Tomorrow night, the Spokane International Film Festival (SpIFF) begins its Professor Series at the Magic Lantern Theater. On select Wednesdays through November, local professors will present classic and contemporary films and engage audiences in Q&A sessions about the art and history of film.
Pete Porter, an assistant professor at Eastern Western University and a programmer for SpIFF, will host The Big Lebowski on Nov. 9. He said that finding other presenters for the series wasn't difficult, because people were very interested in sharing films they thought were important — especially those that don't get the exposure they should.
Porter said he hopes the series will stimulate a lot of discussion about film and its possible themes. For example, "A History of Violence is about the mystery of the past and what it means to be a person," he said. "There are multiple layers that people can really enjoy."
Even for people who have seen these films before, Porter gives three reasons why they should see them again:
- You're a different person now than when you saw them the first time.
- Most people have only ever seen these films at home or on a computer, and it makes a huge difference to see them projected in 35 mm. (When Porter saw a 35 mm projection of The Big Lebowski after only ever seeing it on DVD, "there was a completely different register of the texture that the characters were living in. It might seem like a cinephilic thing to say, but it's actually really important.")
- The discussion allows people to meet others who are also interested in film and in the specific topics explored. "Really, it's a community event."
The Professor Series starts on Sept. 21 at 7 pm. Individual film tickets are $7 ($5 for students), and series passes are $30 ($20 for students). Tickets and passes are available at the Magic Lantern Theater box office.
The screenings include:
A History of Violence, Sept. 21, 7 pm
Pulp Fiction, Oct. 5, 7 pm
Run Lola Run, Oct. 19, 7 pm
The Big Lebowski, Nov. 9, 7 pm (running for a week)
King of Hearts, Nov. 16, 7 pm
For more information about the films and professors hosting them, please visit http://www.spokanefilmfestival.org/events.HTML#prof