Is This The Oddest Film Of The Year?

The story behind the latest project of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind co-writer Pierre Bismuth

In 2006, Pierre Bismuth, renowned visual artist and Oscar-winning co-writer of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, heard that a mysterious piece of art had been sitting undiscovered, somewhere in the Mojave Desert, for 40 years. His response was to set out to find it, and to make a film of his journey.

This (naturally) involved hiring the respective screenwriters of Invitcus, High Fidelity, and School of Rock, to help him construct a fictional narrative about the rock, alongside a former homicide detective turned private investigator, and the man who apparently provided the inspiration for the character of The Dude in The Big Lebowski, to actually help him find the thing. Isn’t that the team you’d want?

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The piece of art in question is an artificial boulder called Rocky II (yes, after the Stallone film), which was made and placed in the desert by legendary American pop artist, Ed Ruscha, in the late 70s, without him telling anyone where. Still with us?

’Thirty years later, when I was told about this fascinating piece, I couldn’t find anything written, nor any curator or artist knowing anything about it either,’ Bismuth has said, so it fell to him to bring the story to light.

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The film is being financed through crowdsourcing site Indiegogo, and thankfully, with 4 days left to contribute, they currently have over 90% of their funding. After that, Bismuth will begin the final part of the movie: shooting the fictional narrative arc that will run in tandem with the real investigation, starring as-yet-undisclosed ‘famous actors’ (keep up).

Depending on how much you pledge you could receive a file to 3D-print your own version of the boulder; a bag of sand from the Joshua Tree desert; or even have Bismuth personally hide in your computer a file of hints as to the rock’s whereabouts. Along the journey he has left a trail of breadcrumbs which he invites you to follow ahead of the film’s release, and which could even lead you to Rocky II itself. If indeed he managed to find it – Bismuth won’t tell.