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Sponsored by Colby Cinema Studies
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 early movie prints and newsreels to the Yukon. The films were seldom, if ever, returned—they were, literally, the end of the line. 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. Now, 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, drawing 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 to create something “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 Time. Unrated. 120 Min.