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Movies, Craft Beer and Geek Stuff

Movie Recommendations, Movies

Movie Recommendations: Web Designer Takeover Part II

Following the success of my last one of these… I gathered together another group of web design/development stars to give their own movie recommendations. As creative types, these ladies and gentlemen have a wide and varied taste in movies and, as my last installment proved, always have the ability to surprise you with a curve-ball of a recommendation. So grab yourself a brew and get ready to add some movies to your to-watch list.

Ben Bodien – Road to Perdition (2002), Das Leben der Anderen (2006)

Born in Canada and raised in Dubai, Ben Bodien has risen to notoriety as an insanely skilled UI designer. He is the co-founder of  Neutron Creations, a UK based web design firm with, in my opinion, one of the coolest company websites out there. Ben has given two great recommendations that reflect his creativity as well as his international roots.

Ben Bodien

Road to Perdition
“Set in Great Depression era Chicago and following the lives of a fictional Irish mafia family, this is one of my all time favourites for the atmosphere the movie evokes through its oscar winning cinematography at the hands of the late Conrad Hall, and Thomas Newman’s haunting orchestral score. Every scene could be a painting, transporting you to the 1920s Mid-West and setting a brutally dark mood throughout as a platform for stone cold, rock solid performances from Tom Hanks, Paul Newman, Jude Law and a pre-bond Daniel Craig.

The street assassination scene which is silent but for the rising string soundtrack, with the rain lashing down and tommy gun muzzle flashes erupting from the shadows in the distance still makes the hairs on the back of my neck stand up just thinking about it. Public Enemies was set in the same theme and era, but it’s a poor second for me with its stark digital HD camerawork destroying the immersion factor.”

Das Leben der Anderen (The Lives of Others)
“More chilling period dramatic cinema, this time from divided Berlin where the GDR’s secret police, the Stasi, are spying on every citizen they suspect of dissent, specifically those in the East German theatrical arts scene. I love any movie that I learn from, and although I’d visited Berlin and seen first hand the remnants of the geographic, political and cultural division that existed there for several decades, I felt again like I was transported to the time and place, had my eyes opened and was taken on a journey through what it would have been like to have had to exist through such incomprehensibly difficult times.

This movie tells a beautiful story of human morals against political oppression, and really opens your eyes as to the lengths that the GDR regime went to in the name of safe-guarding their twisted interests. Chilling and breathtaking in equal measure, again with stellar acting and superb sets and production values re-creating a drab grey East Berlin to perfection, I can’t recommend it highly enough.”

Ashley Baxter – Rules of Attraction (2002)

A relative newcomer to the web design world, Ashley is, however no stranger on the web. She has ran an awesome video games blog, Rockers Delight for some years and has become increasingly involved with the web design community, re-launching her personal site and building up an as of yet undisclosed project, RobotPanties. She’s also no mean hand with a DSLR and has recently put a lot more time into photography. As if all this wasn’t enough to be doing, Ashley directs an insurance company full time! Her recommendation is a movie I’d totally forgotten about but actually really enjoyed.

Ashley Baxter

“When I ask friends if they’ve seen The Rules of Attraction, 9 times out of 10 no one has even heard of it. I think a lot of people turn their nose up at it because it has ‘Dawson’ from Dawson’s Creek in it, but he actually plays quite a brooding character in what is a fairly dark comedy/drama. While it’s thin on plot, it’s one of those movies that has a lot of interesting characters to follow through some of their time at college. There’s drugs, there’s death, there’s sex, there’s heartache. Oh, and the main character, Sean Bateman, is actually Patrick Bateman’s younger brother!”

Inayaili De Leon – Dogville (2003), Se7en (1995)

Our second true citizen of the world, Inayaili de Leon, or Yaili, is a Web designer living and working in London. She was born in Russia but moved to Panama, then to Portugal where she remained until 2008 when she moved to London. Yaili has gained notoriety within web design circles for her imaginative and charismatic designs. Most recently she has featured on a number of episodes of the Boagworld podcast. Yaili has given two great recommendations.



“People usually either love or hate Dogville, there’s no middle ground. I love it because it makes you imagine, and it makes you having to immerse yourself in that bizarre scenario, that at first looks really odd. Only a brilliant director with an amazing and powerful story could pull it off. I especially like the mixture of feelings you have once it ends…”


“Se7en is my favourite movie; I’ve seen it probably around 20 times! The characters, the carefully created scenes, the story, the darkness and coldness of the city, the shock you feel during some parts of the movie, but how it can also make you laugh at times — I just can’t get enough of it; Morgan Freeman and Brad Pitt were also perfectly cast. Seriously, there’s nothing wrong with the movie.”

Sam Hardacre – The Wrestler (2008)

Sam is designer based in Halifax, England and has been rapidly gaining notoriety in the industry. He recently designed the site for Speak the Web, a series of low cost mini-conferences held around the UK. He also runs a very clever art directed blog over at nocturnalmonkey.com. There he plays with pushing the envelope with experimental CSS and typography. Sam’s recommendation is a pretty new movie, and one with a lot of critical acclaim but not one that I have seen (yet).

Sam Hardacre

“A current favourite of mine is The Wrestler starring Mickey Rourke. He plays a professional wrestler passed his prime and we follow his struggles to earn money, fix the broken relationship with his estranged daughter and coming to terms with age catching up with him. A very simple story really but some great performances.”

Amy Mahon – Spun (2002)

Amy is a Canadian web designer who moved to England in 2008 and joined Bath based agency Blubolt. Amy has gained notoriety in the industry for her elegant, traditional-meets-contemporary design flare and charismatic style. She runs a personal blog as well as a blog documenting her work on a recently purchased Georgian house. Amy’s recommendation came as a bit of a surprise to me, in a good way.

Amy Mahon

This movie is memorable not so much for its plot as its amazing cinematography. The shots, the cuts, the angles, the soundtrack–everything creative about the film draws you in. The style allows you to feel for the characters. It makes you feel ‘spun’. Not just another generic drug culture film!

Chris Coyier – Sean of the Dead (2004)

Chris is a world-renowned American web designer, writer and speaker. His tutorial site, CSS-Tricks forms a staple in any web geek’s feed reader and he regularly appears in web design blogs and publications such as .net magazine. Rather than focus on one film in particular (though he has used one as an example), Chris has instead offered a great insight into his tastes in movies as well as art and music.

Chris Coyier

“Much like music or art or design, I like movies that are simply well done all around. The mastermind behind it had a damn good idea, surrounded themselves with other smart people, and executed that idea well. I don’t care about subject matter (although I am partial to post-apocalyptic films) or genre. I love high-minded documentaries and low-brow comedies.

One movie I love is “Shaun of the Dead”. It’s friggin hilarious, well shot, well acted, and an awesome combination of the overt and the subtle.”

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