Local Theater Watch


— Ryan Beltram, EDN

Fans of local cinema and theater rejoice because there’s plenty of options to entertain you. In local cinema, four new films debut and they range from sex addiction and anime to dirty politics.

Local Cinema


An Ecology of Mind: 2010 – Documentary – 60 Min – Not Rated. Opens on Thursday, Jan. 19 at 7:30 pm w/ Director Q&A in-person.

An Ecology of Mind is an autobiographical documentary film about Gregory Bateson who was an anthropologist, biologist and psychotherapist. Written and directed by Bateson’s daughter Nora Bateson, the film tackles Bateson’s theory that, ‘The major problems in the world are the result of the difference between the way nature works and the way people think.’

Told through the relationship between father and daughter, the documentary explores ways to put the world back together again through the idea of ‘systems thinking and looking at what holds systems (the relationships we have with other people for example) together.

Director Nora Bateson will appear in person to present and discuss her film.

Shame: 2011 – Drama – 101 Min – Rated NC-17. Opens on Friday, Nov. 20 at 4:50, 7:10 and 9:40 pm. Due to the rating, ID may be required.

One of the most talked about films of last year, Shame follows Brandon (Michael Fassbender), a 30-something man living in New York. Despite being single, Brandon enjoys the company of many women to feed his addiction to sex. But when his younger sister (Carey Mulligan) moves into his apartment, Brandon’s issues and desires begin to spiral out of control.

Directed by Steve McQueen who directed Fassbender in Hunger, another film tackling heavy and difficult subject matters, Shame has been talked about for two reasons, Fassbender’s performance and the NC-17 rating the film was given upon release. Filmmakers these days avoid that dreaded rating whenever they can to avoid theater boycotts and loss of possible revenue.

But McQueen has seemed to embrace the rating considering the premise of the film. Fassbender is a rising star and his unflinching performance in Hunger makes me very interested in seeing his latest collaboration with McQueen.

FullMetal Alchemist: The Sacred Star of Milos: 2011 – Anime – 110 Min – Not Rated. Showing for two nights on Jan. 20-21 at 9:30 pm.

A fugitive alchemist (medieval chemist) with mysterious abilities leads the Elric brothers to a distant valley of slums inhabited by the Milos, a group of people struggling against bureaucratic exploitation. The brothers quickly find themselves in the middle of a rebellion, as the exiled Milos lash out against their oppressors.

In the middle of this conflict is Julia, a young alchemist who will do anything to restore the Milos to their former glory.

Still Playing at the Bijou:

Carnage: Playing at 5,7 and 9 pm Wednesday and Thursday. Showing at 7:45 pm Friday-Sunday.

Mozart’s Sister: Showing at 4:45 pm Wednesday and Thursday. Showing at 5:10 pm Friday-Sunday.

Melancholia: Showing at 7:45 pm Wednesday. Final two showings at 2 pm Saturday and Sunday.

David Minor

The Ides of March: 2011 – Drama – 101 Min – Rated R. Opening on Thursday, Jan. 19 at 7:05 pm.

Featuring an impressive cast, The Ides of March follows Stephen Meyers (Ryan Gosling), a cocky and ambitious young campaign press secretary whose job is to get Mike Morris (George Clooney) elected president. But as the campaign reaches a crucial turning point, Meyers’ idealistic and somewhat earnest view of politics turns dirty as certain individuals will do whatever is necessary to get their man elected.

The film has a cynical view of the world of politics and Clooney’s character embodies some of the same views and characteristics shared by our current president. The film works as a serious drama and as a political thriller and the final shot is both ambiguous and chilling. The all-star cast includes Philip Seymour Hoffman, Paul Giamatti and Marisa Tomei.


Still Playing at David Minor:

Moneyball: Showing at 5:15 pm on Wednesday. Showing at 9 pm Jan. 19-25.

Our Idiot Brother: Final showing on Wednesday at 5:15 pm.

Rise of the Planet of the Apes: Showing at 7:30 pm on Wednesday. Showing at 9 pm Jan. 19-25.

The Guard: Showing at 7:30 pm on Wednesday. Showing at 5:20 pm Jan. 19-25.

Contagion: Showing at 9:20 pm on Wednesday. Showing at 7:05 pm Jan. 19-25.

Midnight in Paris: Showing at 9:20 pm on Wednesday. Showing at 5:20 pm Jan. 19-25.

Local Theater: Student

One new play starts this week in student theater as South Eugene High School will debut Stanton’s Garage. Originally written by Joan Ackermann, Stanton’s Garage is set in a small-town service station in northern Missouri, where Lee, a Chicago surgeon, is stranded when she and her teenage future stepdaughter Frannie have car trouble on their way to a wedding where Lee is to meet her fiance–Frannie’s dad.

While at Stanton’s, Lee meets Ron, a wine merchant who happens to be going, uninvited, to the same wedding. In the midst of being stranded there, none of the staffers can figure out what’s wrong with Lee’s car and they’re all too distracted by their own problems. In the 24 hours that she and Frannie are marooned there, Lee becomes more worrisome about her impending marriage and where her overall life is headed.

Stanton’s Garage begins on Saturday, Jan. 20 at 7:30 pm and continues on the 21 and 26-28. For more information on the play, call South Eugene Theater at 541-790-8070.

Professional Theater

Nothing new this week in professional theater, but there are a number of plays that began last week and are still going on.


The Very Little Theatre is presenting The Underpants. A satirical farce written by Steve Martin about Louise and Theo Markes, a couple whose conservative existence is compromised when Louise’s underwear fall down in public. Theo doesn’t want to lose his job so he keeps his wife locked up in their house. But two men who witnessed Louise’s unfortunate event have become infatuated by her and want to rent the spare room they have available.

The play resumes on Thursday, Jan. 19 at 8 pm and runs through Sunday, Jan. 22 and again Jan. 26-28. Tickets are $10 on Thursdays, $15 all other days and $10 for seniors. All shows are at 8 pm except Sundays which are at 2 pm.

On Friday and Saturday, you can also catch The Great American Trailer Park Musical playing at the Actors Cabaret.

This two-act spectacle follows Lin, Pickles and Betty, three women living carefree lives at Armadillo Acres. But when Pippi the stripper moves in, things get a little more interesting. By the end of the show, there’s been erotic dancing, disco, TV show confessionals and flan.

Following the Friday and Saturday shows, the musical will resume Friday, Jan. 27 and 28. The show starts at 8 pm and tickets range from $16 to $27 without food included.

The Lord Leebrick Theatre debuted The Real Thing last week and it continues Thursday, Jan. 19-21 at 8 pm. A Sunday matinée will be shown on Jan. 22 at 2 pm.

Henry is a playwright struggling to write about love. It doesn’t help that he’s having an affair with Annie, who’s married to Max. The play deals with different relationships and the struggles these individuals face including honesty, integrity and fidelity. Stoppard’s story uses the “play within a play” tactic to keep viewers on their toes. This concept is one of many levels on which the author teases the audience into not knowing if they’re seeing reality or an act.




Passionate about movies, sports and writing, Ryan hails from Bend but lives in Springfield now. He earned his college degree in journalism from the University of Oregon and hopes to one day write a novel. He also enjoys sunsets and long walks on the beach.

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