Dawson City: Frozen Time
BILL MORRISON • HYPNOTIC PICTURES Dawson City: Frozen Time Theatre at the Ace Hotel
CAP UCLA presents the US premiere of Dawson City: Frozen Time LIVE!
December 6, 2019 - 8:00pm
Theatre at the Ace Hotel
Los Angeles, CA

​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.​

“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.
BILL MORRISON • HYPNOTIC PICTURES Dawson City: Frozen Time
Vanity Fair names DAWSON CITY: FROZEN TIME one of the 10 best films of the decade (#3).
11/26/19

"As haunting a film as there was this decade, Bill Morrison’s painstakingly stitched-together collage of old movie footage pulls us into a semi-distant past full of forgotten life. Dawson City: Frozen Time is, most literally, a documentary about the discovery of over 500 silent-film reels buried in a former gold rush town in the Yukon. In showing us clips of these lost movies, all about 100 years old, Morrison also tells the story of Dawson City, a boom town alive with want and opportunity, the locus of a human surge that was at once prodigious and ruinous. Zooming even further out, Dawson City: Frozen Time talks keenly—if not directly—about what it is to be people among one another, to strive for success in collaboration and competition, to seek out shared entertainment and diversion from the lonely harshness of life in the world. Basically, Morrison’s film captures the human experience through images of humans captured on film a century ago. It’s a lyrical movie, a mesmerizing glimpse into the past. There’s also something scary about Dawson City: Frozen Time, in all its reminding that the scramble and noise of our times—as advanced and busy as any have ever been—will one day disappear into their own kind of silence. Overlooked upon its release (by myself included), Dawson City: Frozen Time deserves an unearthing." - Richard Lawson, Vanity Fair

BILL MORRISON • HYPNOTIC PICTURES Dawson City: Frozen Time
Dawson City: Frozen Time named one of the best films of the year by more than 100 critics worldwide

"an instantaneously recognizable masterpiece"
- Glenn Kenny, New York Times

• Vanity Fair's Best Films of the 2010s (#3)

• 100% Fresh on Rotten Tomatoes with over 50 critics' reviews

• Best Documentary
Boston Society of Film Critics, 2017

• Most Innovative Documentary
Critics' Choice Documentary Awards, 2017

• Best Feature Length Film, Noves Visions Plus
50th Sitges Film Festival 2017

• Extraordinary Achievement
Dublin Film Critics Circle, Audi DIFF, 2018

• Best Editing
International Documentary Association, 2017

• Best Use of Footage in an Arts Production
• Most Inspiring Use of Archive
FOCAL International, London, 2018

Listed as one of the best films of the year by more than 100 critics worldwide, including:
Associated Press, Boston Globe, CBS News, Film Comment, The Film Stage, Hollywood Reporter, Los Angeles Times, New York Times, The New Yorker, Rotten Tomatoes, Senses of Cinema, Sight & Sound, Slant, Village Voice, and Washington Post.
BILL MORRISON • HYPNOTIC PICTURES Dawson City: Frozen Time North American Theatrical, DVD/ Blu-ray, Amazon, etc.
Released by Kino Lorber
2017
North American Theatrical, DVD/ Blu-ray, Amazon, etc.

BILL MORRISON • HYPNOTIC PICTURES Dawson City: Frozen Time UK DVD / Blu-ray
Released by Second Run DVD
2019
UK DVD / Blu-ray

BILL MORRISON • HYPNOTIC PICTURES Dawson City: Frozen Time Vanity Fair, September 14, 2016
The Discovery, and Remarkable Recovery, of the King Tut's Tomb of Silent-Era Cinema
by Lawrence Weschler
Vanity Fair, September 14, 2016

Nearly four decades ago, a treasure trove of film from the early 20th century was found, underneath a hockey rink, in the remote Canadian town of Dawson City. In anticipation of Bill Morrison’s new documentary, Dawson City: Frozen Time, Lawrence Weschler dives into how and why the Dawson City archive came to be.
by LAWRENCE WESCHLERSEPTEMBER 14, 2016
BILL MORRISON • HYPNOTIC PICTURES Dawson City: Frozen Time
Dawson City: Frozen Time
(120 min, 2016)

Screening history

World premiere
73rd Venice Film Festival
Orizzonti Competition
September 5 & 6, 2016

North American premiere
54th New York Film Festival
Spotlight on Docs
October 2 & 4, 2016

UK premiere
60th BFI London Film Festival
Experimenta section
September 6 & 7, 2016

Latin American premiere
23rd FIC Valdivia
Guest Filmmaker
October 14 & 16, 2016

Dawson City: Frozen Time
(120 min, 2016, USA)
Trailer - 90 sec
BILL MORRISON • HYPNOTIC PICTURES Dawson City: Frozen Time 120 min
Dawson City: Frozen Time
2016
120 min

Bill Morrison’s new film is a history in still and moving images charting the transformation of Tr’ochëk, a fishing camp at the confluence of the Yukon and Klondike Rivers, into the epicenter of the Yukon gold rush at the turn of the last century. It is also a history of the 35mm film prints that were shipped to Dawson between the 1910s and 1920s, then hidden away and forgotten for 50 years until they were unearthed in the initial stages of a construction project, images from which are a key element in Morrison’s cinematic mosaic. Like all of Morrison’s work, Dawson City is a haunting experience that takes place in suspended, nonlinear time.

Hypnotic Pictures and
Picture Palace Pictures present

In association with
Arte France - La Lucarne
The Museum of Modern Art

A Bill Morrison film

Music by Alex Somers

Sound Design by John Somers

Title Design by Galen Johnson

Associate Producer
Paul Gordon

Produced by
Bill Morrison and
Madeleine Molyneaux

Written, edited, and directed by
Bill Morrison

BILL MORRISON • HYPNOTIC PICTURES Dawson City: Frozen Time Chicago Tribune, 5/8/14
Black Sox footage emerges, documented after decades
by John Owens
Chicago Tribune, 5/8/14

BILL MORRISON • HYPNOTIC PICTURES Dawson City: Frozen Time Broadcast
MLB Network's High Heat with Chris Russo
November 19, 2014
Broadcast

Bill Morrison discusses the 1919 and 1917 World Series footage on MLB Network's High Heat with Chris Russo