Sunday, September 4, 2011
Resurrect Dead: The Mystery of the Toynbee Tiles (2011)
IN MOVIE 2001
ON PLANET JUPITER
What a great real life mystery film...though to be perfectly honest how you feel about getting to the source of tiles in the street may color how you feel about it.
The film follows Justin Duerr, an artist and musician,as he looks into tiled messages in the street (literally) that have been appearing across the country with the message at the top of this review. Sometimes it's just the four lines, some times there are additional side bar messages, or in at least one case there was a second tile with a long rambling manifesto. The titles started in and around Philadelphia and then spread out along the east coast and down as far as South America.
What does it all mean? Who is behind it? Why are they doing it?
Duerr and his cohorts Colin Smith and Steve Weinik do the leg work and try and run down the enigma that has kept a small portion of the Internet buzzing. Amazingly they actually seem to have cracked the case, though there are a few bits to the story that don't quite have answers (at least as far as the film is concerned.)
An aside- I saw the film at a Saturday matinee. Mondocurry saw it the night before when Duerr, his friends and the director of the film were in attendance. They said in a Q&A that there was additional things covered in the film giving greater detail (How the resurrection might be possible for example) but that they were cut out because they stopped the flow of the film. I'm hoping that when the DVD comes out it is filled with lots of extras.
I loved this film a great deal. Its so good that I'm seriously considering making a special run back into the city to see it before it's run ends Thursday night.(The film then moves to Philadelphia for a run Thursday, Saturday, Sunday and Monday). Honestly I'm cursing myself that I didn't get to a press screening several months ago. The problem was it was a one time event and I was unable to get away from my day job.
For me the joy of the film is the fact that it gets your mind turning about something that is kind of trivial, but at the same time promises of hints that it might actually be about something vitally important. I mean what if we could resurrect the dead? It also drops you down the rabbit hole of what was the thought behind it.
If you like mysteries of the real life variety give this film a shot. Its a wonderful little mind game that stretches off in odd directions (writer director David Mamet provides a clue). As the promotional material says, when Justin Duerr started looking into this he thought it was only a small scale phenomena only to find it rippled out surreally in directions he never considered (and for a longer period of time).
One of the joyous finds of the year.