Bill Mousoulis (1963–) has been one of the key figures in independent Australian screen culture over the last 40 years. As instigator of the Melbourne Super 8 Film Group, founding editor of Senses of Cinema, creator of the Pure Shit website, and co curator of the screening series Unknown Pleasures, Mousoulis has demonstrated a tireless commitment to alternative screen culture both in Australia and overseas. He has created an essential environment for the screening, appreciation and historical assessment of a vast swathe of Australian screen practice poorly served by mainstream film culture and its funding mechanisms. Alongside this extraordinary contribution he has also emerged, as John Conomos has claimed, as “one of the country’s most dedicated, visionary and prolific independent film-makers”. This program celebrates Mousoulis’ contribution as a filmmaker, profiling his large body of work over the last 40 years. During this time he has produced over 100 short and feature-length films, moving across various styles and formats including Super 8, 16mm and assorted iterations of digital video. Although his work demonstrates the influence of beloved directors like Chantal Akerman, Frank Borzage, Robert Bresson and Roberto Rossellini, Mousoulis’ varied output is highly distinctive and provides a unique reflection on his Greek-Australian heritage as well as his Melbourne upbringing. This program includes highlights from Mousoulis’ early work in Super 8, his move into feature production in the late 1990s and early 2000s, and the fascinating, politically committed group of films he made during his sojourn in Greece between 2009 and 2017.
7:00pm LOVESICK IN MELBOURNE
Bill Mousoulis (1983–2002) 92 mins – Unclassified 15+
Shot on Super 16, Mousoulis’ fifth feature, Lovesick (2002), is a characteristically off-centre portrait of a young couple who quit their jobs and decide to pursue their inner lives. Formally spare and dramatically low-key, Mousoulis’ “lovers-on-the-run” tale also provides a fascinating time capsule of a specific place and moment. As Maximilian Le Cain states, “although cumulatively hypnotic, each individual shot has a harmony and a self-contained materiality that” allows it “to stand alone like a Lumière Brothers short”.
Preceded by two of Mousoulis’ earlier works on Super 8 – Dreams Never End (1983) and Melbourne ’89 (1989) – exploring the cultural topography of Melbourne. To be introduced by the filmmaker.
9:00pm CULTURAL SHOCK: INTO THE UNDERGROUND
Bill Mousoulis (2010–17) 91 mins – Unclassified 15+
In 2009, Mousoulis left Australia and settled in Greece. This program incorporates one of the features and two of the shorts he made during this period, each reflecting on resistance, diaspora and the forces of globalisation. Songs of the Underground (2017) documents the anger, commitment and ongoing resistance of Greece’s underground music scene. Culture Shock, Level One (2010) follows a woman returning to Melbourne after 25 years, highlighting her feelings of cultural dislocation. Into the Wild (2011) further demonstrates the aesthetic range of Mousoulis’ work during this rich period as an Italian cinematographer reflects on the politics of Greece in the early 2010s.
To be introduced by the filmmaker.