Bring Me the Head of Alfredo Garcia

Loathed upon its first appearance as a violent, hope-deprived neo-noir that even the Nixon era couldn't handle, the 1974 Garcia was reportedly the only Sam Peckinpah film the man was happy to call his own. It remains today, in addition to a dirge in reverence to Warren Oates, a graceless, dire vision of cheap humanity. The film trails Oates' waste-case roadhouse piano player across a Mexican wilderness in search of reward, salvation, and a severed head in a sack. Desultorily shot, full of dead ends, and as lean as a Beckett monologue, the movie is also coarse and anarchic, a capitalist dream of free-for-all commerce gone scrap crazy. Was Peckinpah thinking about Hollywood? He was virtually through with movies, whether he knew it or not, making four more over the next 10 years, all of which were either wrecked by the producers or Peckinpah's death-drinking, or both. Note: no 6:30 p.m. show Thurs./Sat. (R) MICHAEL ATKINSON

Sept. 16-22, 6:30 & 8:30 p.m., 2011

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