“An instantaneously recognizable masterpiece.” – The New York Times
A hallucinatory cinematic fever dream, Dawson City: Frozen Time tells the bizarre true story of some 533 silent film reels, dating from the 1910s and 20s, that accumulated at the end of a film distribution line in northwestern Canada and which were miraculously discovered some 50 years later, in 1978, buried in a sub-arctic swimming pool, deep in the Yukon permafrost. Filmmaker Bill Morrison (Decasia, The Miners’ Hymns, The Great Flood) deftly combines excerpts from this remarkable collection with historical footage, photographs, and original interviews, to explore the complicated history of Dawson City, a Canadian Gold Rush town founded across the river from a First Nation hunting camp, and then traces how the development of that town both reflected and influenced the evolution of modern Cinema.
Combined with a powerful, evocative score by Alex Somers (Captain Fantastic; Hale County This Morning, This Evening; Honey Boy), orchestrated and arranged by Ricardo Romaneiro, Dawson City: Frozen Time is a triumphant work of art that spins the life cycle of a singular film collection into a breath-taking history of the 20th century. This film presentation will be accompanied by a live performance of the score by L.A.’s contemporary ensemble Wild Up and a woman’s choir from Tonality.
Funds provided by The Andrew W. Mellon Foundation multi-year grant for Collaborative Intersections in the Visual and Performing Arts with additional support from The Theatre at Ace Hotel. Film courtesy Kino Lorber; Hypnotic Pictures; Picture Palace Pictures. Photo by Eric A. Hegg; courtesy University of Washington Libraries, Special Collections