The Creators’ Choice
Recommended viewing for the holidays
2022 - 2023
The Creators’ Choice
Leading creative personalities share their recommended viewing for the holidays
We’re approaching the end of the year, a time to relax and unwind with family and friends. With so streaming platforms offering an abundance of movies and series to choose from, deciding what to watch can be a daunting task. Our annual recommended viewing guide compiled by leading creative personalities is back, to help you choose what to watch during the holiday season.
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Pilgrim Surf + Supply
1925 Soviet Union
Director: Sergei Eisenstein
A historic film that relates to the revolution against imperialist regimes and the current struggle of the Ukrainian people.
The Color Of Pomegranates
1969 Soviet Union
Director: Sergei Parajanov
A visually rich, cryptic film of iconography that must be digested through the visual narrative rather than spoken dialogue.
Director: Vittorio De Sica
A film about struggle, brutality, loss, and beauty.
A good reminder of our fragility.
An Autumn Afternoon
Director: Yasujiro Ozu
An Autumn Afternoon is the last ever work of film director Yasujiro Ozu. It is a seemingly bland story about a father who realizes his duty to arrange a marriage for his daughter, but from a different perspective, it is actually an extremely creative and stimulating work.
Not only is the film beautifully shot, but all the details are meticulous. The interiors, folk art, placement of props, and the styling of everything from clothing to food… I am impressed by the extreme attention to detail that went into the creation of this film.
Only his last films were made in color and personally, I like these best. His use of color is beautiful.
There is so much to learn from how the film is shot, created in an era when re-takes were limited, and how some parts are left up to the viewer’s imagination. We are reminded that although technology and film-making techniques are evolving at a dizzying pace, the basics of what is being expressed – food, clothing, and shelter – have not changed much at all.
This is a work that I can watch over and over again, each time I notice something new.
Hearts and Flowers for Tora-san
Director: Yoji Yamada
The end of the year is usually a good time to watch something you’ve been meaning to but just haven’t gotten around to yet.
From the numerous "Otoko wa Tsuraiyo" series, I recommend Hearts and Flowers for Tora-san as an introductory story.
It’s in the middle of the series and Tora-san, the protagonist, has a love interest.
The film depicts the Kawai Kanjiro Memorial Museum in Kyoto and some streets of Kamakura, which I have been to before, and the interior design and traditional art are all really interesting.
I actually hated Japanese film culture when I was younger, but now that I’m older I can appreciate it much more. Japan was full of vitality in the early ‘80s, and this really shines through in this film.
The Price of Desire
2015 Belgium / Ireland
Director: Mary McGuckian
The film revolves around the lifelong relationship and swirling jealousy between Le Corbusier, a master of modern architecture, and Eileen Gray, a pioneering female architect. The French cinematic depiction of human emotions without words is an element that I feel is common to Japanese cinema, beginning with the works of Ozu.
Every shot, of the architecture, scenery, and interior furnishings is picturesque, resulting in a beautiful film.
I myself am a fan of Charlotte Perriand furniture, and it is interesting to appreciate the interiors with the history of cultural negotiations between Japan and France.
Director: Paul Thomas Anderson
This is the latest film by one of my favorite directors, Paul Thomas Anderson.
It’s a coming-of-age film set in Los Angeles in 1973.
I loved everything about it, the story, cast, costumes, and music. Alana Haim, one of the three sisters from the band HAIM played her debut lead role and was terrific.
It has a similar atmosphere to "American Graffiti" (1973), which is my all-time favorite movie. The music by Johnny Greenwood of Radiohead drew me in and I play the soundtrack every day in the studio.
Director: Spike Lee
This is Spike Lee's film adaptation of David Byrne's Broadway play of the same name.
David Byrne, who is now 70 years old, is such an awesome creator. It's great to see an old Talking Heads video in this vein.
Only Murders in the Building
Director: Steve Martin & John Hoffman
I watched this series in one sitting and can't wait for the next season.
It’s set in a luxury apartment building on the Upper West Side of New York City. It feels realistic and it’s interesting to see how people live in this type of area, and the way it’s filmed is stylish and ironic, like a Woody Allen movie. Selena Gomez and Cara Delevingne are in it and it’s fun to see how their characters are dressed.
NOMA t.d. Designer
Noguchi started working as a textile designer while attending Chelsea College of Arts in London. She teamed up with Takuma Sasaki, a director and buyer for select stores, to start their brand NOMA t.d. Noguchi also regularly holds gallery exhibitions as an artist. Her work is published in the book "Between Line And Pattern" (2017).
Top Gun: Maverick
Director: Joseph Kosinski
I haven’t watched many memorable movies this year, but Top Gun 2: Maverick was one that definitely stood out.
I watched the original Top Gun when I was very young, so it brought back a lot of nostalgia.
This movie was the perfect sequel that kept me on the edge of my seat and pumped full of adrenaline for the entire movie.
I felt like I was in the cockpit flying a fighter jet the entire time.
