Dawson City: Frozen Time

I went out to see “Despicable Me 3” again.  I don’t think I found it any funnier the second time.  I went back to work on scanning a lot of documents before I took the F bus across the Bay Bridge.  I took BART over to 16th Street and walked around a bit listening to the A’s game in Toronto.  Sonny Gray had one bad inning.  I went to the Roxie Theatre to see “Dawson City: Frozen Time.”  It was a documentary about one of those towns that boomed during the gold rush.  Dawson City was the end of the film distribution line, many of the movies not getting into town into town three years after the original release date.  Instead of being sent back, many of the films were disposed of in the Yukon River or burned.  Some old silent films were found in an old swimming pool, and some of the scenes reflect some of the local history.  I thought it was somewhat questionable as to whether most of these old films were any good.  Some footage did have some importance. I was thinking of the 1919 World Series with the Chicago White Sox and the Cincinnati Reds.  There sure were a lot of fires that burned down quite a few buildings over this period.  We hear no narration, which I guess is appropriate given that the footage is from silent films.  We see bits of footage from Charlie Chaplin’s “The Gold Rush.”  I wondered what those women in town were alike.  From the looks of them, I’m not sure that I would have been able to stand any of them.  When word of gold in Nome got out, many of the Dawson City people left.  I wondered how a place like that could have gone on for very long.  It took until 1978 for someone to dig up that site where the films were.  Also, it has been nearly forty years since 1978, so there is some kind of story about what happened after the finding, although I would question whether it is worth hearing.  This film is a very interesting mix of history, film history, and economics and ecology.  Some of the film clips reflected a bit of what was going on in the town’s story line, and some of the footage was in bad shape.  It’s a good alternative to the summer action movies that are out there now.  Some of the people in the audience on this night were enthusiastic about it.  I would rate it as one of the better films I’ve seen this year, along with “Obit.”  I liked “Dawson City: Frozen Time” more than something like “The Big Sick.”  It was about 8:40 when I felt the theatre, and the taquerias nearby were open, but I felt like heading home.  I took the BART train all the way back home.  I’m looking forward to the new and quieter BART cars because part of the trip was deafening.  I heard that the A’s did nothing in the last two innings in Toronto and so lost, 4-1.  If that was Sonny Gray’s last game pitching for the A’s, it was a sad one.  I stopped for a slice of pizza, the Hawaiian, and I thought the crust was bad.  I bought a blackberry frozen yogurt and went home.  The summer is fading fast, because in only two weeks I have to start preparations for a new semester.  I was too sleepy to work on my closet.

Some of the people who died on July 26 include Winsor McCay (1935), Evita Peron (1952), Diane Arbus (1971), Mary Wells (1992), Merce Cunningham (2009), and J.J. Cale (2013).  Today is a birthday for Kevin Spacey (58), Dorothy Hamill (61), Helen Mirren (72), and Mick Jagger (74).  According to the Brandon Brooks Rewind radio segment for July 26, Motown Records released Smokey Robinson and the Miracles’ “Mickey Monkey” in 1963.  In 1975, Van McCoy’s “The Hustle” was Number one on the singles chart.  In 1985, “Pee-Wee’s Big Adventure” was released.  In 1991, Pee-Wee Herman was arrested for indecent exposure in Sarasota, Florida.

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