Headsup: The first 8 episodes of the RAI/HBO production "My Brilliant Friend" about a supreme alpha-girl and her "moon" of a best friend airing in 60-plus countries are proving amazingly endearing. So many colorful elements of evolving post WWII Italy on display. Yes, some violence too, but peanuts compared to say New York in that era. A real must-see.

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Wednesday, February 09, 2011

On The Effects On Amanda Knox Of Her Movie Alter Ego Hayden Panettiere

Posted by Hopeful


An ABC News headline: “Amanda Knox Felt Ill When She Saw Herself Portrayed in New Movie”

Nikki Battiste.states that Knox was tearful in her weekly phone call home after having seen the trailer of the movie on prison TV news. Chris Mellas quoted her, “I was physically ill when I saw the images. I thought I was going to throw up.”

This reaction seems to spring from the strange feeling Knox had when seeing “a girl who looked like her, dressed like her, playing her life.” Mellas explains her frustration at having no control over her life or how her life is portrayed.

Perhaps this seeing herself through objective eyes is shaking up her fragile sense of identity. She explored that theme in her appeal speech, all too fully for the occasion. She’s not “that girl” painted by the prosecution.

Maybe in this movie she is reminded of all the glories that were lost seeing the colors and happy scenes of bouncing carefree Hayden/herself flitting around Perugia at the university that she so loved; and the love scene with Raffaele, the picturesque architecture of Perugia with the film’s golden lighting, even her long hair as Hayden wears wig, treasured times of joy.

This film renews those days of wine and roses, however brief, and it must be horrifying to have traded all that freedom for the current reality.

Nikki Battiste reports, “Her family said she is not aware of the magnitude of the press surrounding her life, and that she avoids watching television and reading newspapers.”

That sounds inaccurate or blatantly false, because she faces a jungle of reporters and cameras each time she enters the courtroom and her family has been in constant contact with her for three years giving ample time to discuss how she is perceived, the press they are surrounded with.

She has probably been informed of every bit of the internet interest in her case, both pro and con. We know this because she refers to the media coverage of her reputation in her appeal speech. Her access to newspapers in prison is no doubt limited, but overall she must surely be apprised of the hubbub about her trial. So her being “not aware” is a total exaggeration, so too perhaps is her reported reaction.

If she sees the movie as veering from the truth of what happened the night of the murder, her reaction may be mixed: grateful that the real details are not known but fearful that even the false rendition makes a case for guilt, and wondering what effect this may have on her appeal, if any.

Case of sowing and reaping here?

She may be bearing the brunt of lies in this movie after having told so many herself. She may be a great deal more envious of Hayden Panettiere than she ever was of Meredith, and resent this lovely actress’s freedom to vicariously take over her life and her sufferings while getting famous and paid for it.

It’s like two actresses vying for a juicy role and one losing out to the other, the loser being Foxy, ironically she being the authentic character and born to play the role. She may hate to lose her claim to fame and the spotlight to Hayden.

She may envy Hayden’s looks and charisma, and feel she has been overshadowed once again, beaten at her own game. It’s hard to imagine how conflicted this movie must make Amanda feel. If she knows her family has received financial benefits from it with some trickle down benefits to herself, that may be some consolation.

Identity confusion from seeing oneself portrayed by another is a powerful mirror held up to the self even if one is innocent. If one is not very self-aware to begin with, seeing oneself caricatured or portrayed by another like a game of charades could make a person feel unbalanced and discombobulated.

Amanda is fortunate to have plenty of quiet time without media frenzy or court dates so she can process this dramatic development.

It’s equally possible that her tears and nausea are an act equal to Hayden’s, initiated by her shrewd instinct. They could be a falsehood concocted by her family to camouflage the fact that she’s secretly revelling in every minute of increased notoriety. She may be silently thanking Hayden for promoting her status on TV.

For that matter it might not be mutually exclusive, this love of the limelight once again, but anger that she has been cut out as scriptwriter. The issue she has with “no control over her life…how her life is portrayed” does sound rather like the bitter tears of a wounded egomaniac.

Posted on 02/09/11 at 11:28 AM by HopefulClick here & then top left for all my posts;
Right-column links: Crime hypothesesThe officially involvedMovies on caseAmanda Knox
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Friday, February 04, 2011

Open Letter To Everyone Remotely Involved In Lifetime’s Crass Enterprise “Murder on Trial in Italy”

Posted by Peggy Ganong


 

Video version and all co-signatories of the letter below

The parents of Meredith Kercher are not the only ones who are appalled and saddened by the making of the soon-to-be aired Lifetime movie “version” of their daughter’s brutal murder, which occurred in 2007 while she was an Erasmus scholar in Italy. Though we cannot begin to truly imagine the depth of their ongoing pain, we can certainly empathize with them. And we can share their outrage at the very idea of showing graphic footage that purports to depict “what happened” to their beloved daughter. That John Kercher, Meredith’s father, was led to believe otherwise just makes matters worse.

At the risk of creating yet more publicity – which could ultimately play into the hands of the producers and others associated with this telefilm, commissioned by and scheduled to air on the US cable channel Lifetime – we wish to condemn, in the strongest possible terms, everyone who has played a role in bringing this crass enterprise to fruition. The film is not just premature and untimely – though it is indeed both, since two of the three unanimously convicted in December 2009 for their role in Meredith’s death are currently awaiting the first of two appeals, which are automatic in Italy – it is also just plain wrong. And it will continue to be so in ten, twenty or thirty years’ time.

What possible justification could there ever be for inflicting this kind of pain on the real-life, grieving family of Meredith Kercher? Does it enhance our understanding of this heinous crime in any way? No, it does not. Does it serve to dissuade others from engaging in such acts? No, it does not. On the contrary, it breeds the kind of callous disregard for human life and lack of empathy that led to this gratuitous act of violence in the first place and that apparently characterizes those who have produced, directed and otherwise participated in the project.

In some respects, the damage is done as far as Meredith’s family are concerned. The footage is out there thanks to the efficiency of the World Wide Web. Now, there are two ways to bring partial reparation and maybe a little consolation to the Kercher family: one is to immediately remove all of the offensive footage from the internet, as John Kercher has politely requested. The other is to simply refrain from watching the film when it is broadcast on the Lifetime channel. Use the time to let the people at Lifetime know that you are unhappy with their lack of basic decency and fellow feeling, and that you plan to impose a personal ban in your house on the channel. There is a third way, but only the people at Lifetime can bring it about: that is to quietly but quickly pull the film from its line-up.

