Dawson City: Frozen Time (Let's Talk About Water)

Saturday February 23, 2019

Zaterdag 23 februari 2019

A fascinating time capsule, containing a wealth of historical images, invites us to talk about the progress of humanity. This marks the end of the festival. With some exciting short films, so-called lightning talks and an invigorating lunch.

Een fascinerende tijdcapsule, met daarin een schat aan historische beelden, nodigt ons uit om over de voortuitgang van de mensheid te praten. Dit luidt het einde van het festival in. Met enkele opwindende korte films, zogenoemde lightning talks en een verkwikkende lunch.


12 Geweld Angst

Koop nu een kaartje

This not so final closing event (there is another bonus on February 26) will take place on Saturday, February 23, with some exciting short films, with so-called lightning talks, an invigorating lunch and the enchanting documentary Dawson City: Frozen Time.

It was an unbelievable discovery: in 1978, a bulldozer stumbled over a treasure chest of movie cans buried in an ice shelf beneath a pool in Dawson City, Canada. More than 500 nitrate rolls from the early 1900’s had been preserved in the permafrost. Frozen water can do that.

Dawson City once was the centre of the Canadian gold rush that attracted 100.000 gold seekers. It was also the last stop for the films and news reports that were shown here. A movie would open in big cities, then circulate to smaller and more distant towns, before ending up, usually after two years, at far flung Dawson City. Because the distributors didn’t want the prints back, it was up to people in the town to dispose of them. Some were thrown into the Yukon River, some were burned: a hazardous undertaking, since they were highly combustible. Other films met the unusual fate of being used to fill in a municipal swimming pool that was being paved over to make an ice-skating rink. And it was there, during a construction project in 1978, that hundreds of them were discovered and returned to the world, creating the mother lode of celluloid images known as the Dawson City Collection. The fact that so many early 20th century films were destroyed, makes the story of the Dawson City film find all the more improbable, and more important. The reels had suffered some water damage, but not so much as to be unwatchable, which was lucky, because these were early silent films which hadn’t been preserved anywhere else.

Filmmaker Bill Morrison stepped in and from these films he pieced together footage, as well as a range of other related archival material, to tell the story of the buried films and also of the city itself. He intertwined several rich and engrossing narratives: the story of the original Klondike Gold Rush followed by the ups and downs of Dawson City over subsequent decades; the story of cinema as it evolved from a basic recording technology to the highly developed entertainment medium it was by the 1920’s.The gold rush story alone is worth telling. With their combination of greed, foolishness, courage, riches, tragedy and spectacular landscapes, gold rushes are inherently visual and dramatic. Morrison mixed old cinema newsreels about the big world events with ghostly scenes from the earliest days of Hollywood cinema, usingfilm history as a confronting social mirror.

The day starts with a presentation on tv of an, avant-garde, futuristic film directed by Anthony Svatek. It illustrates how digital domains take precedence over the inexorable disappearance of the island nation of Tuvalu.


Dit niet zo afsluitende slotevenement (er is nog een toegift op 26 februari) vindt plaats op zaterdag 23 februari met enkele opwindende korte films, met zogenoemde lightning talks, een verkwikkende lunch en de betoverende documentaire Dawson Ciyt: Frozen Time

Het was een ongelooflijke ontdekking: in 1978 stuitte een bulldozer op een schatkist met filmblikken, begraven onder een ijslaag in een zwembad in Dawson City, Canada. Meer dan 500 nitraatrollen uit de vroege jaren 1900 waren bewaard gebleven in de permafrost. Bevroren water heeft die kwaliteit. De blikken waren bedolven onder de aarde, diepgevroren, de meeste weliswaar aangetast door de tijd, maar toch nog bruikbaar. Filmmaker Bill Morrison bewerkte dit unieke materiaal en gebruikte de beelden die hij aantrof om ons te verleiden over de wereld en de voortuitgang van de mensheid te praten. Zelfs Donald Trump komt even voorbij; voor het Trump-fortuin werdde basis gelegd in Dawson City. Het eindresultaat is een fascinerende mix van historische bioscoopjournaals over grote wereldgebeurtenissen en spookachtige scènes uit de begindagen van Hollywood-cinema; filmgeschiedenis als een confronterende sociale spiegel.


More information/Meer info in de brochure: http://letstalkaboutwater.nl/LetsTalkAboutWaterDelft2019.pdf