Telluride Film Festival Favorites

An Aside – Courtesy of Gretchen Koitz, Downtown Bethesda Resident who chose Slumdog Millionaire as her Top Pick in 2008…so pay attention 🙂 There’s nothing like a summer week in Telluride, Colorado (which, over Labor Day weekend, includes 3 fulls days of The Telluride Film Festival) to let one know that life is truly good!! Located in a box canyon, literally surrounded by majestic peaks, this little town has found a place in my heart. I believe that this is the 6th time that I’ve been fortunate enough to attend the film festival, and I wanted to share my thoughts with other movie buffs. Enjoy!! After seeing a dozen films, here are some of my favorites:

1. A Separation – This Iranian gem may or may not make its way to local theatres, but you should hope that it does. We were lucky enough to not only see this film, but also to hear a Q & A with the director — who is a wonderful human being. The “separation” is manifested on many levels. On surface, this is the story of a woman who is seeking a divorce from her husband because she has an opportunity to take their daughter out of the country for a better education…and the husband refuses to go. So, it is a separation of two people. As the story unfolds, we also see a class separation, religious separation and gender separation. The Iranian justice system comes off as very primative — although the “judge” in this particular case seems to be kind and caring. The acting is superb and I believe that both the lead actor and actress were award winners at the Berlin Film Festival.

2. The Descendants – This one you will have no trouble seeing at a local theatre, thanks in great part to the fact that the lead role is played by George Clooney (who was at Telluride!!!). In this film, which will have you laughing and crying practically at the same time, George (we’re on a first name basis since I was in the same theatre as him 🙂 plays a flawed dad (he works all the time and is pretty distant from his two daughters) who has to step up to the plate after his wife has a tragic accident. Again, our experience was heightened by a Q & A with Clooney and a young actress, Shailene Woodley, who plays his older daugher. Definitely a “must see.”

3. The Artist — Ok…this is one of those films that I was sure wasn’t going to interest me when I read the synopsis. Among other things, it is silent!! Yes, this 2011 production about a silent movie matinee idol is shot in black and white and is without spoken dialogue. It does, however, have a wonderful score and you soon “forget” that the spoken word is missing. My husband likened it to watching a good foreign film that has subtitles. The more you get into the move, the more the subtitles “disappear” — and the same thing happens with the lack of sound. The acting is so wonderful that you are able to get all the emotions and it is great fun!! The lead female role is played by an Argentinian actress, Berenice Bejo, and she is absolutely gorgeous!!

4. We Need to Talk About Kevin — This is a tough movie. If you haven’t read the book, I’d highly recommend that you do so. It is a beautifully written piece about a hauntingly horrible story. The movie, starring Tilda Swinton (who was also at Telluride), follows the book as closely as it can in the time allotted…but you’ll get more questions answered if you read the book first. In a nutshell, it’s about a woman who is ambivalent about becoming a mother and her son, who turns against her almost from the moment he is born. You don’t exactly come away singing (!), but it is extremely well done and opened the doors for hours of conversation.

5. In Darkness — As the name implies, this one is also not a real upper…but, again, beautifully done and worth seeing. It is based on a true story of a small group of Polish Jews who hide in the sewers of the city of Lvov during World War II. This extremely suspenseful movie was, at times, hard to watch — and I was anxious for the survivors to be able to see the light!!

6. The Kid With a Bike — This hopeful film centers on an 11 year old boy who has been abandoned by his father (we never see of hear of his mother) and placed in a children’s home. He “escapes” from the home and, during futile attempts to reunite with his deadbeat Dad, he meets a young woman who agrees to become his weekend guardian. But even his beloved bike and his new guardian can’t keep him out of trouble as he continues his journey. In the end, we definitely see the kid with a bike headed in the right direction. This one is endearing.

7. Albert Nobbs — In this period piece (1890s Dublin), Glenn Close plays the role of Albert, a woman who has lived for many years as a man in order to be gainfully employed as a butler/server in a hotel. Painfully shy and totally removed from any sense of identity, Albert is a timid character who does his/her job and hides his/her earnings with the hope of eventually being able to buy a tobacco shop. We watch Albert as s/he tries to find companionship and a better life. Totally recommend!!

8. A Dangerous Method — I’m putting this one in because I saw it…and you will have an opportunity to see it, too. The great thing about movies is that, like wine, there’s something that pleases everyone …and we don’t all have to like the same thing. Having said that, we walked out of this one. It’s based on a true story about a young woman (played by Keira Knightley) who is diagnosed with acute hysteria and her doctor, Carl Jung. Jung consults with Sigmund Freud and the two end up at odds over the care of the patient — at least in part because of Jung’s growing passion for this young woman. To me, Knightley overplays the character so much that it was distracting and this psychological drama lost me completely!!

9: Recommended by others, but not seen by me:

a. The Island President — a documentary about the Maldives, a chain of islands in the Indian Ocean, that are threatened by climate change. Everyone loved this!!

b. Footnote – Described as “painfully funny”, this is a story about father and son Talmudic scholars, their relationship (flawed) and their attempts at reconciliation. Again, highly recommended by most everyone who saw it.