Just over three years ago, Meredith Kercher was a living, breathing, joyous young woman. She was also, and still is, someone’s daughter, someone’s sister, someone’s friend and someone’s neighbour. From what we have heard, she brought joy to all who knew her. None of these people deserve the gratuitous pain and suffering that this film and this footage will surely produce. Adding insult to injury, the film apparently focuses in particular on one of the three convicted killers, contributing indirectly to the well-financed and well-orchestrated PR effort intended to garner sympathy for and turn her into a “minor celebrity.” We wonder why, if Amanda Knox’s family and friends are opposed to this celebrity status and tabloidization, they did not do more from the outset to nip this project in the bud. The world knows by now that they have easy and apparently unlimited access to the media. Why have they not used just a few minutes of this access to let it be known that they think Lifetime should scrap the project? Why have they not threatened a lawsuit, claiming that until all appeals are exhausted this kind of film could turn the jury against Amanda Knox?

Like Arline Kercher, Meredith’s mum, we wonder why only the name “Amanda Knox” appears in the title of the film when the victim is named Meredith Kercher. And finally, we wonder why, if Amanda Knox’s family and friends are unassociated with this project, as they claim to be, they are being given an hour of airtime directly following its scheduled showing?


By Peggy Ganong, Seattle

Cosignatories with more to come

Neville Sprigg, England

Dr. Kathy Graham, B.C. Canada

Jane Blakelock Ohio

Claire Bennett, Bristol, UK.

Ann-Marie Thornton, Turkey

Rich Towle, California, USA

Neil Kazwell, St. Louis, MO

Cathy Armer, Boston MA

Nick Kitto, Barcelona, Spain

Mara Loughridge, Florida, USA

Dr. Craig Gerard, Boston, Massachusetts

David Llewellyn Smith, Scotland

Lola Kassim, Cheshire, England

John Crawford, Kent, England

Kevin Mackintosh, Va, USA

Barbara Taylor, Ohio, USA

Sylviane Pompei, France

Andrew James, Germany

Doug Clement, Portland

Samantha Andrews, Derbyshire UK

Patrick Critien, Sliema, Malta

Janet Chapman,Sheffield UK

Theo Stobbe, The Netherlands

Renate Lauditsch, Austria

Laura Watkins, Berkeley, California

Rachel Ross, California, USA

Dr Rosemarie Levine New York, NY

Miriam Bell Khounsary, Seattle

Robert Harrison Kingston-Upon-Hull UK

Amy Revell, United States

Julia Perez, southern Spain

Beth Zaring, Wellston, Ohio

Martha Shamp, Auburn Alabam

Stanley Champ.Garryhinch, Ireland

Heather Good, Whatcom County, WA, US

Katherine Phillips, Barry, Wales

Kris Arnason, Seattle US

Maria Fifield, Buxton, Derbyshire

Simon Gardner Oxford UK

Peter Quennell New York

 

Posted on 02/04/11 at 04:58 PM by Peggy GanongClick here & then top left for all my posts;
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Thursday, February 03, 2011

Lifetime TV Appear To Have Lied And Invented False Facts For Their Horrific Knox TV Movie

Posted by Peter Quennell



These are all of our previous posts on this hapless film, which defense lawyers had said they might sue to be put on ice until after the appeals are all done.

There seems to be growing outrage in the media (read the many angry comments down below there) over what seems the sensational promotion and the offensive and misleading content of the film.

The film was made in Milan and Rome and it is due to air in the US on Monday 21 February, and thereafter in various other countries around the world. .This is the film that both Arline Kercher and John Kercher had spoken out very strongly against. It appears from the trailer and the still images to contain various manufactured scenes seemingly designed to enhance Knox.

1) This scene at the top certainly did NOT take place,  as Sollecito and Knox bizarrely chose to go for a pizza rather than join the grieving crowd at the memorial service for Meredith.

Among all who knew Meredith who were still in Perugia, they were the ONLY ones to refuse to attend. Neither Knox nor Sollecito have ever shown genuine sympathy for Meredith or for her family and friends.

2) This scene idepicts Meredith in an amorous position on top of Rudy Guede. This did NOT take place. Neither the Micheli court NOR Guede’s two appeal courts NOR the Massei court accepted that. Four courts rejected it as a lie and a defamation of the victim.

If Meredith were still alive, this would certainly be defamatory. Meredith had a headache that night and was tired after staying out most of the night before (Halloween), and she intended to finish a homework assignment and go to bed. She already had a boyfriend that she liked, and unlike Knox had zero history of sleeping around.

3) Lifetime told Meredith’s father John and many others in a public statement (they have never ever been in touch with the family quietly and directly) that the film would NOT depict the crime against Meredith, regardless of what angle Lifetime took toward Knox. The timeline would stop short of that.

And yet this scene show Meredith being savagely attacked by three people - exactly what Meredith’s family had feared most.

Right after the movie, Lifetime will apparently give the Knox-Mellases a full hour to sell their usual self-serving fabrications and half-truths. 

And meanwhile, still not one word from Lifetime for the family of the real victim. Lifetime is a smallish network with a mostly elderly female demographic, and it mostly focuses with varying sympathy on women who have been hurt or killed. The REAL victims.

So what happened here?

Posted on 02/03/11 at 06:48 PM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
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Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Letter From Italy: Explaining Why My Pro-Women-Victims Focus In My Forthcoming Movie Samhain

Posted by Stefano Torrese



[Above: Stefano Torrese (right) and his co-author and co-producer Diego Antolini discuss Samhain]


While reading Mr. Kercher’s open letters [here and here] we found so many resonances with our ideas and feelings about the sad drama that occurred to Meredith, feelings which had led us to initiate the film project “Samhain - A Halloween Tale”.

Our starting point was to write a story which could deliver a strong message on behalf of all women whose life had ended because of the violence and ignorance of others; to provide our contribution to making people think and re-think about the society we live in, where nobody is safe, children or students or workers.

Then, as we deepened the research into the subject, and more material came out about the judicial case and the trials, we witnessed, as John sadly remarked, a singular yet logical - for our society - phenomenon, that of the rising of a celebrity, who is in fact charged for murder and sentenced to many years in prison.

Last spring we started to see the first buzz in the US about our movie project and those of others. A few months later we heard the inevitable: an American TV production decided to shoot a documentary about AMANDA KNOX’S trial paths.

As fall approached, we trimmed and refined our story into a thriller with a moral, and a big, positive twist in the end, which developed furthermore a strong message. This message we made clear during our first press conference on last October 28, in the Palazzo della Regione of Perugia, the most important institutional house of local government.

We said that our movie is not - and will never be - a movie about Amanda Knox; as a matter of fact it is not even a movie about Meredith in the sense of the exploitation of her image for economic purposes.

“Samhain - A Halloween tale” is a tale with a moral in the classical form, inspired by a true fact (obviously Meredith’s murder) but then touching many other topics like the very ancient celtic name of Halloween “Samhain”, the possibility to mold the timeframe, and other esoteric elements.

The story turns around former FBI agent Bryan Nolan, who left the US following the personal drama of the disappearance of his little sister Susan.

