go to index page
websites of interest the writings of Bill Mousoulis the films of Bill Mousoulis go to home page

Blue Notes
(2006, 93 mins)

Directed by Bill Mousoulis
Written by Bill Mousoulis, Trevor Rooney and Anna Kannava
Director of Photography Jason Turley
Music by Richie Brownlee
Featuring: Adam Royall, Susan Strafford, Renée Francis, Nino Kannavas, Peter Lesley.

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.

SD, from HD original

Funded by Australian Film Commission ($20,000) as part of their "Strand X" scheme.

Reviews: "One standout film this year at 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

"The stories in Blue Notes seem literally grown from the formed matter we see, the locations, the different apartments, streets and people. Moments of every day actions turn sometimes into very intense scenes. These traces of individual drama become for a moment shining cinematic moments and soon these traces disintegrate ... Blue Notes is a realistic view on people living in a big city but at the same time it is full of playfulness in its formalistic and narrative approach. Bill Mousoulis´ view on these people is discreet but full of affection and compassion ... The film is a fascinating and inspiring vision of cinema but also a meditation on where this fascination actually originated from. It is poetic and analytic at the same time."
                            - Rüdiger Tomczak, Some thoughts on Blue Notes, shomingekiblog, 2015.

Screenings: 4, including at 7th Melbourne Underground Film Festival, 2006.

Awards: Special Jury Prize; Best Cinematography (Jason Turley); Best Supporting Male Actor (Adam Royall), at 7th Melbourne Underground Film Festival, 2006.

Production stills