Back in Black

Guess the identity of this mystery woman. Hint: she and her family are starved for attention. Answer below. A virtual pat on the back to anyone who is correct. Photos from

This weekend’s movie fix, courtesy of Netflix by mail, covered familiar hardcore territory but had an interesting element. Above Suspicion (2019) is the story of a married, straight arrow FBI agent who makes the tragic mistake of having an affair with his beautiful, addicted confidential informant. She views him as a white knight who will save her from her wayward life, lead her out of the small Kentucky town devastated by an economic downturn. Based on a work of non-fiction by Joe Sharkey, it is grim, uncompromising and well executed. London’s Jack Huston and Game of Thrones star Emilia Clarke are fine as the leads, as are the supporting players, most notably Johnny Knoxville of Jackass fame. There is one aspect that didn’t jive. The narrative seems to convey that the young woman is a victim of environment, but the older sister, whose character is not explored, seems to be living a normal life. How did she escape? Other than that, the film is solid despite its unpleasantness. There are people out there experiencing such hardship and it is as worthy of depiction in book and film as any other theme. It is up to the viewer to decide whether he/she is willing to be put through the wringer. 5000+ users at IMDb have rated Above Suspicion, forging to a consensus of 5.6 on a scale of ten, way too low in my estimation. I wonder if many were rating content and not quality. Whatever. I’ll go with seven. To my surprise, it did well at the box office, returning $25 million on a budget of $12 million. No doubt DVD sales and rentals and streaming have made the producers happy. The screenplay was adapted by Chris Gerolmo, who also did Mississippi Burning (1988), which he disowns, claiming it was rewritten extensively by director Alan Parker. Above Suspicion was directed by Phillip Noyce, 71 and still going strong, five unreleased works on tap, which will bring his titles under Director to 63. The Welshman also has 22 under Producer and seven under Writer. Among the works he has helmed: Dead Calm (1989), cult favorite Blind Fury (1989), Patriot Games (1992) and the under-rated The Saint (1997). Here the leads of Above Suspicion in character:

I do not blog on 9/11. Although I believe those who did not suffer the loss of kin or close friends must move on and are entitled to carry on as usual, I respect how the others deal with that solemn event in much the same way as I do how anyone chooses to deal with Covid. I don’t normally advertise on 9/11. Yesterday I was on automatic pilot, unthinking, and posted one ad each to my regular Facebook feed and to my author page. As it happens, life often mocks, and the rotation of twelve fell on Killing. I apologize to anyone who was offended.

Just when it seemed the news on Afghanistan couldn’t be worse, headline from yesterday at “Biden droned the wrong guy, innocent aid worker killed in Kabul strike: NYT.”

Great headline yesterday from “Trump: Downside of a 2024 Run Is That I’d Be Saving CNN.”

As for today, headline from “No baby on board: Vax mandate resignations force NY hospital to ‘pause’ deliveries.” It’s at Lewis County General Hospital in upstate New York.

Headline for a NY Post editorial: “Taliban government stacked with Gitmo prisoners fed by Obama — Biden may send more.”

This was Afghanistan briefly in the ‘70’s (Gamma-Rapho via Getty Images):

The mystery figure is Kim Kardashian.

My thanks to the woman who donated another batch of beautiful art pictorials and who is thrilled they are having a second life; and to the kind folks who made purchases yesterday and today.

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vic fortezza

I was born in Brooklyn in 1950 to Sicilian immigrants. I’ve had more than 50 short stories published world wide. I have 13 books in print.