After Dark, My Sweet

Calling all Warren Oates fans: A tough-minded tribute to the late, great character actor unspools tonight as part of Not Necessarily Noir 3, Elliot Lavine’s latest compilation of grittily shot, morally ambiguous and unapologetically brutal films from the last half century. Oates, who died of a heart attack three months shy of his 53rd birthday, reeks of whiskey-breath authenticity as the greedy, sorry bastard who takes on the titular errand of Sam Peckinpah’s blood-spattered Mexican standoff, Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia (1974). That same year, Oates delivered a more interior and equally revelatory performance as a relentless Georgia competitor in Cockfighter, outlaw director Monte Hellman’s lived-in portrait of the illegal sport-and-betting circuit. Oates, Peckinpah, and Hellman weren’t afraid to show us that the world is not a pretty place, and people aren’t always smart, or loyal, or honest. Not Necessarily Noir runs through the end of the month, because sometimes it takes more than a single double feature to see the picture clearly.
Tue., Oct. 23, 6:15 p.m., 2012

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