Tuesday was another near-full night at the Magic Lantern, what with a double SpIFF screening of the Romanian film "Child's Pose" and the U.S./British documentary "Kiss the Water." I was in the large house to see "Child's Pose," and the discussion moderated afterward by Leonard Oakland showed that many of the viewers were intrigued by what is an intense and arresting film about a class-conscious woman who excuses her obsessive need to control her son's life by passing her actions off as mere motherly concern.
But, then, such post-film discussions have been — as in past years — a big part of this 2014 Spokane International Film Festival experience. And that experience continues tonight with another double Lantern screening:
6:30 p.m., "The Bag of Flour" (Le sac de farine): This joint Belgian/Moroccan film (rendered in French and Arabic with English subtitles) tells the inspired-by-true-story story of a 7-year-old girl, living in a Brussels orphanage. Kidnapped by her birth father and returned to live in Morocco, she struggles for the next decade to survive with dreams of her Belgian childhood to spur her on. To play in the Lantern's larger, 100-seat house.
6:45 p.m., The International Shorts Program: This repeat program features seven short films from countries as diverse as Austria, Spain and Ireland. Of particular note is "Insomniacs," a 15-minute short written and directed by Charles Chintzer Lai about a pair of big-city dwellers who have trouble sleeping; the two are played by Vanessa Kirby ("About Time") and Henry Lloyd-Hughes ("Anna Kerenina"). And then prepare yourself for the surreal 13-minute German offering "We Are Outside Playing in the Garden." To play in the Lantern's smaller, 30-plus-seat house.
As always, this year more than ever, arrive early. Seats tend to go fast. For ticket information, click here.