Jameson Cult Film Club: Moon


24th March 2010

Last week, I was lucky enough to attend the Jameson Cult Film Club screening of the Bafta-winning Moon. The event, hosted at science geek haven The Royal Institution, boasted Moon-themed props, actors and surprises, all while serving free Jameson-based cocktails. In fact, the night became such a blur of space and whiskey, it's amazing I remember enough to write it up now (albeit a week later).

Coinciding with St Patrick's Day, the Royal Institution was awash with green light as NASA-inspired foil lined the impressive archives of science texts and exhibits. Along the way to claim the first free drink of the night (some kind of ginger-based whiskey mix - it was downhill from here), the long corridors were populated with futuristic waitresses wearing silver wigs who were on hand with screening info and 'space dust' (it tasted like popping candy, but they assured me it was space dust).

Even better, though, were the Sam Rockwell look-a-likes that roamed the halls in lead character(s) Sam Bell's uniform. As one looked on disdainfully at the limping other one, while wearing cool shades and chewing gum, the pair of actors respectfully refused to break character for the whole night. I know this because I tried mercilessly to crack one of them up.

[gallery]Then there was just enough time to take in the main exhibit - Sam Bell's actual spacesuit as worn in the film - before entering the main auditorium through one of the large 'Bay' doors. As the crowds found their seats, everyone was treated to an 'aerial show': an astronaut slowly being lowered from the ceiling, making anti-gravity movements to the accompaniment of space-themed tunes. This understated display proved to enhance the already elevated mood as hundreds of people egged the dangling cosmonaut on until he landed safely to rapturous cheers and applause.

First to be shown on the projected screen, though unexpected, was the hilarious short film Blake's Junction 7, in which Martin Freeman, Mark Heap and Mackenzie Crook, among others, re-imagine Blake's 7 in a motorway services station. After this whetted our sci-fi appetite, we bore witness to our own personal message from Dominique McElligott, the actress who played Sam's wife Tess Bell, recreating the kind of the video communication received by Sam in the movie. Following her eerily replicated words, we were finally set for take-off (sorry).

Whether you have already fallen in love with Moon's unique story and sci-fi sensibilities, or are one of the nay-sayers who claim the film is over-rated, watching it again in such a setting was simply remarkable. While the sound wasn't great, and not all of the seats in the room were compatible for a screening (this was, after all, an auditorium used mainly for lectures), the atmosphere was faultless.

In the end, it was an extraordinary experience that would make a Moon fanatic (a 'lunartic'? Just an idea...) out of anyone. To say the night was 'out of this world' would be...well, nauseatingly clichéd of me. But the fact that I'm tempted to say it anyway, tells you how good it was.

Rather than celebrating Moon's early cult status, Jameson Cult Film Club has, particularly with this screening, established quite a following of its own and it's well worth looking out for future events. Just try to avoid the ginger-based drinks.

More:  Moon  Sam Rockwell
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