|Australian Film Commission
film by Bill Mousoulis
|2006, 93 mins
|featuring: Adam Royall, Susan Strafford, Renée Francis, Nino Kannavas, Peter Lesley
|Alan Rooney, Joyce Hossack, Trevor Rooney, Nicole Pratley, Adam Ford, Dave Kenyon
|special guests: The Greek Choir of the Cultural and Educational Club of Florinians
Blue Notes is composed of five tales about people who are "blue": a married man struggles with depression; his son spends his days drifting; a young woman reacts to being abused by her partner; a heroin addict attempts to start a career in music; and a lonely man, bereft of family, looks for a way to connect with others.
Blue Notes is a distinctive film within the context of Australian cinema. It is a highly realistic work, not afraid to show the everyday, and the problems ordinary people face, but it is also a supremely formalistic work, in both its moment-to-moment play (eschewing conventional dramatics) and in its overall structure (using a 3-part structure to play out its 5 stories). And, despite its down-beat subject matter, the film portrays its people with dignity, even as some of them succumb to their situations, and as others rise up and save themselves.
Produced in association with the Australian Film Commission.
"One standout film this year in the Melbourne Underground Film Festival is Bill Mousoulis' haunting and confounding Blue Notes, which follows an assortment of introverted characters along crisscrossing paths through inner-suburban Melbourne.
Like much of Mousoulis' work, Blue Notes generates an overpowering sense of willed or enforced isolation, with its carefully neutral images and actors who perform everyday gestures as if posing for portraits with archetypal titles (say, "The Addict" or "The Father").
But a new, more expansive spirit is evident in everything from the more varied dialogue rhythms to the eclectic soundtrack, not to mention the clips from the work of other Melbourne filmmakers and cameos by familiar faces out of Mousoulis' earlier productions.
The overarching theme might be a desire to escape from the self, whether through art, social interaction or drug use. But despite the simplicity of its narrative building blocks, the movie is shot through with ambiguities - particularly when it comes to the dream of community conjured up in its final scenes."
- Jake Wilson, The Age, July 6, 2006
Melbourne Underground Film Festival, July 2006
In January 2007, the popular last section of the film was released as a short in its own right, titled Kosta, running 17 minutes.