No crazy plot twists, but really entertaining and action-packed. Despite some cheesy scenes in the movie, Tom Cruise and Miles Teller did a great job.
Director: Christopher Storer
The first season is about a young award-winning chef that leaves one of the most prestigious restaurants in the world, to return home to Chicago to run his family’s Italian Beef Sandwich shop after his brother committed suicide.
From some of my chef friends in the restaurant industry, the show is a good depiction of what a high-intensity kitchen environment is like. The acting is superb by Jeremy Allen White and the supporting cast with a mix of drama and humour. This was one of the few shows in recent times where I have completely binged watched the full season in a couple nights. The series has received critical acclaim and has been renewed for a second season.
UNTOLD Documentary: The Rise and Fall of AND1
Director: Kevin Wilson Jr.
This was a great behind-the-scenes look at the Rise and Fall of one of my favourite sneaker brands growing up as a kid. When I was in Middle School and High School I was obsessed with basketball.
Streetball and hip-hop culture were arguably the catalyst for my early obsessions with sneakers, sportswear and counter culture.
I have early memories of going down to Seattle to buy Stephon Marbury 1’s and 2’s, because in their early years AND1 shoes were not available in Canada and I had to have them. Despite their eventual downfall, this documentary was a great underdog story of how a small company like AND1 took on a giant like NIKE and captured the hearts and interests of so many basketball fans by being connected to the underground and their community.
HAVEN Co-Founder, CEO and Creative Director
Co-Founded HAVEN Apparel Inc. with brother Daniel Chmielewski in 2006.
CEO and Creative Director for HAVEN, which includes the direction of HAVEN’s brand alongside retail stores in Vancouver and Toronto, Canada.
klarm Brand Director
Meet Joe Black
Director: Martin Brest
I think this is the most beautiful film I’ve ever seen.
It is a film I fell in love with from the bottom of my heart, perfect for the romantic season.
After a busy day at work, this is a great film to watch and soak in when you are ready to take a rest.
All the characters are so well played, Susan’s gestures, intelligent pauses, the look in her eyes. Bill’s determination and devotion. Brad Pitt is almost irritatingly handsome in his dual roles as a young man and the Grim Reaper.
Coffee and Cigarettes
Director: Jim Jarmusch
Coffee and cigarettes, which have long reigned as guilty pleasures, appear in every episode of this 11-part omnibus movie.
Nothing special happens; each part is a conversation played out by actors often as themselves.
Sometimes there’s some end to the short story and sometimes there isn’t, so you can enjoy it without paying too much attention. It’s shot in black and white so the black coffee, white cups, chess pattern on the diner table, white cigarette smoke, etc are pleasing to the eye. I don’t smoke or drink coffee, but this film draws me in.
Fujiko Hemming Time
Director: Soichiro Komatsu
and eventful life, with her piano playing as background music. I learned to play the piano because I admired her sound, so this film is extremely special to me.
The tone, the words, the interiors, everywhere you look, it is as if you are looking at a beautiful and fragile art book, one that you don’t want to finish.
Even if you are not familiar with Fujiko Hemming, I think you will enjoy it. She is full of compassion, robust, and cool.
It is invigorating to see a woman who lives her life in her own way.
It is a blissful work that leaves you chewing on that phrase at the beginning of the film, "Life is a slow journey of self-love.”
klarm Brand Director
Having experienced dermatitis throughout her childhood, Mitsuhashi chose to work in the esthetic industry to work with skin problems. After gaining experience with various treatments and product development she launched klarm, a skincare brand with a focus on self-care.
Der Himmel über Berlin
1987 West Germany / France
Director: Wim Wenders
Set in the city of Berlin before the fall of the Berlin Wall, this is a story of angels and the people who live their daily lives.
It is a story about the little things in everyday life and awakens the senses (sight, sound, smell, taste, touch, warmth, cold, pain, etc.) that we usually forget. If there are miracles in movies, this movie is one of them.
It’s a movie I want to see at least once a year.
Les Amants du Pont-Neuf (The Lovers of Pont-Neuf)
Director: Leos Carax
This is an intense story of a homeless young man and woman on the Pont Neuf bridge in Paris.
I was shocked when I first saw this film at a movie theater in Shibuya when I was 17 years old, and now, 30 years later, it still affects me the same way.
It’s a story where so many terrible things happen, but the beauty and color of the images (shot by the late Jean-Yves Escoffier), and the dynamic and emotional story that drives the film forward are all things I have come to love about this film.
Director: Martin Scorsese
A policeman (Leonardo DiCaprio) is assigned to infiltrate a gang at the same time that a gangster (Matt Damon) is planted as a spy within the police.
This is the first (and so far only) collaboration between DiCaprio and Matt Damon at the peak of their careers under Scorsese's direction.
The action and suspense are kept up by Jack Nicholson and other actors right until the end, it’s first-rate entertainment and kind of addictive, making you want to watch it again and again.