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Art-house hit ‘Dawson City: Frozen Time’ is back

A scene from “The Half Breed,” 1916, which was a film unearthed from the Yukon permafrost in the lat
A scene from the 1916 film “The Half Breed,” from the documentary “Dawson City: Frozen Time.”
(Kino Lorber)
Film Critic

Bill Morrison’s virtually indescribable “Dawson City: Frozen Time” was a surprise Los Angeles art house hit when it debuted here in June, doing so well that it’s been brought back for a return engagement.

Starting with the discovery of unknown films in Canada’s unforgiving Yukon Territory, director Morrison spins a wondrous tale. It’s crammed with wild tales, amazing facts and unconventional personalities, a documentary that’s also a detective story, a history of a particular place that turns into an examination of an art form as well as a gloss on the political history of the 20th century.

More than that, “Dawson City” is such a visual knockout you feel you don’t want to so much as blink out of fear you’ll miss something exceptional on the screen. If you love film, if you’re intoxicated by the way movies combine image and emotion, be prepared to swoon.

At the Arena Cinelounge Sunset in Hollywood Sept. 1-7.

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kenneth.turan@latimes.com

@KennethTuran

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