Ultra Culture Cinema: Scott Pilgrim vs. The World

Thursday July 15th 2010


After an absence of almost two months, Ultra Culture Cinema exploded into London’s ICA once again on the 25th August 2010 for a special ‘Opening Night Celebration’ of Scott Pilgrim vs. The World. It was our biggest and best night yet, and for the first time we welcomed TWO sold out audiences on the same night, both eager to witness the year’s most anarchic blockbuster.

With the 7:30 kick-off rapidly approaching, an enthusiastic crowd flooded into Screen 1 to the soothing sounds of the Sonic the Hedgehog soundtrack. Our team of helpers roamed the aisles distributing biscuits as attendees took their seats. Waiting for each of them: a small pack containing our patented 1000-word film notes (on special YELLOW PAPER!!!!), a Scott Pilgrim nametag and a tasty treat from Poundland.

Soon the show began, and after a bit of bigging up for this video, it was on to the main event: our recreation of the Scott Pilgrim trailer – live on stage with a cast of audience members and a host of cardboard props constructed by yours truly. Working from hastily-written scripts, our volunteers dove head-first into the action and the result was something pretty special. Here’s a slightly blurry video:

Prizes including T-shirts, bags, hats, Spaced DVDs and even ultra-rare copies of the original Plumtree EP that inspired the Pilgrim graphic novels were then given out, before the cast returned to their seats.

It was time for the film to begin, but first we had a short video introduction from director general Edgar Wright and the stupidly beautiful Scott Pilgrim cast. I won’t make it less special for the people who were there by sticking it on Youtube, but here’s an outtake in which Wright forgets the name of his own movie:

The movie went down a total storm with what is undoubtedly the best audience we’ve ever had at Ultra Culture Cinema. They even appropriately booed when that fucking awful anti-piracy ad came up before the movie started.

Almost two hours later, the credits rolled and everyone dutifully remained in their seats. They had been promised one last surprise. Said surprise ended up being a few minutes late so they were pacified with even more free shit. Before long though, the big moment arrived as Mr. Wright himself swanned through the open doors with a party cup full of Coke Zero.

Fresh from editing the extras for the Scott Pilgrim DVD, Wright did a quick Q&A for the near-orgasmic audience. I won’t bother to write any of it up, but if you’ve got a video let me know and I’ll stick it up here.

With the cinematic presentation complete, the real party began next door in the ICA bar. For the first time, we’d done a proper ‘takeover’, with special menus and drink offers:

There was also plenty more free stuff to distribute, including rucksacks, hats and tons of Coke Zero in those amazing ‘frat party’ cups.

The big selling point, however, was our Battle of the Bands competition. Courtesy of EA, we had the full Rock Band 3 kit to jam on into the early hours and dozens of increasingly drunk patrons (including myself) willingly took the stage to embarrass themselves. It was the first time the as-yet-unreleased game had been loaned out in Europe so video game nerds were pretty excited about that.

Trust me, it looked more busy in real life.

As the lights came up at closing time, the few remaining Pilgrims stumbled off into the night, leaving only sweet wrappers and Bourbon biscuit crumbs in their wake.

It will be hard to top.

A few tweets from the night:

‘I would challenge that the @ultraculture Scott Pilgrim Event was the best screening of this film bar none. And the night goes on…’@AuntieNubbins

‘great night courtesy of @ultraculture – ur trailer was almost better then the real one.Gutted I didnt get a t-shirt though #droppinghints’ – @DawnCloud

‘Awesome time at the @ultraculture Scott Pilgrim screening.Good company, brilliant movie, free t-shirt and @edgarwright turned up!’ - @will_full

‘Best night of my life? Seeing Scott Pilgrim AND @edgarwright in the same night? I think so. Thank you @ultraculture!’ - @randomentalist

‘i take back what i said, last night was the best UC so far, well done, you put on a great night’ - @glimbrick

‘Nursing a massive hangover thanks to @ultraculture ‘s screening of #ScottPilgrim . Also, thanks to @EdgarWright for the Q+A afterwards’ - @chris_mac

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Thanks to Universal and Manish for providing prizes for the night, and thanks to David Cox, Tej Jouhal, Charlie Lyons, Edgar Wright, Katy Dillon, Anthony Ing, James McLoughlin, Joe Venning, EA and all the Scott Pilgrim cast for making the night unequivocally epic.

Further reading:
- Download our film notes on Scott Pilgrim vs. The World.
- Join the Ultra Culture Cinema mailing list.
- A review of the night by The Incredible Suit.
- A review of the night by Limara Salt.
- A review of the night by Platform.
- A review of the night by Rich Turner.
- A review of the night by Ben Kirby.