Once in Perugia, he hears about the murder of a young student and after a series of signs and signals, he realizes the spirit of the young girl is trying to establish contact with him; the spirit seeks for peace and justice, and it is also the key to understand what really happened to Bryan’s sister.

As you can tell from this brief synopsis, our story doesn’t contain the Hollywood-like sparkling and kitsch elements prone to making the protagonist a star or a celebrity. Our movie is difficult, and will be difficult to make because it talks about life, death, and the afterlife.

During the last few months we have received pressure from local and international press about what we really want to make, and so we wanted to be clear: if our movie has ever to be linked to Meredith, it would be in her honor, dedicated to her memory, and it would not use her image.

We said this after noticing the hideous growth in terms of popularity of people who are in jail for murder, and yet became a money machine, and also the attitude of the general audience who are being misled and manipulated into the belief that these people in jail shouldn’t be there.

This shocked us and prompted our more immediate action: we can write and we can make movies, so we will make our contribution to the truth by the means of telling a story and deliver a message to the audience:

A GIRL WAS MURDERED, DIED, AND NOT ONLY HER BODY BUT HER MEMORY IS ABOUT TO BE BURIED AND NEVER COME OUT TO LIGHT AGAIN.

We cannot accept that, what happened to Meredith happened - and is happening - to many other girls in the world. We need to remember this. We need to remember Meredith and through her memory, keep this feeling of hope alive, that what happened to her will eventually cease to happen.

We need to disseminate the message as strongly as we can, and perhaps things could change so that Meredith’s drama would not have occurred in vain.

Our hope here is to respectfully share with Meredith’s family and friends an explanation of what’s behind our project, let them know what we are doing before they read it possibly wrongly put in the papers; and encourage their feelings if they wish to guide us.

A good project about a person without deep caring and respect for that person - be she alive or not - would be a failure to begin with. Meredith evokes our deep caring and respect.

[Below, Stefano Torrese and his co-producer Diego Antolini discuss the Italian film industry]

[Below, the interim trailer for Stefano Torrese’s movie Samhain: A Halloween Tale]

[Below, the poster for Stefano Torrese’s movie Samhain: A Halloween Tale]

Posted on 01/26/11 at 09:08 AM by Stefano TorreseClick here & then top left for all my posts;
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Saturday, October 30, 2010

More Anger Toward Hayden Panettiere For Arch-Callousness Toward Meredith’s Family

Posted by Peter Quennell


Above: Another with the symptoms of a charming psychopath, explaining how Meredith was killed?

Panettiere is reported as refusing to mention Meredith by name. In line with the standing orders of PR campaign, she seemingly wants to disappear Meredith. Make her a non-person.

The anger toward Panttiere among those who knew Meredith or closely identify with her, as we do, is growing stronger by the day. Now there is a scathing commentary by Jenny McCartney on The Daily Telegraph’s website

With depressing inevitability, the cameras began rolling last week on a TV movie about Amanda Knox, the young, blonde American convicted in Italy for her role in the killing of a 21-year-old fellow student, Meredith Kercher, in 2007.

Hayden Panettiere, a rising star, is playing Knox. The actress described herself as “flattered” to be awarded the role, blithely adding: “It’s a really great story and a very controversial one.”

Both the comment, and the film, strike me as being in disgustingly bad taste. For it is not, of course, “a really great story”, but an intensely sad and very recent criminal case, in which an intelligent and beautiful British student was murdered.

The Kercher family, who demonstrated considerable dignity through a long and heavily sensationalised trial, must now be subjected to the additional pain of knowing that the circumstances of Meredith’s death are already being converted into entertainment.

Even Knox’s Italian lawyer, who is presently appealing against her conviction, has strongly denounced any such “exploitation of the situation”.

The truth is that the film’s backers glimpsed a case in which both the murderers and the victim were young and attractive, and – in their eagerness for a salaciously brutal storyline – abandoned all other considerations.

I don’t suppose the film industry ever had much of a conscience: the difference now is the confident assumption that the public doesn’t, either.

Click the Daily Telegraph link to read also the well-informed and very critical comments by commenters Jo Jones and Mutley.

Posted on 10/30/10 at 08:15 PM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
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Thursday, October 28, 2010

Lifetime’s Knox TV Movie: Is A Shallow Callous Narcissistic Girl Being Played By…

Posted by Peter Quennell


Is a shallow, callous, narcissistic girl being played in the movie by another shallow, callous, narcissistic girl?

It is certainly looking like that right now.

Hayden Panettiere, now involved in the filming of the Lifetime TV movie in Milan and Rome (they are avoiding Perugia - it seems too many people there take strong exception to this film) has STILL not reached out to Meredith’s family or her friends.

Or showed the slightest concern for the real hurt that this misleading glamorizing of Amanda Knox, the convicted killer of the REAL victim, Meredith, is causing here.

This is Andrea Magrath in the Daily Mail.

In an interview with BBC Newsbeat, Panettiere said she had not met Knox, who is appealing her conviction.

‘I wish. I know the Italian government is being pretty protective of her, her lawyers are being protective of her, which is pretty understandable. ‘It’s something I would like to do (meet her) but I’d be more surprised if it happened than if it didn’t.’

Panettiere said she was ‘floored’ and ‘flattered’ when she was asked by director Robert Dornhelm to play Knox in the film. She added: ‘They called me up and asked me to do it.

I’m so privileged to play the role. It’s a really great story and a very controversial one. ‘The way the script is written is very well done, in a way that I don’t think anyone is going to have a problem with.

‘I’m looking forward to it. I’m really excited about it. It’s going to be a really tough project to do but it will be good.’  Panettiere revealed the film will only show events up until Knox’s conviction.

It is NOT just “a really great story”. It is actually for-real, and a highly talented woman-on-the-go, Meredith Kercher, who was outstripping Amanda Knox in all possible dimensions, died very horribly here.

And what exactly is so controversial? Apart from the thousands of mistruths about the hard evidence spread around by a million-dollar campaign? Hayden should try reading the Massei Report.

Also it was Amanda Knox’s own lawyers who banned Hayden from Capanne. Sollecito’s lawyers continue to threaten to sue to stop the movie dead until after the second appeal - which might drag on for years.

Alistair Foster in the London Evening Standard also has a brief report. The post is notable for the sharpness of the comments of Kermit who is a frequent poster here. Most of the comments under both these reports are very critical of the film.

Will the Lifetime TV movie try to reflect the actual cold hard facts, as detailed at great length in the Massei report? A good question for some journalists to be asking of the actors, writer and director. 

Along with why, precisely, doesn’t Hayden Panettiere reach out to the Kercher family? And to Meredith’s friends? 




