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GIJÓN 2014

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Halfway: the ghosts of Art Nouveau


- Geoffrey Enthoven’s new film, following the acclaimed Come as You Are, had the honour of bringing the 52nd Gijón International Film Festival to a close, out of competition

Halfway: the ghosts of Art Nouveau

While we wait for his first blockbuster, Winnipeg, to see the light of day, Flemish filmmaker Geoffrey Enthoven, the director behind the multi-award-winning Come as You Are [+see also:
interview: Geoffrey Enthoven
film profile
, has presented his latest film, Halfway [+see also:
interview: Geoffrey Enthoven
film profile
, out of competition at the 52nd Gijón International Film Festival, bringing the gathering to a close. The title was premiered in Flanders and Brussels at the end of February, and had its international premiere at the most recent Warsaw Film Festival, where Cineuropa interviewed its director.

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Just as he did before in Happy Together, the director focuses the action in a single location: an Art Nouveau mansion that has just been bought by a good-looking architect called Stef (Koen de Graeve) after he has separated from his wife, Natalie (Veerle Baetens). It is in this house that the ghost of the former occupant, Theo (Jurgen Delnaet), will appear to him with the aim of making his life impossible so that he will then leave the property, which Theo considers his own, even after his death. The conflict between the two will become even more complicated when Theo’s daughter (Evelien Bosmans) comes on the scene.

Enthoven restricts himself to using the house as the setting for the problematic and exclusive interaction between these two peculiar neighbours who get on so badly. He really makes the most of his actors and manages, as in his previous movies, to give a light-hearted and entertaining feel to a plot that never ceases to offer up content that becomes ever more moving, profound and moral, coming to a head in the final act of the film, and tackling topics such as honesty, blame, redemption and love. All in all, the sensation of déjà vu ends up weighing heavily enough to make you think that Halfway is a transitional comedy, as its title suggests, halfway along the filmography of its director, sat between the glory of the past and the promise of what is yet to come.

(Translated from Spanish)

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