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WATCH: Epic Fail – world peace, emojis, and youthful apathy collide

July 25, 2017

Swiss artist and director Greg Barth has released a new short film called Epic Fail, covering a range of contemporary themes including youth voters, social media, and the disconnection between news and readers. The avant-garde, boldly coloured film imagines a scenario where world peace is put to a public vote. In a few cascading minutes viewers are taken on a mind-jolting journey through the reactions, perceptions, reportage, and eventual outcome of the vote – it mirrors real life episodes, only faster, and stretched to a poppy-dystopian extreme. 

 

Cover video: Epic Fail, created and directed by Greg Barth, written by Greg Barth & Joe Hampson

Still from Epic Fail, created and directed by Greg Barth, written by Greg Barth & Joe Hampson

 

The film was inspired by the political events that shook 2016 – chiefly Brexit and Trump. It's a bright, frighteningly attractive manifestation of how politics is perceived and discussed on social media, versus what people actually think about it. “Facebook algorithmically pairs us with like-minded people that fortify our opinions rather than challenging them, so my social network circles were a falsely reassuring place to be during the Brexit and Trump votes," Barth said in an interview. "Without realising, I was browsing an alternate reality online, which I found fascinating and completely horrifying".

Gif from Epic Fail, created and directed by Greg Barth, written by Greg Barth & Joe Hampson

 

Aside from the central focus – truth versus perception – the film deals with a number of sub-themes within its five and a half minutes. There's the social media platform that doesn't allow its users to post negative comments, and subsequently enables the creation of a false political reality – a close relative to the way social media users habitually censor themselves and their political views, curating their online beliefs and general identity. There's Linda's try-hard, teen-speak ramblings – not so different from the way many conservative news and media outlets have grafted click-baity techniques into their reporting styles. There's the incessant obsession on amassing 'likes' and growing a personal follow-ship – not even a metaphor for something else. 

Still from Epic Fail, created and directed by Greg Barth, written by Greg Barth & Joe Hampson

 

Visually Epic Fail is a provocative feast which relies heavily on craft and painstakingly choreographed sequences. Barth specialises in design driven projects using physical effects and video art, and his passion for strong, surreal concepts, and contemporary aesthetics have certainly shone through in this production. The end credits offer an interesting glimpse into the care and attention invested in the production of this short film – an alleviating contrast to the bleak, yet creeoily close-to-home, message that Epic Fail delivers. 

READ: Instagram round-up: Solid, bold, colour

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