Dawson City: Frozen Time - Enzian Theater

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Dawson City: Frozen Time

Dawson City: Frozen Time

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Special Event

Dawson City: Frozen Time

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This meditation on cinema’s past from Decasia director Bill Morrison pieces together the bizarre true history of a long-lost collection of 533 nitrate film prints from the early 1900s. Located just south of the Arctic Circle, Dawson City was settled in 1896 and became the center of the Canadian Gold Rush that brought 100,000 prospectors to the area. It was also the final stop for a distribution chain that sent prints and newsreels to the Yukon. The films were seldom, if ever, returned. The now-famous Dawson City Collection was uncovered in 1978 when a bulldozer working its way through a parking lot dug up a horde of film cans. Morrison draws on these permafrost-protected, rare silent films and newsreels, pairing them with archival footage, interviews, historical photographs, and an enigmatic score by Sigur Rós collaborator and composer Alex Somers. Dawson City: Frozen Time depicts the unique history of this Canadian Gold Rush town by chronicling the life cycle of a singular film collection through its exile, burial, rediscovery, and salvation.

USA, 2017, 120 minutes, Directed by Bill Morrison

  • "Filled with as many twists and turns as a first-rate suspense thriller, Dawson City is packed with near-metaphysical intimations, both awe-inspiring and humbling...an instantaneously recognizable masterpiece."

    - Glenn Kenny, New York Times
  • "Bill Morrison's Dawson City: Frozen Time is the best new movie in town and the best movie of the year thus far."

    - Tony Pipolo, Artforum
  • "A bona fide adventure through history, hopscotching across the turn of the 19th century...A constant titillating simmer of discovery, a secret history round every corner."

    - Nicolas Rapold, Film Comment
  • "It's an orgy for film geeks and history jonesers, to be sure, and the revelation of how exactly the prints got waylaid and then buried in the permafrost, saved by virtue of Dawson City's fading away in the twentieth century, proves a sweet narrative reward."

    - Michael Atkinson, Village Voice
  • "Hovering at the intersection of re-appropriation, preservation, history, music, and art, any one of his works will haunt you for the rest of your life. Dawson City: Frozen Time is no exception."

    - Dan Schindel, Hyperallergic
  • "Wondrous, almost indescribable...It's a complete astonishment from beginning to end, aptly described by the director himself as 'both a cinema of mythology and a mythologizing of cinema.'"

    - Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
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