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A Dust of Phantasm

average rating is 3 out of 5


Swati Verma


Posted on:

Aug 28, 2022

Film Reviews
A Dust of Phantasm
Directed by:
Mathew Ouzounis
Written by:
Mathew Ouzounis
Mellissa Taylor, Madalena Brancatella, Adam Argyrides

The title of the short film-A Dust of Phantasm has connotations of the Protagonist Elizabeth (Melissa Taylor) lost in the whirlpool of Illusions and apparitions trying hard to fight her inner demons. The writer-director Mathew Ouzounis through this cinematic piece wants to dig deep into the human psyche and share his knowledge with the audience.


A Sci-Fi drama dating back to the period of the 1940's explores how far a woman would go to re-witness her tragic past in an attempt to heal herself.


The cinematographer Andrew Ouzounis captures the essence of the era of the 1940's perfectly by utilizing the set design, black and white colour palette, lighting, costume, makeup, dialogues, music, and white smoke giving a tribute to the style of filmmaking that was prevalent in those times. A series of long shots of the car, Elizabeth, and a house assists in establishing the subject matter of the movie. Various kinds of masks are brilliantly incorporated into the narrative to intensify the mystery, drama, and suspense elements so that the content engages the audience fully. A well-written flashback sequence ensures that the storyline moves smoothly without breaking its continuity.


In terms of performance, Melissa Taylor plays Elizabeth who wants to battle the traumatic past and rediscover herself for the betterment of the present time. Taylor holds up to the etiquette game strongly portraying the elegance and poise required in the forties. The expressions of the actress are on point and suitable for every situation in the storyline which helps the viewers to connect with the leading lady.

Madalena Brancatella is Marcella the antagonist of the story who runs the business of selling products like the recollection product. Brancatella uses body language, voice modulation, and other mannerism to evoke dislike in minds of the audience for her character.

Adam Argyrides is in the role of Ronald who is another antagonist and he is one, who handles the technical part of all the operations taking part in the house. Argyrides showcases all the skills needed to stay true to the genre of science fiction.


A Dust of Phantasm discusses the importance of memories in our lives and memories are something that makes us unique. It also talks to its audience that they shouldn’t be emotionally over-dependent on someone else to solve their problems. This dark parable warns us regarding the need to find the light within while fighting the darkness or else strangers would only take advantage of one's situation. The cinematic piece reiterates the fact that dwelling on the past isn’t the answer to all the queries relating to life in the present. Every juncture is different and one needs to deal with it differently. The sci-fi dramatic piece also tells the viewers that they should always be aware of the reality and not forget the same while wanting to experience the concept of Phantasm. The short film subtly discusses the class system and the perception of women in the era represented in the creative piece.


As an ardent viewer of short films, I loved that the writer-director Mathew Ouzounis could provide us with the right mix of Sci-Fi and drama and an interesting subject that left me intrigued about the same.

About the Film Critic
Swati Verma
Swati Verma
Short Film
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