The student news site of Hamline University.

The Oracle

The student news site of Hamline University.

The Oracle

The student news site of Hamline University.

The Oracle

Scott Pilgrim vs. the World: a cinematic ‘pilgrim’age with HUPB

Liv Degendorfer

On the evening of Feb. 21, the Hamline University Programming Board (HUPB) treated Pipers to a screening of the cult classic 2010 film “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.” Eager students gathered in West 240 to witness the remarkable music-and-video-game-themed adventure. 

The film plays out the journey of Scott Pilgrim, a 22-year-old sweet yet awkward slacker musician who develops feelings for the cool and mysterious Ramona Flowers. However, to date her, he must defeat her seven evil exes in video game-style battles. The film’s remarkable cast includes names such as Michael Cera, Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Aubrey Plaza and Chris Evans. 

Despite the usual chaos of academic schedules and extracurricular activities, the event attracted students like moths to a cinematic flame. “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World,” with its blend of action, romance and nostalgia, proved irresistible to those hungry to dive into the Scott Pilgrim aesthetic.

HUPB’s Off-Campus and Films programmer, sophomore Elisa Lopez, was the main driving force behind the event. She was inspired by the desire to bring together students who might not usually have much in common. At the movie night, she met a fellow student who creates comic-style art, which Lopez enjoys. 

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“We might’ve never met or connected if it wasn’t for watching this very specific movie together,” Lopez said over text.

The room hummed with anticipation and HUPB’s thoughtful supply of snacks added to the festive ambiance. It ensured that attendees could munch and marvel simultaneously. Lopez herself picked the snacks. 

“I try to do a variety of “safe” snacks that’ll 1. get eaten but 2. provide for all students,” she said over text. The snacks included items such as Doritos, Kit Kats, Redbull and Dr Pepper. The options turned out to be a hit. 

“Who does not want free Red Bull and full-size chocolate bars?” attendee senior Cat Vang said.

Spicing up the evening’s thrill, the Red Bull team, often nicknamed the “Red Bull Fairies,” provided their Pear Cinnamon and Juneberry flavors. The Red Bull staff’s contribution injected an additional sparkle of excitement and caffeine into the atmosphere. 

“I had somewhat jokingly reached out to one of the RedBull marketers,” Lopez said. They wanted to get into more gaming and eSports events, making this video game-oriented film the perfect venue. 

When it came to planning the screening, the main challenge was marketing. A huge debate is often over how to get students interested. 

“I try to pick movies and spaces that are recognizable and engaging for students whilst bringing a newer element to them,”Lopez said. This movie night was one of HUPB’s more relaxed events, which can make things tricky. “Finding something to pull students in was a little difficult until RedBull came on board.”

Against the backdrop of the dimly lit room, brightened only by the projector’s glow, students found themselves transported into Scott Pilgrim’s colorful universe. 

“The video game-esque aesthetic and aspect of the movie really drew me in. Also, the character design as well. Literally half of the characters are alternative in some way and that really resonated with me, and I thought that was pretty cool as well,” Vang said. The film’s eclectic and catchy soundtrack also thumped through the room, giving each scene an infectious beat you could not help but tap your feet to. 

As the story unfolded, with epic battles and heartfelt moments, viewers were hooked by the film’s charm, leaving them wondering if they, too, could fight evil exes with the power of love…or if they should redownload Tinder.

Throughout the screening, laughter, gasps and cheers filled the room, proving the film’s ability to captivate its audience. 

“The adlibs and comments people were dropping throughout the movie were funny,” Vang said.

Whether it was the thrilling fight sequences, the endearing character dynamics, or the nostalgic nods to video game culture, like gamer tags and power-ups, “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World” played the audience like a well-tuned joystick, sparking emotions that left memories that will stick around longer than an arcade game’s highest score.

As the lights clicked on and students trickled out of West 240, a sense of connection was left with those who had joined in on Scott’s ‘pilgrim’age. 

“I think hosting events like this to distract people from stress or studying is helpful,” Vang said. 

HUPB plans tons of exciting events for every interest. Two movie nights are coming, including Uptown Girls (March 7) and Lilo & Stich (April 23). Besides movie nights, Lopez will host a night at Walker Art Center (March 28) and then a vast Zero Gravity Park event, including a trampoline park, laser tag and aerial obstacle course (April 9).

The event, masterminded with flair by HUPB, brought together students from all areas of study and corners of campus life, united by their love for silly cinema and a desire to forge meaningful connections within Hamline’s quaint community.

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