Film Favourites from Lisa Jackson

September 18, 2023

Anishinaabe filmmaker and Beyond Concrete artist Lisa Jackson shares her cinematic favourites and why.

This summer, we’re publishing a series of essays, interviews, and other stories that explore the themes of Beyond Concrete, a season of programs that explore the urban ecosystem beneath the Gardiner Expressway, where human-made infrastructure intertwines with flora and fauna.

For Beyond Concrete, Anishinaabe filmmaker Lisa Jackson reimagined her 2020 short film Lichen as a multimedia installation at The Bentway Phase 1 Site. Jackson, an advocate for Indigenous screen sovereignty and ethical production practices, is known for out-of-the-box thinking and commitment to making positive change. With Lichen, she invites us to learn about being in relation to our environment and one another from this remarkable and resilient life form. 

We asked her to name the five films that are currently her favorites; her answers are below. The titles link to the films’ trailers—and, of course, be sure to see the trailer for Lichen here.

Spirited Away, 2001

LJ: Absolutely stunning, with a rich and complex story and characters—you see something new with every watch.

When Harry Met Sally, 1989

LJ: Worth it for the car-drive scene alone. Witty and charming and a visual feast of Manhattan.

Still from Atanarjuat: The Fast Runner, 2001. © Lot 47 Films and courtesy Lot 47 Films/Photofest

Atanarjuat: the Fast Runner, 2001

LJ: It broke ground on what Indigenous narrative screen sovereignty can look like. By the end, you feel like you know the characters as deeply as you know people IRL.

Breakfast at Tiffany’s, 1961

LJ: Whimsical, touching, and a delight (if you can look past the racist character played by Mickey Rooney). Audrey Hepburn is incandescent.

Cameraperson, 2016

LJ: Part memoir, part ethical inquiry, this doc by a veteran documentary cinematographer unpacks what it means to make imagery with a camera.