If Monday night at SpIff offered a tough choice — Georgian coming-of-age tale versus Filipino cop flick — then tonight's Magic Lantern lineup is no easier. Tuesday's features for the 2014 Spokane International Film Festival comprise both a winner from the Berlin Film Festival and a meditative study of a master maker of flyfishing flies.
"Child's Pose" (6:30 p.m., 100-seat house): Winner of the Golden Bear at Berlin, this Romanian film by Calin Peter Netzer stars Luminita Gheorghiu as a woman hell-bent on saving her son from having to serve a three-to-15-year sentence for criminal negligence (speeding in his car and killing a young boy). Variety critic Jay Weissberg called the film "a razor-sharp jibe at Romania's nouveau riche (the type is hardly confined to one country), a class adept at massaging truths and ensuring that the world steps aside when conflict arises."
"Kiss the Water" (6:45 p.m., 30-seat house): This film by director Eric Steel blends both animation and straight documentary methods (interviews, loving scenes of pastoral settings, studies of experts creating their art) to tell the story of Megan Boyd, a Scottish woman whom many considered the world's master fly-maker. Steel also comments on the art of flyfishing, on the state of the salmon industry, and he gives an impression of what life might have been like for the reclusive Boyd, living in her remote sea-side cabin, with no electricity, teaching others her art.
SpIFF is in its final five days. Still a lot of good film to enjoy. Be sure to get your seats early. They tend to go fast, especially in the Lantern's small theater.