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Pete's Picks: BLACK SOULS, REAR WINDOW

There's something old and something new at the movies this week



It's been a slow year, thus far, at the movies. My favorite films of 2015 thus far have been fresh spins on genre tropes—the New Zealand vampire comedy What We Do in the Shadows and the instant classic horror film, It Follows.

The next genre to get a breath of fresh celluloid is the Italian mafia movie, Black Souls. Filmmaker Francesco Munzi took the Best Director prize at last year's Venice film festival for this beautifully-photographed slow burner about three brothers torn between their family's history of goat farming and the allure of drugs and crime in Italian mob life. This is not a highly-stylized gangster-epic like Goodfellas, but a somber, stark, and very realistic drama that simmers along until an absolutely shattering final scene. Black Souls starts today at the Shattuck Cinemas in downtown Berkeley.

We're still a couple of weeks away from the next free classic movie at the Orinda Theatre (Dirty Harry on May 14!), but there are plenty of classics to be seen on the big screen before then. On April 23, Livermore's Vine Cinema will show The Shawshank Redemption and on April 24, the beautiful Parmount Theatre in Oakland will screen Alfred Hitchcock's masterpiece Rear Window.