Posted on 10/28/10 at 12:11 PM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
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Friday, October 08, 2010

The Firth-Winterbottom Movie Now Seems Headed For A Bizarre And Irrelevant Focus

Posted by Peter Quennell



[Above: British actor Colin Firth]

Perhaps Italy and the UK and the US could use a documentary-type movie sooner or later that tells all of the facts dispassionately. Especially one that gives Meredith a real presence. 

That looks to us like a compelling focus.

The obvious main source would of course be the Massei Report which was issued last March. The 10,000 or so people who have downloaded and read the English version of the 400-plus-page report (which links to another 10,000 other pages) almost invariably find it a really compelling and very impressive read.

The best two books on Meredith’s case - by Barbie Nadeau and Russell & Johnson - are certainly very good, given their publishing deadlines. But even those authors would probably concede that the Massei Report is far more detailed than their books, and as a source ii is simply unsurpassable.

Now if you have read the Micheli Report for Rudy Guede and the Massei Report for Knox and Sollecito, you will know that the Italian press does not feature. Not at all. The Massei report in particular focuses almost laser-like on the actual evidence presented over six months in court. It shows zero sign of any outside influences.

And in both the Massei Report and the Micheli Report, even some of the arguments of the PROSECUTORS are discounted and brushed aside, in favor of what the judges themselves concluded.

Even if the judges had paid obvious attention to the media, it is hard to see how the Italian media could have resulted in any real bias. Over two-plus year we have quoted translations of literally hundreds of reports from Italian media websites. Readers may wish to check through those to see if they can find EVEN ONE that matches for example the DAILY hyperbole of American crime TV.

There was some rather sensational reporting in the early days of the case (late 2007 and early 2008) but even that eventually turned out to contain truths. Reporting by the entire group of Rome-based foreign reporters with one singe exception (Peter Popham in the early days) was neutral, fact-based, and very rounded. Their lack of bias was little short of amazing. As an entire group, they deserve a Pulitzer.

So a report out today by Katey Rich quoting Michael Winterbottom on what he thinks should be his focus is a real surprise. Here is what Michael Winterbottom had to say. .

[Interested UK actor Colin Firth] won’t be playing anyone involved with the murder, but a journalist covering the case, which was the subject of extraordinary media focus in Italy…

Winterbottom doesn’t seem all that interested in the specifics of the trial itself - “I have no view on whether they did it, the film will not be about that. There is unlikely to be a character playing Knox” - but rather the journalists who may or may not have influenced the trial’s outcome with their constant speculation about the facts.

“The taking sides over the case was extreme here,” he said. “There was no explanation that covered everything and the journalists were drawn in in a way you would not expect.”

It’s unclear if Firth’s journalist character would be Italian or English, and given his promotional duties for The King’s Speech—which many think will be earning him an Oscar come February—he definitely wouldn’t be able to start filming until sometime next year.

OKay. Let us see here.

1) On the one side, there was a massive and very well-funded public relations campaign, with a number of gullible sock puppets, and a generally lazy and compliant American media which often reflected a strident anti-Italianism, and an almost complete disregard for either the real victim or the true facts.

2) On the other side, there was not much more than a few good, honest, objective reporters, all of them based in Italy, who were reporting the truth as they saw it. And a couple of non-commercial websites. Namely Perugia Murder File, and TJMK.

It is hard to see how a movie depicting an “extreme taking of sides” could be anything other than dishonest. It would certainly irritate any informed audience. Unless of course Mr Winterbottom rejects the PR which seems to have taken hold of him, and accurately reflects what really ARE the two sides.

Could he do that? Really? .

[Below: British director Michael Winterbottom]

Posted on 10/08/10 at 03:57 PM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
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Tuesday, October 05, 2010

The Controversy Over The Lifetime Movie Seems To Be Stirring Some Needed Changes

Posted by Peter Quennell



[Above The President and CEO of the A&E network and Lifetime TV Abbe Raven]

Our various previous posts on this controversial movie can be seen here.

This movie became so controversial so fast because Meredith’s mother Arlene spoke up sharply to the free-lance reporter Nick Pisa (one of the most energetic reporters on the case from Perugia who we often quote from here) about the convicted killer Amanda Knox being idolised like this, while her daughter Meredith, the real victim, was the one long overdue some compassion.

There is still no reporting of reaching-out to Meredith’s family in London. Such arrogant callousness toward the family of a victim who died cruelly and needlessly in immense pain would have caused a firestorm if that victim’s family had been living here in the United States.

But Lifetime and the production team do seem to have come so far as to have realized now that this is not a black and white case, at least not in the way that they were originally thinking. And that the original TV movie concept might do them at least as much harm as good.

The lawyers for Amanda Knox in Perugia are still being quoted in the Italian media as disliking the timing of this film. If it causes Raffaele Sollecito and his own legal team to finally separate (we believe the relationship is now dangling by a single thread) and he hangs Amanda Knox out to dry, she and her legal team would have headaches like nothing they so far imagined.

The Italian authorities - including the Italian equivalent of the FBI in Rome - are clearly very tired of being ignorantly mischaracterized for what the Massei Report shows (in face of an unmistakable crime scene rearrangement and a lot of blown smoke) to have been a very strong case that would have ended in “guilty” in almost any courtroom in the world.

Lifetime have accordingly renamed the movie Tangled rather than The Amanda Knox Story. And there are suggestions that the movie will now depict how the three killers got in over their heads, rather than how two of them were framed in the middle of a blissful love affair.

Lifetime TV say the film is selling well around the world and could be broadcast on the Lifetime channel in the US as soon as next March. It will be shot in Rome and, presumably, in Seattle where Amanda Knox grew up.

Director Robert Dornhelm (image at bottom) in interviews here and here still sounds like he swallowed the “railroaded and framed” kool-aid, and he sounds quite ignorant of Massei. But he says he will not “weave his point of view” into the film’s final result.

Writer Wendy Battles does not seem to have given any interviews, but she works in a fragile occupation as a freelance, and there are many ready to take her place if she slips here. Her filmography is exclusively of the cliffhanger who-dunnit kind of TV series, and character development and love stories don’t seem to figure in it prominently if at all.

The actress Hayden Panettiere, a former child actress,  is now known mostly for one recurring TV role, that of a bubbly and rather ditsy cheerleader in ABC’s long-running and now-concluded Heroes series. Actresses who become prominent so young (she was in her teens for most of the series) seem to have a real problem keeping their life and career on the tracks. There are other actresses with real acting skills and very bright mentalities (Kristen Stewart, Emma Stone, and Anna Kendrick) who’ll leave her in the dust if she gets this one wrong.

The Lifetime channel would seem to be a strange vehicle for this movie if it is intended to have any more clout in the US than the passively-received Oprah Winfrey show - which has twice the audience, by the way. Lifetime is watched mostly by women without college education, and as it often seems anti-men (it is quite rare for a woman to be the villain) it attracts not many male viewers at all.

