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 by Hopeful on 02/09/11 at 05:28 PM in Various hypothesesThe officially involvedMovies on caseAmanda Knox


I immediately thought Amanda’s reaction to the trailer is that it brought up the very scary reality of what did happen that night. The trailer is like someone took a real flashback and then created a cartoon-like version of it. She is probably desperate to keep any reminder of that night as far from her thoughts as possible, so she can believe in her own innocence. That film still brought it all back to her. I’d hyperventilate too, if I was her.

Posted by bedelia on 02/09/11 at 05:54 PM | #

Hi Former Bad Girl. There is a school of thought (see the brilliant analysis on the Miss Represented site) that Knox and Sollecito might have fantasized about a hazing of Meredith in advance and perhaps enjoyed the memory for several days after.

Nobody seems quite sure (except maybe for her prison psychologists as she is in psychological care) what is actively suppressed into the subconsciousness now in Knox’s mind (and Sollecito’s mind) and what is merely in strong denial.

This very insightful post by Carol Poole, a professional in the field (like MR) says that we should really not expect too much in the short run at least, and direct most available energy into doing what we can to help family and friends of the victim make their own ways back.

As Hopeful suggests, the fact of the sensational hard-hitting movie and of Hayden Panettiere’s obvious extreme glee at living inside the persona of Amanda with no negative consequences might fast-forward the Knox-comes-full-circle part of that.

Perversely this may be for the best if a repentant Knox deeply hoping for some sign of understanding or acceptance from Meredith’s family is what we all hope to see. Remember how fixatedly hard she stared at them in court in mid 2009.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 02/09/11 at 07:33 PM | #

“Chris Mellas quoted her [Amanda Knox], “I was physically ill when I saw the images. I thought I was going to throw up.” ”

The above comment from Hopeful’s Post is a reminder of Amanda Knox’s reaction to the opening of the knife drawer at her house when she and the other two girls in residence were escorted there to check things out..

Testifying at the Massei-Jury Trial on April 23, 2009, Gioia Brocci
<ul>“ .... told the court that Knox had reacted visibly when taken into the house’s kitchen, after the murder” on the night of November 1/2.</ul>

She said:

<ul>“A drawer with cutlery in it was opened, and I remember that Knox started to tremble, she closed her eyes and put her hands over her ears…. She reacted in such a way that she had to be escorted out of the room and taken into the corridor by the officers from the Perugia Flying Squad who were with her.”</ul>

So when the Perugia Police make her look at knives that could not possibly carry Meredith’s DNA, she:

1.  Trembles, and
2.  Closes her eyes, and
3.  Puts her hands over her ears, and
4.    Generally, “reacted in such a way ”, that
5.  She had to be escorted out of the room and taken into the corridor .

Posted by Cardiol MD on 02/09/11 at 08:07 PM | #

If any of us were caught on camera doing something wrong, whether it be kicking a cat, beating someone up, stealing or whatever, most of us would react rather strongly to it because we have been caught and we are faced with our wrong doing. I suspect that though this is a dramatic representation, there are probably some accurate elements in it which brings out the reaction in Amanda.

Also, she feels as though the reigns have been taken from her hands and she has lost control of her image - scary for someone who has worked so hard to portray a certain image of herself over the last 3 years.

I think if I were in her position and were innocent, I would react with anger. I don’t think an innocent person would necessarily react in the nervous and anxious way she indicates. But maybe that’s just my take on it.

Posted by Vedantist on 02/10/11 at 01:50 AM | #

Very insightful; thank you, Hopeful.

Posted by giustizia on 02/10/11 at 06:37 AM | #

Again, the ugly face of guilt is shown with this statement by Chris Mellas.
Why the need to publicise Saint Amandas reaction to the trailer in the first place?

The Knox/ Mellas families really are nothing but media whores now and the convicted killer has certainly lost control of her image as she, her lawyers,Chris Mellas and the Knox PR people are all singing off different hymn sheets.

It must be very frustrating for Ghirga,Vedova and co.
I say the ugly face of guilt because in my opinion her supposed reaction to watching the trailer (although it could be total BS from Chris Mellas) is very unusual for someone who claims to be innocent.

I can only opine here as I never stabbed any of my housemates to death when I was at uni but personally if I had been sentenced to 26 years in prison for something I hadn’t done, my reaction to the trailer would be one of anger and outrage.

Posted by Deathfish2000 on 02/10/11 at 10:00 AM | #

Does anyone have any idea how Knox managed to see this movie in prison?

Does her prison in Italy run regular screenings of movies and are inmates allowed to watch whatever they like?

Does the Lifetime channel air in Italy or do Italian prisons have cable TV with American networks for the comfort of the incarcerated?

I personally smell a huge rat here. I bet Knox hasn’t seen the movie at all. Mellas is lying. I think this is being used as a clever way to get Knox into the news again and to garner sympathy for her based on a manipulated version of events. The whole movie is a PR stunt.

Posted by lilly on 02/10/11 at 01:59 PM | #

apparently the trailer was shown during a local news broadcast, lilly.

Posted by mojo on 02/10/11 at 03:54 PM | #

Thursday at 9:00 am NYC time. We are waiting for news of what happens next.

Lifetime have to the end of today (thursday) NYC time to say they will yank the movie, at least from the Italy schedule, or face at least one injunction which will apparently be filed in a US court.

Perugia’s prosecutors and police are now also reported to be intent on stopping the movie before they are quite sure it contains no calunnia (criminal libels) of their professional performances.

Steve Moore seems to have gone to ground lately perhaps prompted by the growing realisation that he too might face calunnia charges. Given their rancid and inaccurate claims about the prosecutors and police we are amazed that Bruce Fisher and Jeffrey Bolding do not do the same.

Remember that even the ridiculous lightweight reporter Steve Shay attracted a lawsuit for his paper, the West Seattle Herald.

This is not us threatening of course. We merely point out what are the trends. Italian justice is a mighty force as even PM Berlusconi is finding out.

Posted by Peter Quennell on 02/10/11 at 04:26 PM | #

Cardiol draws a telling parallel above when he writes:

“Hopeful’s Post is a reminder of Amanda Knox’s reaction to the opening of the knife drawer at her house when she and the other two girls in residence were escorted there to check things out.”

We have here, although more so at the opening of the knife drawer, no doubt, but in both cases instances of possible “breakdown.”

Amanda has rather successfully “split off” the whole “complex” of the rape & murder, psychologically.  She is, if not quite unaware of it, blithely forgetful & dismissive.

Twice now, however, her very behavior has shown that the endeavor to block off the memory of her atrocity has failed.  I call it her atrocity because, in my view, Amanda has conceived this rape & lured the weakling Sollecito & a willing rapist like Guede into the act of crime.

Her personal “solution” to the fact of guilt is flawed. Sooner or later the entire truth must burst upon her—& the sooner the better for poor desperate Amanda.

Posted by Ernest Werner on 02/10/11 at 09:22 PM | #
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