Friday, August 7, 2015

Media Hackers Punk Fundie Radio Show and Promote Spoof Film

Troy Davis writes:

I was checking out the response to last night GOP presidential debate on right-wing talk radio today and was tuned into Bryan Fischer's Focal Point radio show. Focal Point is part of The American Family Association, an American fundamentalist political organization. Fischer is a poster boy for why separation of church and state is a great idea.  Anyhow, he told his listeners to call and let him know which candidate was the most impressive. I dialed the call-in number and acted like a live one to the screener.  Since I had a friend's phone with a 740 area code, I told her I was "Randall from Bridgeport, Ohio."  When Fischer got to me on the show, here's how the call went:

FISCHER: Let's grab a call from Randall in Bridgeport, Ohio. Randall, welcome. What's on your mind?
TROY (AS RANDALL):  Oh, hello, Bryan. Yeah, I really loved both debates and I was especially impressed by the performance by Bobby Jindal of Louisiana and his strong stand against Planned Parenthood. I think one thing that really sets Governor Jindal apart is that he's no Johnny-come-lately when it comes to the fight for Christian values. In fact, there's a film that's a testament to his fight against spiritual darkness. It's called Ivy League Exorcist: The Bobby Jindal Story and you can watch it online and it's just really inspirational.  
FISCHER:  Well, you know Bobby Jindal, I mean, there isn't any question, Randall, that Bobby Jindal is one of us: when it comes to his evangelical faith, when it comes to his values, when it comes his recognition of the authority of scripture, when it comes to his being completely unapologetic about publicly praying and engaging in public prayer. You're talking about an exorcism that he witnessed or was a part of when he was in college, [and he] writes unapologetically about that and, you know, he was one of the first governors--I think he was the first governor, maybe, to suspend funding for Planned Parenthood through Medicaid or Medicare--I think it was Medicaid--through Medicaid in Louisiana. He was the first state to do that. Other states have since followed suit, Alabama today. Governor Jindal, you're exactly right, was out there in front. Governor Jindal believes in the power of prayer. He convened, about eight months ago, a prayer rally at Louisiana State, Baton Rouge. [He] got a lot of criticism for that. I got relentlessly hammered over that because AFA was connected to that prayer event so the left just went after me hammer and tongs. Bobby Jindal was undeterred because this was about prayer; it's not about anything else. We're going ahead and we're going to have this prayer event. Alright, Randall, good call. I appreciate that. 

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

New Press Release for the short film Ivy League Exorcist: The Bobby Jindal Story


The Film Bobby Jindal’s Spokesman Denounced as “Insane”

On June 24, 2015, Louisiana governor Bobby Jindal announced that he would be a 2016 presidential candidate. The members of the film collective CultJam Productions had released the short film about Jindal’s college years, Ivy League Exorcist: The Bobby Jindal Story, on its website ( to rave reviews.  Richard von Busack, the film reviewer for Metro Silicon Valley, called the film “a sharp shocker .  .  . worthy of John Waters.”  Peter Jacobs of the Ivy Gate Blog (now at Business Insider) wrote that Ivy League Exorcist is “probably the best 11-minute film you will watch all day. Trust us.”  The film also was covered by The London Daily Telegraph, Wonkette, and The Huffington Post.

Governor Jindal’s people were less impressed.  Governor Jindal’s spokesman, Kyle Plotkin, said of the film, “That movie is insane. It’s just plain absurd.”

The film is a deadpan comedy film, a postmodern mumblecore-style examination of a disturbing event. The film is a tongue-in-cheek dramatization of the bizarre events that took place in a Brown University classroom in 1990.  Jindal and members of a student Christian group were holding a prayer vigil for a fellow member who had been diagnosed with skin cancer when the afflicted woman suddenly collapsed on the floor, convulsed, and showed sudden and drastic personality changes that Jindal and the other students interpreted as demonic possession.  The group performed a do-it-yourself exorcism on the woman. 

Jindal wrote about the incident in a conservative Catholic journal The New Oxford Review in 1994; the title of the article was “Beating a Demon: Physical Dimensions of Spiritual Warfare.”  Davis got the idea of doing a short film about the incident after he read the New Oxford Review piece in the summer of 2011: “After I finished reading the article,” recounted Davis, “my first thought was, ‘Wow, this is totally surreal!’ My second thought was that of a filmmaker, ‘Wouldn’t it be cool to do a reenactment of the exorcism in the form of a mumblecore-style film?’” The film is intended to have a deconditioning effect, that is, it is intended to jolt people out of ordinary modes of thinking.  This film is very postmodern in that it employs pastiche, intertextuality, and blends highbrow and lowbrow elements.  

