In 1979, American artist Ed Ruscha allegedly made a fake rock out of resin and hid it among real ones somewhere in California’s vast Mojave Desert. Named Rocky II after the Sylvester Stallone film, the work is never spoken about publicly nor is it listed in any catalogue of Ruscha’s work. Obsessed with this mystery piece, Academy Award–winner Pierre Bismuth sets out to find it. It’s clear from the outset of this fantastical tale that Bismuth, the writer for Michel Gondry’s ETERNAL SUNSHINE OF THE SPOTLESS MIND, won’t take a conventional approach. Instead, he hires a hard-boiled private investigator and two acclaimed Hollywood screenwriters to pick up the trail in their separate and distinctive ways. Each constructs theories and deduces motives, muddying the few known facts with highly plausible and deeply engaging “fake fiction”. Probing and inventive, this thoroughly original art quest is as enigmatic as the mystery it seeks.

Produced by

The Ink Connection with Vandertastic, Frakas Productions, In Between Art Film, Vivo film and ZDF


Writers: DV DeVincentis, Anthony Peckham, Mike White

Art world luminaries: Michael Govan, Philippe Vergne, Eli Broad, Connie Butler

Actors: Robert Knepper, Milo Ventimiglia


Produced by: Gregoire Gensollen, Hanneke van der Tas, Jean-Yves Roubin, Beatrice Bulgari, Marta Donzelli, Madeleine Molyneaux, Pierre Bismuth

Screenplay: Pierre Bismuth

Cinematography: David Raedeker

Editing: Elise Pascal, Matyas Veress, Thomas Doneux

Original soundtrack: Hugo Lippens

Monument One screenplay: D.V. DeVincentis, Anthony Peckham

Technical data

Year: 2016

Country: France, Germany, Belgium, Italy

Length: 93 minutes

Festivals and awards

Hot Docs Festival 2016

Art Basel 2016

Locarno Film Festival 2016 – out of competition

Gli Schermi dell’Arte 2016 – opening film

Festival International du Film De La Roche Sur Yon – Nouvelle Vagues award

International Sales

Mongrel International