There is no sign that Lifetime TV has been gaining in audience share lately, and its immediate parent the A&E network is not the respected powerhouse network it once was. Hostility toward Lifetime grew considerably last year, when its anti-man bias caused it to depart wildly from known facts. 

If you are inclined to provide Lifetime with helpful advice to get the movie right, emails are usually not nearly as effective as written letters. The Lifetime headquarters where decisions on this movie are made is located a block or so west of Times Square in Manhattan.

    Lifetime Television, 111 8 Av @W 16th St New York, NY 10001 212-641-3300

The officers of the company are as follows. The President and CEO of A&E and Lifetime is Abbe Raven (image below), the CFO is James Wesley, and the Chief Marketing Officer is Bob Bibb. In the Lifetime operation Neil Schubert is the Senior VP of Publicity, Julie Stern is the VP of Production, and Sandy Varo is the VP of Reality Programming.

Lifetime and A&E are owned 50% by Hearst Corporation (which also owns the Seattle PI) and 50% by the Disney Corporation (which 100% owns the ABC network). The Seattle PI hosts Candace Dempsey’s blog.

It also carries Rome-based reporter Andrea Vogt’s sharp, accurate and incisive reporting on the case. Good source if the team want to get all the facts correct.


Posted on 10/05/10 at 11:04 AM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
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Friday, October 01, 2010

Knox Slander Hearing Adjourned: Her Lawyers Make It Sound Like She Might Crack - Too Late?

Posted by Peter Quennell



[Amanda Knox and her lawyer Luciano Ghirga in court last June]

The slander hearing was adjourned by Judge Matteini to Monday 8 November, after less than one hour.

Amanda Knox now knows she is not only facing the huge and detailed Massei Report and (vital to remember) the really huge volume of witness and expert statements and evidence exhibits and other documents to which it it links, which are for the most part only available in Italian.

Now she knows she is facing a bunch of hostile cops, as she was exchanging stares with all of them today in court. And if she continues to accuse them in court, she will be cross-examined, and pressed very hard to name which one or ones it was - while looking him or her or them right in the eye.

Quite some pressure. Mr Ghirga has just been reported as saying this about Amanda Knox’s state of mind.

“She has hardened herself, she has become more unhappy and less serene,” he said. “I hope we can help her to find her serenity back before Nov 24 and that she doesn’t lose her courage. This would not help us.”

And here is another report from another of her lawyers.

“She’s very down,” said her lawyer, Maria del Grosso of Rome. “I’ve told her to be tough. It won’t help to fall apart now. “

This all seems to imply that Knox just might decide to abandon the hard line encouraged by the PR campaign, which seems to be getting her nowhere except into more hot water, and move from her various conflicting stories and over now to something completely different. 

Something credible and consistent that actually sounds like the truth? Who knows?

Coming so late in the process, with Meredith’s family and friends already put through deep pain for nearly three years, it may not happen - at least not yet. Still, one consistent story if believed could affect her sentence and the conditions of her stay in prison if she does not win her freedom at appeal.

And some peace of mind for all those who have been hurt. All except one: her family’s very precious Meredith. Stay tuned.

Posted on 10/01/10 at 11:54 AM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
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Saturday, September 25, 2010

Knox Movie: Hardening Suggestions Panettiere & Dornhelm & Battles Have Been Sold A Total Dog

Posted by Janus



[Above: wannabee Amanda Knox impersonator actress Hayden Panettiere]

For three days the Knox machine in Seattle said nothing about the Lifetime movie.

On Monday Knox’s own lawyers in Perugia had said the proposed Lifetime movie was a bad concept badly timed. and lawyers for Sollecito indicated that this movie would be stopped by legal means as it could hurt them a lot more than it could ever help.

Maria Del Grosso, a lawyer who works with the criminal lawyers Amanda Luciano Ghirga and Carlo Dalla Vedova, reached by telephone by Adnkronos, called the idea “at least inappropriate…. you can not think about making a film when the case is judicially still open…. when you remove all this tension, we can work better on the appeals.”

Finally on Thursday there came a very muted claim of denial of involvement from the Knox machine in Seattle in the form of a Facebook Causes message apparently signed by Deanna Knox - a rather sad low-traffic page that, by the way.
.

“to all those who follow my sisters case and have heard about the new lifetime movie. here are some facts that we know now.
1.) yes, as it looks right now lifetime is making a movie about my sisters trial.
2.) yes, it looks like Hayden Panettiere is playing my sister in this movie.
3.) no, Hayden Panettiere has not visited my sister in italy, nor has Hayden or any of the ptoducers have had any contact with the family.
4.) will this movie follow the facts….at this point it is hard to tell, from reading news on it, so far it looks like it wont, calling my sister guiltridden and an infamous killer which none are true, we shall see how the tabloid lifetime comes up with.
till later this is all we know. -Deanna Knox”

Claim 3 would appear at first glance to be unambiguous. However, it does not exclude the possibility that some other people from say Lifetime have, for example, sat with the Knox machine, maybe for many hours. And in any case, which branch of the extended family is Deanna Knox referring to? The Knox branch, the Mellas branch, the Huff branch, or all three? Like many Knox statements, this one begs more questions than it answers.

Claim 4 also seems unambiguous. However, Deanna has clearly not been “reading news” with a great deal of care, since the attributed quotes were not made by the movie-makers - they were made by neutral media reporters writing up the story.

There seemed three possibilities in this instance: Firstly, that Deanna was a bare-faced liar. Secondly, that she is being kept “out of the loop” by other family-members and the Knox machine. Thirdly, that she really was telling the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

But now the CBS website is reporting that, contrary to earlier reports, Amanda Knox’s lawyers are not attempting to stop the movie being made. “Sources close to the case” (most followers of this case could have a good guess about who those “sources” might be) “told CBS News’ 48 Hours producers that Knox didn’t know about the film and has no plans to oppose it.

So it seems Mr Ghirga and Mr Della Vedova might have been told to please shut up. 

It is now only Sollecito’s legal team that wants to stop it - and do they ever; see the post directly below. They have immense powers to do that.

Meanwhile we are hearing from an entertainment industry source that the script may not adhere at all closely to the truth, and may in fact in fact be a conspiracy theory snow job, with Italy and its meanie officials once again as the villains of the piece. (Good luck Lifetime in all the slander suits that will fly in face of such xenophobic and libelous rubbish.).

There are basically three components to the Amanda Knox story.

1) Amanda Knox’s life growing up troubled in Seattle and what the books say about it was described on Thursday here. 

One problem with any movie that Curt Knox and Edda Mellas do not tightly control is the reports that are already out there (including in two of the books) of extreme family friction before and after the divorce - Amanda was not much more than a toddler at the time of the divorce.

Narcissistic sociopathy and narcissistic psychopathy, which psychologists have speculated Amanda might to some degree have (tests done on her in prison during the hearings were not released. but they helped sway a judge to not grant house arrest or bail), can apparently be triggered by early childhood trauma.

