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Overview of Bill Mousoulis' films


Bill Mousoulis is one of Australia’s most distinctive filmmakers – prolific, resourceful, and independent, with 11 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), hybrid doco-musical (Songs of Revolution), and mutant musical (My Darling in Stirling).

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 550 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.


Film Cultural work

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 been (and continues to be) a programmer of films, mainly Australian independent ones. In the '80s and '90s he programmed for the Melbourne Super 8 Film Group, the Fringe Festivals, the Melbourne International Film Festival, and various other screenings and groups. In the '00s and '10s he programmed for the Melbourne Underground Film Festival and the Thessaloniki International Film Festival. In the year 2017 he programmed Greek independent films for the anarchist artist-run space Nosotros in Athens, Greece.

Mousoulis has also done various other film cultural things over the years. He has been 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.

He currently runs the websites Melbourne Independent Filmmakers (founded 2003) and Pure Shit: Australian Cinema (founded 2018), and together with Chris Luscri he curates the film programs Unknown Pleasures and Australian New Wave, both since 2018.