Eventually Davis saw the subversive media potential of the film: “On the one hand,” Davis quipped, “using a cinema vérité or mumblecore cinematography style, the film would have a documentary feel to it. I was convinced that some people viewing the film would be convinced that it was a documentary of the actual events—I’m reminded of a recent survey indicating that many people didn’t realize that Stephen Colbert’s TV show persona is satirical in nature.  We decided to introduce some over-the-top elements into the film, not just for shock value or cheap laughs, but to test the naïveté of the audience—were they in on the gag?”

Davis noted that the members of CultJam Productions, a film collective, were uniquely suited for the odd nature of the film: “In the nineties, I discovered postmodernism, media hacking, and cyberpunk culture; these aren’t just theories, they were and continue to be a way of life.”  Mario Glaviano, the director, and Francesca Stonum, the co-DP and editor, are graduates of the film program at San Diego State University when they were protégés of postmodernist and cyberpunk theorist Larry McCaffery. The assistant director, Mark Schwab, is a veteran of the mumblecore film movement and whose experiments in improvisation and the do-it-yourself ethic have been landing him accolades in underground film festivals. 

CultJam Productions did a guerilla-style promotion of the film at Comic-Con in San Diego in 2012.  Davis noted, “We created a mini-comic book promoting the film that mimicked the style of the inflammatory fundamentalist Jack Chick comic book tracts; it can be seen here:  Davis quipped, “We handed them out to the conventioneers and most thought we were crazy religionists but some of the more discerning people appreciated the irony and the fact that they were in on the joke.” 

Members of CultJam Productions are concerned that people will think the film is an attempt to influence politics.  “People who think this is a hit job on Jindal don’t get the point,” Davis said, “The college years are a time for people to do stupid things. If anything, I think that with Jindal, unlike Barack Obama who was doing coke in college, at least his heart was in the right place. He meant well. I think there are some deeper issues, nonpolitical ones that the film addresses. 

CONTACT:  Troy Davis, co-producer of CultJam Productions  

Ivy League Exorcist site:
Ivy League Exorcist blog:
CultJam Productions blog:
Ivy League Exorcist IMDb page:

Saturday, July 11, 2015

Pair Plan to Make a Rock Opera Based on Jindal Exorcism

Troy Davis writes:

The New Orleans Times-Picayune reported that two political operatives, Brian Welsh and Chris Chiari, plan to make a rock opera based on the infamous Brown University exorcism that Louisiana governor and presidential candidate Bobby Jindal participated in as an undergraduate. The pair started a Kickstarter campaign for the project.

As the person who came up with the idea for the film adaptation of the exorcism (as well as a comic book promoting the film) I believe the two are stealing our idea to do an absurdist version of the exorcism and trying to make a quick buck off of our idea. I think this is wrong.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Our Film Ivy League Exorcist Mentioned in story in the London Daily Telegraph!

Troy Davis writes:

I was interviewed by Raf Sanchez for the story titled, "Meet the Republican Presidential Candidate Who Once Performed an Exorcism."

In the article, Sanchez writes:
[Jindal's] attempts at forgetting the incident might be easier if it were not for a short film called Ivy League Exorcist: The Bobby Jindal Story that is posted with gleeful posted by mockers of Mr Jindal. 
Mr Davis said the film was not meant as "political hack job" against the Louisiana governor but rather as a satire of Christian religious fundamentalists who constantly claimed the Devil was at work in America. 
"I thought the whole Jindal exorcism was completely absurd but it's really just a manifestation of the hysteria around the fear of Satan," he said. 
The exorcism issue was last raised in 2012, when Mr Jindal was being talked about as a possible running mate for Mitt Romney. 
Now he'll need to deal with it all over again as he aims for America's top job. Maybe garlic and holy water will do the trick.

Bobby Jindal Announces that He is Running for President in 2016!

Governor Jindal's Announcement is here

Our online film Ivy League Exorcist: The Bobby Jindal Story

IMDb page for Ivy League Exorcist: The Bobby Jindal Story

Metro Silicon Valley article about Ivy League Exorcist and the filmmakers behind it.

List of media outlets that wrote about Ivy League Exorcist

Chick tract parody that promotes Ivy League Exorcist

Friday, June 19, 2015

Changes to Ivy League Exorcist Comic Book

Troy Davis writes:

I made some changes in anticipation of Bobby's June 24 "major announcement" regarding his presidential plans.  I added some gags and Richard Nixon makes a cameo appearance in Hell. Check it out here.

Also for comix fans, check out "Cock-Tale: A Modern Tijuana Bible,"  a satire of Scientology.  French edition here.