Thursday 13 September 2018

Adelaide Film Festival - An open letter to Bill Mousoulis about Angie Black's THE FIVE PROVOCATIONS

Dear Bill Mousoulis

I’ve just got back from the Sydney AFI/AACTA screening of one of your Adelaide Film Festival choices, Angie Black’s  The FIVE Provocations . I thought it might have been the first time the film was screened in Sydney but the record shows there was apparently a festival screening in April. Who knew.

I can see why you like this film and chose it to show off indy film-making. In many ways it’s like one of your own movies – very natural characters, the quotidian experience of going to work, facing problems, running into the odd eccentric, some joyful moments, some sad feelings. Real people, awkward interaction.
Above all it’s a movie filled with characters who talk in natural voices and the frequently stuttering cadences of the everyday, not the voices of actors with pauses and emphasis and modulation. Its raw and its funny and its real because of that.
It’s also funny because those five provocations of the title come out of nowhere, surreal moments that give the narrative a real jolt. There’s no way you can predict just what they might be and what they might mean but each is a bit of visual ravishment.
The audience at the AFI/AACTA screening seemed to love it and they might just have left with a wonderful memory of that drag queen version of "Lili Marlene". Very smart, very funny.
A fabulous choice to show off what can be done with  modest means but lots of heart and soul to back up a commitment to a kind of film-making that Australian cinema mostly steers clear of. 

There’s also some fine technical work. The photography and especially the lighting are superb. I’m constantly astonished at how good low-budget movies can look now that digital cameras have liberated the image from the stodge of cheap 16mm.
I just hope that the audience comes out to see it at the AFF and justifies your bold piece of programming.
Best of luck



  1. Nice response, Geoff ! Angie's film actually is a really good achievement, because it's no-budget (meaning no funding whatsoever). It's quite polished. I personally like my realism grittier, but indeed she has captured everyday lives, and in a subtle, complex way. And indeed the five "provocations" are a hoot !

  2. I am booking right now. Cannot get enough grits.


Note: only a member of this blog may post a comment.