One of the year’s most breathtaking experimental films, Dawson City: Frozen Time is a mesmerizing new piece from New York artist and filmmaker Bill Morrison — an immersive, archival journey through a forgotten history of North America’s rarely-seen nitrate cinema. Located just south of the Arctic Circle, the Canadian town of Dawson City was home to an incredible discovery in 1978: 533 nitrate films from the silent era were uncovered, preserved in the frozen ground where they’d been buried and presumed lost since. Morrison chronicles the life-cycle of a singular film collection through its exile, burial, rediscovery and salvation. Lovingly recut and recycled, this lustrous footage forms a revelatory history of both Dawson City and American cinema itself, its rapturous montage — set to a beautiful score by Sigur Rós collaborator Alex Somers (Captain Fantastic) — touching on figures as diverse as Charlie Chaplin, Ken Burns and Donald Trump.
Dawson City: Frozen Time | Dir. Bill Morrison | Documentary | 120mins | USA | 2016 | Sydney Premiere
"Bill Morrison’s magnum opus. One would be hard-pressed to think of a film more haunting."
“The film represents a captivating time capsule that delivers a poignant paean to a long-gone cinematic era.”
The Hollywood Reporter