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Resurrect Dead: The Mystery of the Toynbee Tiles [Import]

5 out of 5 stars 1 customer review

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Product Details

  • Directors: Jon Foy
  • Format: Dolby, Widescreen, NTSC, Import
  • Language: English
  • Region: Region 1 (US and Canada This DVD will probably NOT be viewable in other countries. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Number of discs: 1
  • MPAA Rating: UNRATED
  • Studio: Ent. One Music
  • Release Date: Jan. 31 2012
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars 1 customer review
  • ASIN: B005OTGS4Y
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Product Description

For three decades hundreds of cryptic tiled messages have been appearing on major city streets across the U.S. and South America. Finding an answer to this long-standing urban mystery has been Justin Duerr's obsession. For years he has been collecting clues and piecing together key events, ultimately leading him to a revelation more surreal and enigmatic than he could have ever imagined.

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: HASH(0xa85261bc) out of 5 stars 54 reviews
10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa7f95bd0) out of 5 stars Best Documentary of 2011 Aug. 18 2011
By Edwin B. Arnaudin - Published on Amazon.com
Puzzles abound in Resurrect Dead: The Mystery of the Toynbee Tiles as three young Philadelphians attempt to solve a particularly interesting one that's drawn them together. In Philly, other major Midwest and Northeast cities, and as far down as South America, someone has placed colorful tiles in asphalt that all say the same basic message: Toynbee Idea/ In Movie 2001/ Resurrect Dead/ On Planet Jupiter. What does it mean and who is behind it? Justin Duerr, Steve Weinik, and Tim Lincecum lookalike Colin Smith try to find out as Jon Foy captures their every move.

The trio has been documenting and dissecting the tiles for years and Foy's film serves as both a springboard to finding the tiles' creator and a concise collective of the entire Toynbee Tile universe for hardcore enthusiasts and novices alike. Once Duerr & Co. bring the viewer up to date with the basics of the tiles and their various theories of the tiles' meaning, the amateur detectives follow up on the most significant leads to entertaining results. Efforts to contact a neighborhood recluse with the help of some local eccentrics gets them somewhere, as do various archival newspaper clippings, a short wave radio convention, internet communications, and a one act David Mamet play that hits on multiple hot spots of tile lore, despite the playwright's prior insistence that he invented the dialogue.

Foy presents the quest and its relevant information in classic "whodunit" style. The trio are knowledgeable of their subject yet patient and caring in relaying their thoughts and findings. The Toynbee Tiles are clearly important to them and their enthusiasm in cracking the case is a joy to witness. With each new nugget and clue, the mystery inches closer to being solved, though the tension and excitement of the unknown remains elevated. Few narrative films are this engaging and well-made, and for a first-time filmmaker (who financed the work by cleaning houses and taught himself film scoring to create a hauntingly good soundtrack) covering such an obscure subject, Foy has made a modern classic.
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa80549cc) out of 5 stars Intriguing mystery coupled with an unexpected and uplifting take on human empathy. Feb. 11 2012
By Kerry A. Walsh - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
I watched this movie after a friend recommended it. I was intrigued by the mystery of the Toynbee tiles and, living in Chicago, have actually seen one or two in my meanderings around the city. What I didn't expect was to be so emotionally moved by the film as the mystery unfolds. It will be difficult to be specific about why I find this film so poignant without giving away spoilers, so I will refrain. But, suffice it to say that there is a beautiful unfolding of a truly confounding mystery as well as a surprising tale of humans desiring to care for others on multiple levels of this story. I was actually moved to tears at one point and in several instances laughed out loud as revelations occurred to drive forward the investigation of these mysterious tiles. I hope that everyone will watch this film for two reasons: to discover something about an amusing and delightful mystery that I wish we had more of in this world and also to learn to take a second look at our neighbors, friends and family and to appreciate their individuality, quirks and eccentricities. It's what makes this world interesting and something we should all value rather than mock.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa8042ba0) out of 5 stars An Intriguing Documentary That Seeks To Unravel A Mystery, But To What Avail? Jan. 20 2012
By K. Harris - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD
I was not aware of or knowledgeable about the phenomenon of the Toynbee Tiles before sitting down with Jon Foy's fascinating documentary "Resurrect Dead." Starting in the eighties, strange tiled messages started appearing on city streets in Philadelphia as well as other major American hubs and even into several South American countries. The message contained on the tiles apparently refers to historian Arnold Toynbee and to Stanley Kubrick's film "2001: A Space Odyssey." It seems to reference a metaphysical assertion that some form of resurrection is possible, the exact nature of which is open to interpretation.

The principle tiles read, although many also contain peripheral messages or rants:
Toynbee Idea
In Kubrick's 2001
Resurrect Dead
On Planet Jupiter

"Resurrect Dead" follows one man's obsession about finding out the truth behind the Toynbee Tiles. Justin Duerr, along with two other interested parties, made it a mission to discover the identity of the original tiler. Their exploits and investigations are covered extensively within the documentary. It is indeed a fascinating topic, and the film lays out the methodology they used to reach their final conclusions. It is an entertaining journey with some unexpected stops (a shortwave radio convention) and intriguing clues (a David Mamet play). The film covers the investigation well, and I was along for the big reveal.

But while I liked the movie (and I did), I'm not sure what it all really amounts to. The mystery is certainly more appealing than its solution. Once the primary suspect is revealed, we never get any closer. Duerr simply proposes numerous theories and suppositions about his motives. The mystery remains largely unsolved. I don't feel like I know the full story, and maybe that will never be possible. In truth, I think the whole tile campaign and the philosophy behind it are really just symptoms of a psychotic break. But still, the movie was a success at some fundamental level as I genuinely still want to learn more. Great story, good movie, but incomplete solution. But I suppose we may never get closer to the truth than this. KGHarris, 1/12.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa80b65f4) out of 5 stars An engrossing Mystery that is creepy and entertaining! Aug. 4 2011
By C. Brielmaier - Published on Amazon.com
Verified Purchase
Fascinating film about the mysterious Toynbee tiles that have been seen all over the world. The doc basically follows one mans journey to find the person or group responsible for the tiles. Over a 10 year period he catalogs the tiles all over Philadelphia, New York and other cities and amasses information on the suspects he thinks are responsible. His path to uncovering the mystery takes him to some very interesting places that are all at once frightening and engrossing! Well worth checking out!
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
HASH(0xa8263a5c) out of 5 stars Great - just be careful who you 'try' to buy it from. Dec 16 2013
By R-W - Published on Amazon.com
Format: DVD Verified Purchase
I saw this on Netflix & found it interesting enough to purchase a copy. I ordered from an Amazon seller called 'OLDIES'. When it hadn't shipped 3 days past the window I contacted 'OLDIES' to inquire as to the item's availability & was assured that it would be on the way very soon (the delay was blamed on snow even though other items I'd ordered from the same region at the same time arrived just fine). Later on, without a further word, this order disappeared completely from my orders page. Amazon informed me that it had never been in stock to begin with when the order was taken & so it was cancelled. Interestingly, 'OLDIES' is still offering it for sale on this product page. My opportunity to leave feedback on this "transaction" was removed with the order, so I had to leave it here. If you really want it, just watch out for sellers who waste your time trying to sell what they don't even have. UPDATE - Wait a month after an experience like this & you'll find that they have placed you on their mailing list & begun sending you junk mail in the form of their catalogue. How nice!

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