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Case Number 12021: Small Claims Court

Now You See Me, Now You Don't (Short)

Extreme Film // 2005 // 30 Minutes // Not Rated
Reviewed by Judge Dylan Charles (Retired) // September 7th, 2007

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All Rise...

Now you see Judge Dylan Charles's review. Now you don't. It's short, but the movie's sweet.

The Charge

What would you do if your child became invisible?

The Case

In this 30-minute short by Hungarian first-time director Atilla Szasz, a wife is frightened when her husband makes their young son invisible. And that's really all I can give you. In fact, I might already have given you too much.

The strength of Now You See Me, Now You Don't is on Mr. Szasz's tight direction and on the beautiful camera work. There's one scene where the husband and wife are framed and heavily backlit, so all you see is their two silhouettes as they converse, black shapes on a yellow backdrop of light.

The two actors, Erno Fekete and Dora Letay, carry the weight of the picture very well. Except for their sometimes invisible son, they're on their own. They both have to handle some rough emotional scenes, and they do so without crossing the line into overacting; without their deft hands, this short could easily have devolved into student film territory.

Mr. Szasz lets us know from the very beginning, through subtle and not-so-subtle clues, that something is very wrong in this family. Disappearing sons, strange, disconnected conversations, the eerie music; it all makes for an exceptionally taut and tense little film.

Any longer than 30 minutes and Now You See Me, Now You Don't would have worn out its welcome. As it is, it maintains a perfect pitch with a tense and intriguing atmosphere. I hope that Mr. Szasz produces more in the future and that we get to see it over here in the States.

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Scales of Justice

Judgment: 90

Perp Profile

Studio: Extreme Film
Video Formats:
• 2.35:1 Anamorphic
Audio Formats:
• Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround (Hungarian)
• PCM 2.0 Stereo (Hungarian)
• English
Running Time: 30 Minutes
Release Year: 2005
MPAA Rating: Not Rated
• Drama
• Short Films
• Thriller

Distinguishing Marks

• Trailer


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• Official Site

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