On Friday 17th June I journeyed into a soggy London with the simple aim of completing my three week internship at Optimum Releasing. Little did I know, however, that I would be meeting a podcasting legend (stand up Picturehouse Podcast’s Simon Renshaw!), catching an impromptu screening of Potiche (pretty great) and attending an event I had merely heard of, but never experienced. Now, I am a devout Ultra Culture fanboy, and my lack of attendance at any of the six previous events, of which I have literally no excuses for, needed to be rectified pretty sharpish, so I finally parted with my £8 (bargain!) and bought a ticket with utmost enthusiasm, throwing caution and consideration of how I will eventually be getting home to the wind.
As the clock tolled 8:30, the excitable ticket-holders in the foyer of the ICA filed into the snug screening room, passing Europe-inspired bunting along the way, and were greeted with extra special Eurotrip zines (pictured above), choc a bloc with reviews and interviews with the cast of the film, including the incomparable French robot guy played by J.P. Manoux. Now it’s no secret that upon it’s 2004 release, the film was a critical and financial mess, and literally no one saw it. Yet you wouldn’t have believed it Friday night considering that the audience turnout, which included News of the World film person Robbie Collins (just as tall in real life), was pretty impressive, almost filling out the 200-strong seated cinema. After our host, UC scribe Charlie Lyne, did the standard introduction, a rejigged game of audience-friendly beer pong and a few prize giveaways (8 lucky lucky people walked away with a Big Mommas: Like Father, Like Son poster), the film was underway, playing behind a hilarious public service announcement, stressing the importance of leaving the house with only five pounds in change.
As far as the film is concerned, it’s just as insufferable as it’s reputation makes it out to be, but taken in context with the evening it was a very humorous experience that benefited from some lol-tastic audience participation (the guy next to me was lapping up the gags). Yet, although it made me laugh a couple of times, Eurotrip has now ruined further viewings of Toy Story 3 for me, for one reason only:
The film finished at around 10:30, and although I unfortunately couldn’t stay on for the after party in the bar (damn you c2c rail service!) I went away satisfied in the knowledge that future events will be making their way into my figurative events calendar. I’m glad, in a way, that this was my first UCC experience as in the words of Lyne himself, it showcased the film that Ultra Culture “was born to play”, and I am exceedingly happy that I finally got to witness this delightfully makeshift event. But please, don’t tell Scotty.