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Toronto Int. Film Fest. to screen "Casuistry: The Art of Killing a Cat"

trescanis
September 1st, 2004, 01:08 AM
IDA has learned that the Toronto Film Festival plans to screen "Casuistry: The Art of Killing a Cat" during their "Real to Real" program. This film glorifies atrocities committed by three youths in 2001 when they videotaped themselves skinning alive a domestic cat and called it art. Several of the police who watched the videotapes had to stop watching; some of them cried.


The three youths were all given slaps on the wrist and are now out on the street today capable of committing further atrocities.


Below please find the column that appeared in the Toronto Sun, (also available at http://www.canoe.ca/NewsStand/Columnists/Toronto/Mike_Strobel/2004/08/28/605479.html).





Please write to Toronto Film Festival Officials and let them know that you are disgusted. Tell them you are boycotting the festival if this film is not pulled.


Contact:
Lynnette Gryseels, Press Officer
Michele Maheux, Managing Director
Toronto Film Festival
E-mail: lgryseels@torfilmfest.ca; tiffg@torfilmfest.ca; proffice@torfilmfest.ca; customerservice@torfilmfest.ca
Tel.: (416) 934-3200
Fax: (416) 581-0214


Sample letter:


To the organizers of the Toronto International Film Festival:


I was horrified to learn that Linda Feesey's film, Casuistry: The Art of Killing a Cat, is scheduled as part of the Toronto Film Festival. As you likely know, the film discusses the notorious case of 2001 in which Jesse Power, Anthony Wennekers, and Matt Kaczorowski videotaped themselves torturing a cat.


We would welcome efforts to raise awareness about this act of cruelty. However, you may not be aware that the producer, Linda Feesey, is an associate of the cat torturers. (For example, her 2002 film, Mr. Kafka's Holiday, starred Jesse Power's friend Jubal Brown, who was outspoken in his support of Power during the cat video case.) Casuistry is another opportunity for Power and his friends to defend their horrendous actions. According to the review in the Toronto Sun, the film features many apologists for the cat torturers. The killers show no remorse for their crime.


By including this film in the Festival, you are not only condoning, but encouraging Jesse Power and his ilk in their actions of extreme, premeditated, and illegal cruelty to animals. We urge you to remove this film from your program.
Please let me know as soon as possible what action you will take.


Thank you for your consideration.
Sincerely,
_______



Monday, August 30, 2004
COLUMNIST
Sat, August 28, 2004
It gets even loopier


By MIKE STROBEL -- For the Toronto Sun


Casuistry: (1) The act of deciding questions of right from wrong. (2) Clever but false reasoning.


And here we thought the Kensington cat snuff film was evil, pure and simple.


That we were right to revile the three goofs who made it and be repulsed by their work. That nothing, nothing, could justify it. Now along comes Casuistry: The Art of Killing a Cat. It premieres at the Toronto Film Festival Sept. 14. The producer gave me a tape, since I wrote about the case.


You need not be a cat-lover to remember: Jesse Power, Anthony Wennekers and Matt Kaczorowski, all 20-ish, made a snuff film one Friday night in
2001.


For 17 minutes, they tormented, tortured, and oh, so, slowly, killed a gentle, striped female cat in a Kensington house. The unlucky pet was later found skinned in a beer fridge. It was art, said Jesse Power, the lead goof.


A few of Toronto's loopier artistes defended them, but hardly anyone else did. I mean, this was the Bernardo/Homolka of animal cruelty cases.


Now, at last, the Three Stooges have their say. Casuistry: The Art of Killing a Cat is produced by Linda Feesey and directed by Zev Asher. She made Sex and Cerebral Palsy. He made What About Me: The Rise of the Nihilist Spasm Band. They are not Disney.


To set the mood, they open Casuistry with scenes from a 1980 "performance art" flick, in which two cats are disembowelled and worn as hats. Istvan Kantor filmed that gem. He has since won a Governor General's Award. But Jesse Power is the star of Casuistry. (It's his special word, right before "cat" in the dictionary.) He's even the soundtrack, yowling his Anti-Meat Eating Song. He speaks first in shadow, then, as he warms to the topic, in full view.


His bangs dangle sexily. His eyes toy with the camera. "Man, am I charismatic," they say. "And misunderstood." And a whiner. The cops "went all righteous on me." Or, "I never got to eat the cat, but a lot of other people are feasting off of this cat."


Or, things got gory because he and his pals were "disorganized" and one of them gave him a dull razor. Plus they were dozy on drugs. And, anyway, "everything takes a long time to die, no matter what it is." He got 90 days, on weekends. He blames the papers, and society, and the young woman who called the cops (in hopes of a reward, says our Jesse).


Pal Wennekers even manages to blame cats, "just a smarter version of rats, an artifact of human culture." Sometimes, bull-fights or squealing swine flash across Casuistry. Remember, Power's "art video" was to show the "hypocrisy" of pets in a world of abattoirs. And, step right up, see Jesse Power chop off a runt chicken's head. See him cuddle a rotting pig, play puppet with a baby orangutan's corpse. There is none of the Kensington tape.


The filmmakers couldn't get their hands on it. They also couldn't find any backers, even in usually fertile arts councils and grant offices. Total budget was, oh, $500. Apologists were a dime a dozen, though.
A friend of Matt's tells us how the guy is a talented writer and once asked for a teddy bear. "Artists" say things like: "Young men, as they're growing up and learning how things work, they always kill something. It's part of growing and developing as a young person." Det. John Margetson, the humane society and the like, bring some balance and sense, thank goodness. "I cannot condone, or condemn, what (Power and Co.) did," says Zev Asher, down the line from Montreal. "I think it was a misguided adventure, that they were inebriated and did something sick and stupid. "I think Jesse is an artist. I don't think this was art at all, though I understand what he was trying to do." I dunno. You should see those 17 minutes, Mr. Asher. I have. So when Jesse Power smirks that maybe he'll be "torn apart by a cougar" when he goes camping...it's hard not to root for the cougar.

chico2
September 1st, 2004, 09:16 AM
Thank you Trescanis,I have tried to get the same point through in the General Forum,as I am absolutely sickened,
I e-mailed all the addresses above.

trescanis
September 1st, 2004, 12:27 PM
You're welcome Chico.

