Ultimate Fails Compilation
2 May 2022
Leonard Samuelsson Heinemann, Axel Undin, Dmitry Chirin, Adam Perez Jakobsson
Once upon a time in a land far, far away called the 1980s Sony released the first consumer camcorder. It quickly became every family’s favourite toy as weddings, anniversaries and other occasions were recorded for posterity. However, it soon became an instrument of evil as embarrassing mishaps and blunders were captured for entertainment value. A long running TV show euphemistically titled ‘You’ve been framed’ ran for many years and featured such clips. Technology has moved apace and video can now be shot on mobiles and posted online in a matter of minutes.
Human ingenuity knows no bounds as the desire for notoriety drives people to increasingly dangerous stunts. Hence the recent internet phenomenon called ‘Ultimate Fails’ where escapades receive the appropriate exposure in social media. This film by Joakim Thörn follows a group of 12-year olds as they engage in a series of stunts.
Lasting a touch under 10 minutes it begins with a short compilation of clips that range from the clumsy, foolish to carefully calculated stunts designed for maximum effect. The film follows four children with too much time on their hands and a smart phone that, like any other has a video capture facility. They begin in their back yards and wander off to a local playground lined with safety conscious sand. The most daring member of the gang is known charmingly as Bun. He cheerfully undertakes tasks set by the other three. They note that money can be made from filming stunts and venture out searching for a dare that might fit the bill.
This film isn’t really about crazy stunts but more about group dynamics and how we seek acceptance from our peers. The need for affiliation during childhood is something we’ve all experienced. But the process is not as simple as it used to be. In an age that pre-dated social media boys would spend their leisure time playing football or collecting cards for their sticker album. To be a good footballer or have the sticker that everybody wanted made you popular. Today, there is the added pressure to gain instant recognition via social media. But it can also become an outlet for our fears and insecurities. Joakim Thörn makes his point simply and without undue fanfare; a perceptive and thoughtful study that might surprise the audience.