Another problem for Curt Knox and Edda Mellas if they do not control the film is the reports of Amanda’s quirky behavior over the years, which continued at the University of Washington and also in Perugia. It was most especially noticeable in the three days after Meredith’s murder, as her sentencing report points out, and again when she was on the witness stand in June 2009. And she has admitted to using drugs - in fact, she used that as a part of her defence.

2) Amanda Knox after she arrived in Perugia, where she had an almost uniquely unstructured and very under-funded student arrangement, where she had only a very light study load (especially compared to that of Meredith), where she was undoubtedly on drugs and possibly hard drugs (cocaine), where she was losing any friends in Perugia fast because of her loud abrasiveness, and where she was in danger of even losing her vital job - probably she thought she HAD lost it on the night, which would have sparked an angry storm in her just when Meredith died. (There are posts on all of these aspects here on TJMK.)

3) Amanda Knox and her team at trial. Amanda Knox and her mother did NOT do compellingly well on the stand, and the defence phase of the trial (unlike the prosecution phase) was weak, halting, indecisive, slow, and absolutely lacking in knockout punches. By the time of the verdict in December, Italian sympathy was hovering around zero.

Told truthfully, none of this - none - make her look like an attractive all-American girl. She was an apparently troubled person on drugs who was, with good reason, found guilty of a very vile murder.

And that’s it.  This is not a patch on Meredith’s inspiring story - the super-achiever Meredith was the REAL victim here, in case Lifetime forgets. The less talented and less focused and less popular Knox was not a victim, ever, in any sense of the word. Except maybe in her own home.

Lifetime really seems to have the victims back to front.

Good film makers like Robert Dornhelm and Wendy Battles should really be taking this description above, and the Micheli and Massei Reports, as their point of departure, not the made up “facts” and ludicrous explanations of conspiracy theorists who have already done so much to anger half of Italy.

Especially if Dornhelm and Battles (and Hayden Panettiere) don’t want to see the lawsuits flying (there are several more slander suits already rumored to be in the works).

Meanwhile, in South London, the pain and misery continues for the family of Meredith Kercher, and an arrogant unfeeling Lifetime Television has still not bothered to respond to their very real and heartfelt concerns. 

Common decency dictates Lifetime SHOULD have contacted Meredith’s family before this movie project passed step one. Since they chose not to do so, common decency now dictates that it becomes a matter of priority. That means reaching out to the Kerchers, today.

Their Italian lawyer, Francesco Maresca, has worked long and hard for them. He is easy to contact, and he will surely be happy to discuss the issue with Lifetime, and protect the Kerchers’ interests and make their feelings known.

Posted on 09/25/10 at 06:37 PM by JanusClick here & then top left for all my posts;
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Friday, September 24, 2010

The Knox Movie: Sollecito Reported Angry - Real Risk That His Defense Could Break Away From Knox’s

Posted by Peter Quennell


The Austrian Independent is reporting that Raffaele Sollecito has come out against the Lifetime movie.

Now Raffaele Sollecito – jailed for 25 years for his part in the crime which occurred in Perugia three years ago – announced concerns the film could harm legal appeals he and Knox, his ex- girlfriend are making against their convictions.

The Italian’s lawyer Luca Maori said today (Fri): “We don’t have the final verdict in this case yet. If the film is ready before the appeal is over, we will seek a court injunction to prevent it being aired.”

Sollecito’s lawyers Giulia Bongiorno and Luca Maori have already said they will go so far as to take Lifetime to court to prevent the making and release of The Amanda Knox Story movie during the appeals - which could go on for years.

Why are Raffaele Sollecito and his lawyers being so angry and so adamant about canning the movie?

Here are two suggestions.

1) The hurtful PR campaign, of which this movie must seem an extension

It has been obvious for a long time in Italy that the Sollecito camp (especially including Raffaele’s father) do NOT like being joined at the hip to what must look to them like a runaway train of a defense campaign.

Barbie Nadeau in Newsweek last week described how very badly the strident and misleading PR campaign is now going over in Italy.

Since her arrest in November 2007 and conviction in December 2009, Knox supporters have repeatedly condemned everyone involved in the case who does not believe in wholeheartedly in her innocence. Knox’s stepfather, Chris Mellas, ridiculed the ruling judge’s conviction reasoning as a “fictional novel” and a support group called Friends of Amanda regularly called the chief prosecutor “mentally unstable” throughout the trial.

In the wake of the verdict last December, Sen. Maria Cantwell of Washington (Knox’s home state) promised to get Secretary of State Hillary Clinton to extradite the young American home from Italy (Clinton has said she will not intervene), and Donald Trump has even boycotted Italy and its products.

Amazingly, even the deeply respected Massei Report is coming in for ridicule. Raffaele Sollecito and all of his family and team being of course Italian, this very strident anti-Italianism (actually much disliked by the State Department) is severely hurting Sollecito and his family in the public eye in Italy.

All of this is made worse by the fact that Sollecito’s lead lawyer, Giulia Bongiorno, is a prominent member of the Italian Parliament, and she has her own image and popularity to worry about.  Last year, halfway through the trial, it looked like she was getting ready to walk.

2) Possible separating legal strategies from the first appeal in November onward

The movie could paint Sollecito in a bad light or misrepresent him in some way that could really hurt his chances at appeal.
.
Remember Sollecito separated himself from Amanda Knox in all of his alibis after his first alibi. He STILL has it that she was out of the apartment on the night for four hours while he was on the computer and so on at home.

We believe Sollecito is pretty solidly tied to the crime in the Massei Sentencing Report.

But he had less motive than Knox - he barely knew Meredith - and he could now come to claim that he was only drawn in by Knox during the clean-up. The claim could be that only Guede and Knox killed Meredith, and he was not present in the house at that point.

This difference between Knox and Sollecito is a minefield for any film makers. Slander and libel suits might really fly if they seem to get it wrong - and not least of course from Prosecutor Giuliano Mignini if he is misrepresented.

*************

In other developments and non-developments, there is still no word from Seattle - from the Knox family or her supporters or the Seattle media - on whether Amanda Knox’s family had a role in creating this movie. 

Even if the Seattle media sit on their hands on this one (so what’s new?!) Curt Knox and Edda Mellas will be heading for Perugia soon, for Amanda Knox’s slander trial and for their own, and will presumably be asked all about it.

Not least, of course, by Amanda’s own lawyers.

Posted on 09/24/10 at 11:23 AM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
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Thursday, September 23, 2010

Entertainment Industry Buzz That Curt Knox And Edda Mellas Might Be Connected To Distasteful Movie

Posted by Peter Quennell



[joint images of Panetierre and Knox posted yesterday by Huffington Post]

We’ve heard buzz from a couple of sources in NYC that Amanda Knox’s parents might have had a hand in this Lifetime movie of Amanda Knox which is being raced into production.

