Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Sundance Film: Resurrect Dead: The Mystery of the Toynbee Tiles

Director: Jon Foy
Website: http://www.resurrectdead.com/

Summary: Toynbee Idea in Movie 2001. Resurrect Dead on Planet Jupiter.
Beginning in the early 1980s, hundreds of tiles carrying this cryptic message were found embedded in the asphalt of city streets as far apart as New York, Philadelphia, St. Louis, Santiago, and Buenos Aires. Street art? A prank? A message from space?
Filmmaker Jon Foy recounts how young artist Justin Duerr became fascinated with the strange plaques and, with two other "Toynbee tile" enthusiasts, Steve Weinik and Colin Smith, spent years trying to discover what they meant and who made them. The unlikely investigators uncovered increasingly bizarre clues: a newspaper article, a David Mamet play, a Jupiter colonization organization, and a Toynbee message that "hijacked" local news broadcasts.
That the origins of a street tile can be so captivating is testament to both Duerr’s passion and Foy’s filmmaking. Artfully constructed, Resurrect Dead thrusts us into the black hole of this fantastic mystery but also reflects on Duerr himself, and the personal connection he develops with finding an answer.

Excitement scale (1-10): 9 - I know nothing about Jon Foy but this first timer just won a best directing award at Sundance, so he’s clearly starting off on the right foot. The story sounds bizarre, but it reminds me of Exit Through the Gift Shop (not sure why, perhaps the crazy graffiti art comparison) and that’s definitely a good thing.

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