As you did, I watched this whole drama unfold from the very beginning. Remember when they were still looking for the scum Matt? Websites and groups/message boards were set up all over the net....it was a joyful day when he was finally nabbed. And now this.

http://www.click-smilies.de/sammlung0304/spezial/Fool/vis.gif

krdahmer
September 1st, 2004, 12:39 PM
I sent that to everyone I know and encouraged them to do the same and send it on!

Rotten Film Festival!!!! :mad:

SSAC
September 1st, 2004, 03:13 PM
I email them, but I have to say that my email wasn't as polite. Don't worry though, I didn't "freak out". I was blunt in my opinion and to the point.
The only bad words that I used were "heartless, money grabbinig bast**ds."
Couldn't help myself. sorry

krdahmer
September 1st, 2004, 11:33 PM
^5 Ssac!

SSAC
September 2nd, 2004, 12:13 PM
^5 right back at ya! :)

mastifflover
September 2nd, 2004, 05:54 PM
That is truly disgusting. I cannot believe that anybody would give it screen time. I have emailed everyone I know at the festival office and some of the exhibitors, who are screening their films. They have all agreed and are emailing letters to them.

dsterritt
September 8th, 2004, 10:08 AM
Is anyone going to be at the film festival protesting this? Let the rest of the world know who these people are and what they're about! We need laws preventing films like this and actually doing something about people like this.

This is not art!

chico2
September 8th, 2004, 10:11 AM
dsterrits.There are protesters going to be there,the film is being shown at the Cumberland theater on sept 14th and other dates,but I am not sure when.

Donna Marie
September 15th, 2004, 01:15 PM
Interesting turn of events.

Animal rights official defends Toronto fest's right to screen cat killer doc

TORONTO (CP) - Score one for the Toronto International Film Festival, sort of, in the ongoing heated debate over a documentary about cat killers.

Well before Thursday's official opening of the 2004 edition of the festival, the film Casuistry: The Art of Killing a Cat, generated controversy over its propriety. Many animal rights activists and columnists have condemned programmers for including the title in this year's lineup, arguing that it glorifies the horrible crime committed in the name of art.

Several film critics, however, have defended the documentary, stressing that not a single frame of the horrendous video that was shot by the killers is included.

Now, Pat Tohill, the campaigns and communications manager for the World Society for the Protection of Animals, has issued a statement saying that he was disgusted by the film and he is sorry he saw it. But he defended the festival's right to screen it.

The film investigates an animal-cruelty case in which art student Jesse Power and two friends torture and kill a cat to protest the unthinking consumption of factory-slaughtered animals.

The trio eventually pleaded guilty to animal cruelty and mischief charges for the May 2001 incident.

In his statement, Tohill said he would not recommend the film to anyone, except politicians who should be aware of the need for stronger legislation to deal with animal cruelty.

"The film is difficult to watch," said Tohill, who accepted an invitation from the festival to view Casuistry. "It's offensive even. After 91 minutes I felt shell-shocked. Numb."

But he said even with some other images of animal cruelty in the film, it does not condone the torture and killing of the young cat in question. Nor, he said, does it condone or promote animal cruelty.

"And Jesse Power ultimately comes across looking like the sick and twisted individual he surely is."

http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/cpress/20040907/ca_pr_on_en/film_festival_cat_killer_1

chico2
September 15th, 2004, 07:14 PM
Did you also read how the killer Jesse Powers tried to walk down"the red carpet"into the theater,but instead got put in handcuffs and escorted away,to spend a couple of hours locked up :D :D
Did he really believe he deserved a walk on the red carpet :eek:
He is lucky we Canadians are a civilized people,many other places in the world he would have been beaten to a pulp.
Also,after looking like a Satanic cultleader in pictures from the video,all of a sudden,he looks like an altar-boy,but he did not fool anybody

Donna Marie
September 16th, 2004, 12:24 PM
Did you also read how the killer Jesse Powers tried to walk down"the red carpet"into the theater,but instead got put in handcuffs and escorted away,to spend a couple of hours locked up :D :D
Did he really believe he deserved a walk on the red carpet :eek:
He is lucky we Canadians are a civilized people,many other places in the world he would have been beaten to a pulp.
Also,after looking like a Satanic cultleader in pictures from the video,all of a sudden,he looks like an altar-boy,but he did not fool anybody

Yes! I read that....excellent I must say.

Too bad we couldn't dole out an "eye for an eye" punishment.

SSAC
September 16th, 2004, 01:57 PM
A good old fashioned stoneing perhaps? :D

Donna Marie
September 16th, 2004, 02:20 PM
A good old fashioned stoneing perhaps? :D

No...that's too gentle....lets rip a few strips off him....literally.

iRONKNiGHT
September 17th, 2004, 03:53 PM
-just an added last comment..
how about we unleash him to some Big cat's and let them decide!
700lbs Tigers..

coonlover
September 17th, 2004, 04:13 PM
Good Idea Ironknight ;)

Donna Marie
September 18th, 2004, 12:36 AM
-just an added last comment..
how about we unleash him to some Big cat's and let them decide!
700lbs Tigers..

Good one....we need to get you fitted for a robe and gavel!