing to make the occasional Super 8 short, Mousoulis delved into a trilogy of 16mm. features revolving around themes of love, desire, solitude: My Blessings (1997, 78 mins, 16mm) is an intimate, penetrating look at the life of a solitary woman, using the diary form; Desire (1999, 77 mins, 16mm) is a highly formal meditation on the many vicissitudes of love and sexuality; and Lovesick (2002, 70 mins, Super 16) is a love story with a dark twist to it.
In 2003, Mousoulis started working with digital video. A trilogy of features emerged revolving around certain "musical" forms. Spring Rhapsody (2004, 84 mins, digital) is a rhapsodic matrix of moments and characters set in Spring time; Blue Notes (2005, 93 mins, digital) is a bluesy meditation on depression and drug use; and A Nocturne (2007, 70 mins, digital) is a nocturnal mood piece on vampirism and cannablism. The first two films are improvised and innovative mult-narrative pieces, while the third film returns to the more formal, Bressonian ways of earlier Mousoulis features.
In 2009, Mousoulis started being based in Greece, and has made several shorts in this time, such as Pig in a Poke (2011, 9 mins, digital) and To Paramythi (The Fairy Tale, 2014, 2 mins, digital), and two feature films: Wild and Precious (2012, 87 mins, digital), which is set in both Greece and Italy, and combines a documentary social strand (the crisis in Greece) with an art film narrative strand (a family story in Italy); and Songs of Revolution (2017, 118 mins, digital), a hybrid musical film, containing both documentary and fictional strands, on the history of Greek radical music, its songs of resistance, sorrow, anger.
Wild and Precious
Apart from making his own films, Mousoulis has also been involved in other areas of film culture. In 1985 he founded the Melbourne Super 8 Film Group, and was its figurehead and main administrator until 1991. The Super 8 Group was one of Australia's most effective and lively film co-operatives of the '80s and '90s, with Mousoulis helping to organise many screenings and events and publications.
Mousoulis has also been a film critic over the years, writing for various publications (see the Writings section of this website). In 1999, he founded the online film journal Senses of Cinema, which still exists today and is considered by many people to be the best online film journal in the world. Apart from being the Founding Editor of the journal, Mousoulis was also the Co-Editor and Webmaster of the journal for its first couple of years, and initiated the "Top Tens" and "Great Directors" sections.
Mousoulis has also done various other film cultural things over the years. He has been a programmer for various groups and film festivals; a judge on awards and also a selector on panels; a conference speaker; a webmaster for various film magazines (see the Links section of this website); and he is currently a member of the Hellenic Film Academy in Greece, which oversees the country's main Film Awards.
For a more personal, biographical note on Mousoulis' career, click here.