Toynbee Idea in Kubrick’s 2001 Resurrect Dead on Planet Jupiter. This is the cryptic message of the Toynbee Tiles, made of linoleum and asphalt crack-filling compound. Hundreds of tiles, found pressed into the street in cities all over the United States and in South America.
Director Jon Foy takes on the subject of the tiles in his documentary Resurrect Dead: The Mystery of the Toynbee Tiles. The central focus of the film is Justin Durr and his fascination with the tiles, and his investigation into whoever is behind them. Using clues within the tiles themselves, and similarities to other events and works, they circle around a few likely suspects as they try to untangle the mystery.
Of course, whenever a person researches a mystery, they learn not only about their target topic but also about themselves. And so as the film follows Justin through his discoveries, we also learn about Justin, a rising talented artist who stepped off the path his teachers and family laid out for him.
The DVD, along with the film, includes the trailer, a gallery of the tiles with a voice over explaining qualities they possess, a few deleted scenes, and a very short video about the scoring of the film. Oh, and a full length commentary track with Jon Foy, Justin Durr, Colin Smith and Steve Weinik.
The Toynbee Tiles are an interesting subject and the documentary comes away with a few unconfirmed conclusions. If you like this sort of thing, it’s worth seeing. If you are the sort of person to waive it off as the acts of a crazy person, Resurrect Dead: The Mystery of the Toynbee Tiles may not be worth your time.