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In Memoriam Small Movies:
A Homage to Bill Mousoulis
by Adrian Martin

"Can there be any doubt that (for the Super-8 world, but more generally for Australian independent film-making) Bill Mousoulis is a visionary? Tireless worker for the small movie at large, and ceaseless creator of his own contribution to cinema, he has come into this world, I believe, to inspire us. Can we, any of us, live up to Bill's vision? Can he? We are all obliged to at least try.

In terms of self-image - the self that expresses itself so directly through his films - Bill takes on the extreme point of necessity. Bill is exactly what we need right now: a romantic, a mystic, an artist inspired by the muse, a free spirit ....

I happen to think that Bill's work is simultaneously naive (in all the best senses) and extremely sophisticated. You surely don't have to look twice to be convinced that he is, after all, the Bresson of Super-8 ... Bill's movies aim high, and they convince you of their right to aim that high .... Fate is there; the cosmos is there; probably, indeed, "all is grace" there ....

He believes in the cinema: connecting up to the founding dreams of others; wishing to express, to communicate, to break through at all costs; trying to hold that line so easily broken up, diverted, betrayed .... Love of the cinema; belief in the cinema; the cinema as the metaphor of the possible: it's not a quasi-religious cult, but a passionate and strategic dream. Godard is there; and Akerman; and Marker; so is Bill Mousoulis ....

Bill has already crystallized something for us, something beautiful and precious, something triumphant: the small movie. He may well crystallize something else for us one day, some unimagined hybrid, perhaps some 'big movie' worth everything that a small movie is worth, but differently."

© Adrian Martin, 1986.
This article was first published in Cantrills Filmnotes, No.49-50, Autumn 1986.


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