Greater Bethesda Online Gets Help From iPhone App Developer

GreaterBethesdaOnline, Iphone App Developer-webmaster, & actually some Real Estate

Many of you know Greater Bethesda Online, this two year old web space devoted to primarily real estate, almost was hacked and it wasn’t by all those charming people defending wikileaks.  The culprit?  Me…yep, you heard me correctly.  I tried to perform some programming over my head a mistake that “broke” my own site.  It was a mistake so confusing, that it took one top webmasters/SEOs in the country to fix the mess.

Bethesda Modern Home
Greater Bethesda Online Needed Creative & Extraordinary Solutions

SEO or Search Engine Optimization is a process of making Google like your website…it’s MANY parts hard work, a few parts patience, and for those extremely talented (“webmastery”), it’s an art that normally rewards rewards the most creative (and normally, tech savvy)…

When Greater Bethessda Hard Knox Calls For ‘Triple Threats”

Like Jay Z :-), the aforementioned, webmaster/SEO is known by many names and talents. Some people like to call him an “iPhone App” guru, some like to call him The  “Denver SEO, others call him Denver Knox (“Denver” because of where he lives). I just like to call him friend and mentor. The lessons he’s taught me:

  • Don’t think yourself into paralysis (it’s easy to do)
  • That behind a lot of the complexities of online marketing, there are also comforting simplicities.
  • To take myself less seriously sometimes
  • “Keep it simple stupid”…

Greater Bethesda Online Problem Solving Simplicity?

Bethesda Avenue & Woodmont Avenue - Downtown Bethesda
Bethesda Avenue Picture - For testing Purposes

As I continue to replace some content lost here, Knox is helping me finish up some problem solving and just lend a helping hand. So I’m going to try to lend him one is showing him this picture of “Bethesda”. I’m uploading a picture for more some simple bug fixing that existed before I broke my own site.

What Does This Story / Bio Have to do with Greater Bethesda Real Estate

Not much directly — but there’s often morals easily extrapolated to real estate space.  So words of wisdom using  a real estate analogy:  >>  Only do it yourself if you know the best contractors in the business to clean up a possible mess.  In my case, I literally knocked my house down.  Gratitude to Knox and others who helped me re-build it.

Looking for more Real Estate, Right?

Many thanks for hanging in there with us while we  fix &  innovate…and come back soon.  You want MLS searches using 5+ search methods, from simple drops downs, to sophistication you haven’t seen yet? It’s coming imminently.  Bookmark this page or follow me on Twitter or Facebook to stay apprised.  Have great weeks and stay warm out there!

Haunted Houses of Maryland & The Trillium Bethesda

Haunted Houses of Maryland, from Potomac to Annapolis, to Baltimore, and…The Trillium Bethesda Condos?

In a region so filled with history, it should hardly come as a surprise that Maryland is also home to many haunted houses and other structures. From the ghostly principal who roams the halls of George Fox Middle School in Anne Arundel County to unexplainable happenings and ghostly apparitions at the Middleton Tavern in Annapolis, to phantom luxury Bethesda Condos in the Downtown Bethesda area, there are literally dozens of haunted properties throughout the state. Here is a look at just a few of Maryland’s famous hauntings.

The Haunted Marwood Mansion in Potomac Maryland

Since the early 1920s, there have been several sightings of an old man standing in the middle of the Potomac River, but it is the Marwood Mansion that is the creepiest Potomac, Maryland home. Here, there have been numerous reports of strange things happening, such as the toilet flushing on its own, the bathroom window being raised and steam mysteriously emitting from the bathtub. Strange sounds are regularly heard coming from the basement, which cannot be used because every time something is stored in the basement it is ruined the next morning. There are also reports of the cracks in the marble disappearing and then reappearing and a ghostly butler has been spotted walking throughout the property.

Haunted Houses in Potomac?
Haunted Houses in Potomac? 

Baltimore’s Many Hauntings

Baltimore is home to more than two dozen different haunted sites. Todd’s far, which dates back to the early 1800s, is haunted by a woman who sits at the attic window with a candle as she waits for her soldier to return from the war. Slaves can also be seen hanging from the trees late at night and the lights in the home are said to turn on when an intruder enters, despite the fact that there is no electricity in the home.

The Haunted Catonsville Mansion

An old abandoned mansion is said to be found on Asylum Road in Catonsville. Although the mansion is closed to the public, there have been many reports of mysterious banging sounds, tapping noises and whispers coming from the inside. Many have also reporting seeing people walking on the property, but the people disappear when they are approached.

The Trillium, Bethesda – A Ghost Bethesda Luxury condo development

I’ve seen advertisements in The Post, The Washingtonian, The Bethesda Magazine to name just a few — I’ve witnessed the bulldozers level the Old Clarion hotel to prepare for this 173 unit edifice of opulence.  I’ve even seen a model unit set fabricated in The Old Clarion for an electric opening night.  But as time has passes, I start to wonder whether the ghosts of “Economy’s crash” created these illusions in my mind.

In all seriousness, I kindly ask construction to commence because in my humble opinion, The Trillium should be an extraordinary addition to close-in Bethesda development.  But more thoughts are for later.  For now, I wish The Trillium and all of Greater Bethesda area safe and happy Halloween….