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Dawson City: Frozen Time

This screening took place on
Monday, September 25, 2017 at 6:00pm
Yukon Arts Centre

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 uncovered under the old Dawson City recreation centre in 1978 when a bulldozer working its way through a parking lot dug up a horde of film cans. Dawson during the Silent film era was the final stop for a distribution chain that sent prints and newsreels to the Yukon. The films were seldom, if ever, returned. Morrison draws on these permafrost-protected, rare silent films and newsreels, pairing them with archival footage, interviews (primarily with Whitehorse-based historians Michael and Kathy Gates), 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.

Post-screening Q&A with Michael and Kathy Gates.

“The result is a beautiful ride through early filmdom, and a rare glimpse at a period of cinema history that has suffered from both accident and neglect.”
Chris Knight, National Post

  • Directed by Bill Morrison
  • 2016, USA
  • 120 minutes
    Dawson City: Frozen Time

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