What movie was that...?

14 May 2012

Resurrect Dead: The Mystery of the Toynbee Tiles

directed by John Foy

Anyone unfamiliar with the mysterious and enigmatic Toynbee tiles need not worry when it comes to this colossally entertaining doc by John Foy, for this masterful film provides you with a mesmerizing glimpse down the rabbit hole whilst well informing you of its content. In the spirit of frontloading: Resurrect Dead tells the story of tile works that have for decades appeared on the streets of numerous city roads in the United Sates and even South America, tile works that, while bearing variation in bordering messages, always contain the same centralized text in a four line block:
TOYNBEE IDEA
IN MOVIE 2001
RESURRECT DEAD
ON PLANET JUPITER
Pretty effing weird, right? Even those who are well versed in Toynbee tile lore will have a ball watching Foy’s trio of amateur sleuths (Justin Duerr, Colin Smith and Steve Weinik) as they attempt to solve a decades old mystery by pooling resources and brainpans. Foy blends technique and content to wonderful effect throughout, combing Errol Morris style re-enactments with talking head interviews and present day unfoldings, all punctuated by his own excellent score. Not since Zodiac have I been so maddeningly enthralled in mystery, to such an extent that I wished I could somehow make the movie happen faster because I wanted know what was beneath each subsequent stone. Foy takes his time unveiling new mysteries, new blind alleys, and new pieces of an already baffling puzzle. Resurrect Dead is a treat in every way, one of my favorites of the year so far.

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