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Where is Rocky II?

by Pierre Bismuth
France, Germany, Belgium, Italy 2016, 93′
Presented at Lo schermo dell’arte Film Festival 2016 – Italian premiere in the presence of the author
SCREENPLAY: Pierre Bismuth
PHOTOGRAPHY: David Raedeker
EDITING: Elise Pascal, Matyas Veress, Thomas Doneux
SOUND: Hugo Lippens
PRODUCER: Gregoire Gensollen
A private investigator, an unobtainable work of art and a compelling story of film fiction form the plot of this film by genial French artist Pierre Bismuth. It begins with Bismuth’s discovery of a 1979 movie in the BFI archive in London, in which the American artist Ed Ruscha places an artificial rock he made, among the boulders of the Mojave Desert in California. Paraphrasing Stallone’s film, the sculptor called the piece Rocky II. Determined to find a fake rock that had lain concealed for almost forty years, Bismuth hires a private investigator, detective Michael Scott, an expert in homicide, robbery, sexual crimes, fraud and undercover operations. Scott’s thorough search begins with the California art scene around Ruscha. He conducts a series of interviews with the most famous curators and museum directors in Los Angeles, including Michael Govan (LACMA), Philippe Vergne (MOCA), Connie Butler (Hammer Museum). At the same time, Bismuth involves two famous Hollywood writers in in his artistic-film project: D.V. DeVincentis (High Fidelity) and Anthony Peckham (Sherlock Holmes and Invictus) in order to write a screenplay for a movie based on the same elements that they provide to the investigator. Interweaving documentary – Scott’s investigation – to fiction – the trailer made by the two writers to launch an intricate spy story set in the Mojave Desert, and explores the elusive relationship that exists in cinema between reality and its reconstruction.
Pierre Bismuth
Born in 1963, he lives and works in Brussels. In 2005 he received the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for the film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, by Michel Gondry. Among his solo exhibitions: Le versant de l’analyze, Jan Mot, Brussels (2010), Cory Arcangel vs. Pierre Bismuth, Team Gallery, New York (2011). Among his group shows: Repetition Island, Centre Pompidou (2010), Une terrible beauté est née, 11th Biennale de Lyon (2011). His works are in the collections of major international museums, including the Centre Pompidou and the Palais de Tokyo in Paris, the New Museum in New York, the Witte de With in Rotterdam.
Selected Filmography
2016 The Challenge 2014 Séance; San Siro 2012 Da Vinci 2011 Piattaforma Luna 2010 Il Capo