By Mia Vicino
Pather Panchali (1955)
In Pather Panchali (Song of the Little Road) we see life through the perspective of a young boy as his impoverished family struggles to make ends meet in their rural Indian village. Cut from the same neo-realist cloth as Bicycle Thieves, this poignant coming-of-age tale is an arthouse essential. Hollywood, April 18.
Singin' in the Rain (1952)
Set against the chaotic backdrop of Hollywood's transition from silent films to talkies, the influence of the greatest movie-musical ever made still resonates today. That's especially true in Portland, where the title song has become one of our unofficial themes. NW Film Center, April 19-20.
The Matrix (1999)
Clad in a patent-leather trench coat and designer shades, cyberpunk icon Neo makes dodging bullets and choosing the red pill look way too easy and way too cool. Behind the camera, however, The Matrix highlights the Wachowski sisters' skill at condensing complex philosophical ideas into entertaining sci-fi blockbusters. Academy, April 19-23.
Legendary director Akira Kurosawa swaps his trademark samurai violence for ethereal tenderness in this eight-segment anthology based on his dreams. The seamless melding of vivid nature imagery with stimulating visual magic makes this the perfect way to celebrate both Earth Day and 4/20. Hollywood, April 20.
This acclaimed Parisian fairy tale centers on a mischievous waitress who brightens up the lives of others with her whimsical antics, but is unable to secure her own happiness. By lodging our Manic Pixie Dream Girl squarely in the role of protagonist rather than "quirky" love interest, Amélie emphasizes the oft-romanticized character trope's teeming potential. Mission, April 21-22.