Wednesday May 11th 2011
The weather is supposed to be nice on June 17th. Summer is in full swing, the longest day is just 4 days away and spirits are generally high. The perfect day, you might think, for an evening film screening. People can watch the setting sun as they amble gaily into the cinema, secure in the knowledge that they made the most of the sunshine but that the fun isn’t over just yet.
Unfortunately, on June 17th 2011 — the night of Ultra Culture Cinema #07: EuroTrip — it pissed it down good and proper.
The ICA foyer remained conspicuously empty as the start time rapidly approached. Small groups of people were dribbling in, but most of them were just there to see performance art or buy an overpriced bowl of soup. What if literally no-one came? Would we see a microcosmic repeat of the film’s lacklustre performance at the 2004 box office?
Luckily, the floodgates suddenly opened at about 8:25 as hoards of excitable teen comedy fans poured into the building ready for the night of their lives.
After green-screen fun in the foyer (where we also had 20 metres of ‘European bunting’) and some xenophobic doodling in the hallway, the audience were treated to a special EuroTrip zine and more free biscuits and Rubicon than they ever imagined possible. We even had a few celebrity attendees, as this photograph of The Incredible Suit and News of the World’s Robbie Collin molesting Robert Pattinson will attest to:
Once everyone had settled down, I did my usual pre-film waffle, which this time included forcing absinthe on unsuspecting audience members and handing out Big Mommas: Like Father Like Son posters to anyone who would take them. Luckily, a special appearance from hot young things Summer Camp, who played a blistering cover of ‘Scotty Doesn’t Know’, well and truly saved the day from my ramshackle nonsense.
1940s public service announcement A Warning to Travellers was shown before the film, but sadly the DVD cut out before the special EuroTrip title card I’d made for the occasion.
Topical AND hilarious, I think you’ll agree.
Finally, the film rolled and I can tell you with no exaggeration whatsoever that it went down spectacularly well. More than half of the 130-strong audience had never seen it before, and the LOLs and ROFLs were quite literally ‘aplenty’ throughout. Even bits I’m not that fond of (the goose-stepping child for instance) went down a treat. And best of all, the notoriously quiet ICA sound system was pumping out the jams like nobody’s business.
It was the best cinema audience I’ve ever been a part of.
As ever, the fun continued on in the ICA bar afterwards, where DJs Colin Roberts and Dora Stewart laid out a selection of era-specific monsters that got the crowd jumping. You should have seen the mini-rave that erupted when Scotty Doesn’t Know came on.
Like all good nights, it ended at around 1:30 with a mass sing along of Come On Eileen, after which we all flooded out into the street to finish the rest of the absinthe.
Thanks to all who came, you really made my year.
A few tweets from the night:
#ultraculturecinema started with biscuits in the ICA foyer and ended singing in chorus to Dexy’s Midnight Runners. Thanks @ultraculture! - @sam_clements
Summer Camp, EuroTrip, Nice biscuits, pringles and 2unlimited – No Limit. What a combo. Well played @ultraculture #ultraculturecinema – @rindiecinema
@ultraculture outdid himself last night. Bravo. – @Frost_Ed
So, turns out that Eurotrip is amazing. Want to watch it again. NOW. Sorry, @ultraculture, I should never have doubted you. - @agnes_o_daff
Also, had a great time @ultraculture cinema, despite being absolutely soaked when I arrived. The perfect way to watch Eurotrip – @JoeCunningham14
I’m having so much fun at #ultraculturecinema I can barely tweet about it. – @boydcape
Wow. I just enjoyed EUROTRIP even more than Alan Frank enjoyed GREEN LANTERN. 11/10 for #UltraCultureCinema. – @RobbieReviews
Big old thanks to David Cox, Tejinder Jouhal, Anthony Ing, Colin Roberts, Dora Stewart Szego, Jeremy Warmsley, Elizabeth Sankey, Susie Bould, Adam Thompson, J. P. Manoux and Jessica Boehrs for believing in the power of Eurotrip.
- A review of the night by Edward Frost.