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. —Sundance Film Festival
One of the better indy documentaries currently on Netflix, I have to say (and be warned, there are some woeful ones on there). Takes a little while to find its groove, but once it does you find yourself taken in by the main players, just as much by the weirdness of the central mystery (bringing together strands as diverse as Short Wave radioheads, Arthur C Clarke, David Mamet, and Larry King). Charmed my socks off.
Welly welly, this was an ASTOUNDING documentary -- an ode to creation, drive and mystery that doubles as a kind of love letter to South Philly townies... UNFORGETTABLE !!