One remarked that it was “informed speculation” and that some proof could be on its way to leaking out. Reports like this below in the Chicago Sun-Times that Hayden Panettiere has already visited Amanda Knox in Capanne Prison help to fuel the speculation. It seems very unlikely that she would have gained such access, if she did, without Knox’s parents assisting.

Former “Heroes’’ star Hayden Panettiere has visited Amanda Knox in prison in Italy - part of her preparation to play Knox in a TV movie.

Also fueling the speculation is the deafening silence of Amanda Knox’s family and friends in Seattle, in the face of the various Perugia lawyers’ very strong protests about the movie (see the post below) which we presume was genuine, and not simply blowing smoke in an orchestrated sort of way.

One problem with any movie that Curt Knox and Edda Mellas do not tightly control is the reports that are already out there (including in two of the books) of extreme family friction before and after the divorce - Amanda was not much more than a toddler at the time of the divorce.

Narcissistic sociopathy and narcissistic psychopathy, which psychologists have speculated Amanda might to some degree have (tests done on her in prison during the hearings were not released. but they helped sway a judge to not grant house arrest or bail), can apparently be triggered by early childhood trauma.

Another problem for Curt Knox and Edda Mellas if they do not control the film is the reports of Amanda’s quirky behavior over the years, which continued at the University of Washington and also in Perugia. It was most especially noticeable in the three days after Meredith’s murder, as her sentencing report points out, and again when she was on the witness stand in June 2009. And she has admitted to using drugs - in fact, she used that as a part of her defence.

And another problem is the sheer depraved cruelty of the crime, chillingly described in the Micheli and Massei Reports.

Filming is now said to start next month, although the point of that is not obvious if it is not to be aired before the second appeal, as the Perugia defence lawyers have said they will insist on. On how long that second appeal might take, our poster Cesare Beccaria points out that it could drag on for years.

Appeals should be faster, but not necessarily.  In Italy the problem would be in Cassazione (3rd instance on law) where they can send the trial back to appeal for even a small procedural error. The case could go back and forth from appeal to Cassazione for years. Only Cassazione can confirm the verdict.

Media reports on the movie have all seemed to us pretty cool toward it. They have included phrases such as “all 3 convicted for murder, sexual assault, and obstructing justice”, “killer”, “convicted murderer” and so on. Only one used the inaccurate term “accused”. 

Comments posted under online reports on the movie seem to have been very strongly pro-Meredith and her family, after the compelling outcry from her mother in London, and often strongly anti Amanda Knox, who seems to command almost no online sympathy or support any more.

None of Hayden Panettiere’s fans seem too thrilled. .In fact nobody who is a friend or fan of Hayden Panettiere seems to be speaking up to say this is a great career move for her, and at least some think she is being used - being duped - to misleadingly influence public opinion and maybe the court.

Finally, here is part of the description in Wikipedia of Lifetime Television which is certainly one of the most controversial cable TV channels in the United States for its incessant focus on one or other victim - which, in the case of the present film, may very well NOT be portrayed as poor Meredith.

Because of the obvious feminine slant to the network’s programming, Lifetime is often jokingly referred to as The Estrogen Channel, or “Wifetime” and many criticize the network’s over-reliance on formulaic made for TV movies, including the “women in jeopardy” or “woman scorned” theme common on films produced by the network, archived product which aired on the major networks in the 1980s and 1990s, and outside producers airing their work on the network.

Other comedy programs have satirized Lifetime’s sometimes sentimental programming. Family Guy once parodied their slogan, making it Lifetime: Television for Idiots, and in an episode had one of the main characters make a Lifetime-like film which oversimplified those themes, along with a film starring Valerie Bertinelli, called “Men are Terrible and Will Hurt You Because This is Lifetime”.

On August 27, 2009, A&E Television Networks, the owner of A&E Network, History and others, acquired Lifetime Entertainment Services. Though the channel is owned by another subsidiary company operated as a joint venture, Lifetime and its networks remain under the co-ownership of The Walt Disney Company and Hearst Corporation, though NBC Universal became partial owner of the Lifetime channels as well since NBCU already was a part owner of A&E Television Networks.

This movie REALLY should have been about the real victim Meredith, as her mother compellingly complained. THAT is normal Lifetime territory, not doing special pleading for her convicted killer. Hayden and writer Wendy Battles, please read up about Meredith, and see if you still feel the same way.

Read this post for example about what a super-high-achiever Meredith really was, and what a huge loss to the world her death is. And read the Massei Sentencing Report (link at top here) on how very, very cruel and depraved this crime against her really was.


[Below, second from left, is said to be Lifetime scriptwriter Wendy Battles]

Posted on 09/23/10 at 08:29 AM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
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Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Could Movie Depicting The Real Knox And The Real Meredith Be A PR And Defense Disaster?

Posted by Peter Quennell


Already one movie is in the works. That one will be based on Barbie Nadeau’s excellent little book Angel Face: The True Story of Student Killer Amanda Knox

That British movie is likely to stay pretty close to the truth, Meredith as the real angel, and Amanda as at least in some degree the scary opposite. Barbie Nadeau seems to be in no doubt that Amanda was fairly convicted, but she also seems to think maybe there were factors going back to Amanda’s childhood (as did Paul Russell and Graham Johnson in Darkness Descending) that could have kinda set Amanda up, and could have been prevented by parents who cared.

Now we have this new made-for-TV movie (post below) by the Lifetime cable channel (with Oxygen, it has the largest ratio of women viewers) which for now at least is starring the popular actress Hayden Panettiere.

In 2003 the beautiful South African actress Charlize Theron (images above) who had previously played super-cool and super-sexy roles, played the Florida serial killer Aileen Wuomos in the movie Monster. If anything, Charlize Theron played Aileen Wuomos as more scary than she really was - and Charlize Theron won an Oscar for the portrayal.   

Kathy Bates, Russell Crowe and Nicole Kidman also did very well playing roles strongly against type, along with quite a few others. An actor’s dream, to pull this one off.

Could Lifetime and Hayden Panettiere now have in mind a movie rather like Monster? Playing Amanda Knox as she really seems to be - only more-so?

This has already struck the Knox and Sollecito defense teams as not only possible but a real danger. One that could influence her first appeal late this November, and help to sink her second appeal late in 2011.

From today’s Italian Libero News website.

Lawyers for Amanda Knox and Rafael Sollecito announce a battle with the script of a film for television on the personal life and trial of the two young adults convicted in the first degree for the murder of Meredith Kercher.

Maria Del Grosso, a lawyer who works with the criminal lawyers Amanda Luciano Ghirga and Carlo Dalla Vedova, reached by telephone by Adnkronos, called the idea “at least inappropriate…. you can not think about making a film when the case is judicially still open…. when you remove all this tension, we can work better on the appeals.”

