I attempted the spacebar trick, but nothing happened during my play through. I was essentially forced to attack the NPC and initiate combat. Fortunately Rath was still friendly after this incident and for the duration of this particular area. When I attacked one of the shadow druids prior, everyone attacked me, which was not ideal, though I did get to kill some of my not so favorite NPC's in that area.
I am curious if an update caused this issue as I was able to do the cinematic on a different play through, with the exception of the NPC's being stretched out all over the screen. Still an interesting part of the story.
For the note, I had the same issue and could not figure out what to do with it other than attempt to pick it up or send it to my camp. I am glad that they have something implemented dialogue wise for those of us who tend to read things but do not collect the notes. One thought may be to have all papers in a separate log, similar to the "L" hot key that lets you review quest. Then you would save things you have read, and not have a cluttered bag as well.