The same opinion was expressed by Luca Maori, Sollecito Raffaele’s defender with Ms Giulia Bongiorno, who said to AGI “I am absolutely opposed to a movie when the appeal process, expected to be long, has not yet even started.”

“It is unthinkable” added Giulia Bongiorno “to make a film when there is still an open case uncrystallized in truth. If the movie comes out before the end of the process of appeals, we will ask for its seizure,” said the lawyer.

Well, Amanda Knox’s parents and their PR manager David Marriott did want to push Amanda Knox out into the hard limelight, too sanitized to ever successfully pass the giggle test in the long run.

Now they and Knox’s (and Sollecito’s) long-suffering Perugia lawyers may be facing the first of a series of swings the other way.

Posted on 09/21/10 at 09:11 AM by Peter QuennellClick here & then top left for all my posts;
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Monday, September 20, 2010

Gullible, Callous, Or Simply Out For The Money? A Good Reporter Should Ask Her

Posted by The Editor


In fact, please ask actress Hayden Panettiere if she even knows the name of the victim? Does she even know that there WAS a victim?

Click above for the Daily Mail’s report. Meredith’s family are understandably deeply upset, and this decision to play an apparent charming psychopath convincingly convicted of a VERY cruel crime hardly bodes well for Panettiere’s career.

The family of murdered student Meredith Kercher yesterday criticised plans to turn her death into a Hollywood film. The movie will focus on Amanda Knox, the American student jailed for 26 years for the killing.

Actress Hayden Panettiere, best known as the cheerleader in the TV series Heroes, has been cast as ‘Foxy Knoxy’ in the film, called The Amanda Knox Story, which is due for release next year.

The Kerchers’ lawyer Francesco Maresca said the family was unhappy that a Hollywood version of the 2007 murder is being made.  He said: ‘It is inopportune as the trial is still on going with two further appeals.’

Miss Kercher’s mother Arline said it was insulting for the film to be named after her daughter’s killer. She said: ‘I don’t see how they can make a film called The Amanda Knox Story when the story is really all about my daughter. It’s all very odd.’ A spokesman for the Knox family said they had no knowledge of the film, which is being aimed at a U.S. audience.

It will focus on events leading up to Miss Kercher’s death in November 2007 and the subsequent lengthy trial of Knox….

Producers of the film,which is being made for TV, said the Foxy Knoxy story was perfect movie material as it featured an ‘all-American’ girl at the centre of a murder involving sex and drugs.

The script for the Lifetime channel in the U.S. is being written by Wendy Battles, who has penned episodes of CSI New York and the crime show Law and Order.

The 21-year-old is one of the most sought-after young actresses in Hollywood.

An all-American girl? How much do they really know about her? Drug habits and all?  Readers can discuss with fans and Hayden Panettiere’s managers on her forum on the popular and influential IMDB board.

At least one gushing fan there simply can’t wait for the movie. 

Posted on 09/20/10 at 07:11 PM by The EditorClick here & then top left for all my posts;
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Tuesday, November 10, 2009

The Best Meredith-Case Documentary Ever - One Intensely Compassionate To Meredith

Posted by Nicki


As many here know, I am an Italian-American who lives and works in Milan in northern Italy and who follows the case closely in Italian.

On TJMK here I have posted repeatedly on the DNA dimension and on the public perceptions in Italy of Meredith, Amanda Knox, and the campaign.

A week ago today, those public perceptions sharpened very noticeably.

One of the three largest national TV networks here, LA7, broadcast a one-hour documentary on the case. This was months in the making, the most costly production to date, and compelling for the depth and objectivity of the reporting.

And absolutely compelling for its extreme compassion toward Meredith, a loved and revered figure in Italy, for whom the cruel and untimely nature of her passing has led to a lot of outrage and sadness. 

If there were any dry eyes among the very large Italian viewership of LA7 by the end of the broadcast, it would be quite surprising.

The production’s power to move comes from its placing of Meredith right at the beginning (her church and her chaplain), repeatedly in the middle (people in England who knew her, including one who was with her in Perugia) and right at the end, where there is a scene in the cemetery where Meredith was buried of almost transcendental beauty and sadness.

The documentary (so far) is only watchable online in Italian, with Italian voice-overs of the many interviews that were carried out in English in the UK and in Seattle. 

The arguments of the Knox supporters in Part One came across as tired, weak, clutching at straws, playing on emotions, and avoiding hard facts, and well-informed Italian viewers probably tuned out the droning and confused Ann Bremner. Sympathy shown for Meredith and her family was around zero.

In sharp contrast, the Croydon and Leeds segments on Meredith in both parts, especially the second with the deeply-hurting Samantha Rodenhurst, sounded new, fresh, authentic, interesting, and very moving, and would have had Italian viewers transfixed. And Charles Mudede in Seattle was extremely effective in puncturing FOA hype.

For those with no Italian, which seems to be the huge majority of our readership, we have posted below a large number of still images from the broadcast, to convey the ground that was covered in Italy, the United States, and England..

The producers were largely guided, we believe, by the Italy-based American journalist Andrea Vogt, who appears several times to give effective commentary and who is credited at the end.

There is nothing really new on Amanda Knox, who herself does not feature very prominently, and virtually nothing at all on Raffaele Sollecito or Rudy Guede.

New in the Italy segments is an interview with the prosecutor, Mr Mignini, who observes that the FOA’s claims about the true strength of the case are simply flat-out wrong. He notes that they are not based on a thorough knowledge of the evidence presented or of the Italian judicial system.

New in the America segments are interviews with four University of Washington students, only one of whom thinks Amanda Knox is innocent and then with no great conviction. Interviews with two of Amanda Knox’s teachers at Seattle Prep, who found her to be pretty normal at the time. And highly insightful commentary by the Seattle journalist Charles Mudede.

And new in the England segment are interviews with Meredith’s chaplain at her former school, who also conducted her funeral service, and with Kirsty Whalley, a reporter for the Croydon Guardian. Also with a Croydon caféteria owner who served Meredith many meals of cheeseburgers and chips, and with four students at the University of Leeds, who were keen to see the thing over and properly reported upon so the Kercher family could perhaps find some peace.

Perhaps most moving of all were the many short segments with Samantha Rodenhurst. Samantha and Meredith became very close friends in the few weeks they were together in Perugia, and Samantha was one of the girls Meredith shared a pizza with on a bed, watching the movie The Notebook, before Meredith headed home to her final cruel fate.

We will later add some translations to the three posts directly below. [Many are now added.] The overwhelming sentiment of the program seems to me this: May Meredith finally rest in peace now, and her family be given respite from the Knox hype of the cruel campaign.

I doubt that many Italians feel any differently. Amanda Knox herself and the campaign have ensured that.

Posted on 11/10/09 at 09:44 PM by NickiClick here & then top left for all my posts;
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