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DAWSON CITY and FRAGMENTS...


Sepiatone
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I didn't catch the beginning of DAWSON CITY; FROZEN TIME but quickly got up to speed what it was about.  I found it both fascinatin and sad in a way.

That nobody at the time thought better of preserving those movies back then, but still, I was fascinated in realizing that many of the images I was viewing were 100 to more years old.  I just LOVE that "historical" stuff.  Seeing not only he film methods used, but much of what the WORLD looked like back then.  The stories  of how all that old film were found not only makes for a great documentary, but would make a fascinating STORY to make into a movie.  And I've often said the same thing about KEVIN BROWNLOW's book NAPOLEON, about his coming across an interesting old clip of a silent movie to his years long search for ALL of the movie and his eventual re-assembling and restoring the ABEL GANCE classic epic.  That story ALONE would make an intiguing movie.

Sepiatone

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Dawson City was a remarkable documentary, hindered only by an intrusive musical score which was repetitive, loud, and needlessly morose at times.

Despite my interest in silent films, I was unable to spot any "big" silent stars in the snippets that were shown, partly because the clips flashed across the screen so quickly. However, I did spot Harry Carey in a clip from Brutality, Thurston Hall in The Exquisite Thief, and Edward Arnold in The Strange Case of Mary Page. The Library of Congress has a print of The Exquisite Thief, but apparently not the other two. I wonder if these films have ever, or will ever, be shown on TCM.

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Posting a link here to mr.6666's original post and my follow-up post on "DAWSON CITY, FROZEN IN TIME":

http://forums.tcm.com/topic/48504-tcm-premieres/?page=50&tab=comments#comment-1874704

 

I'd like to add that perhaps the most compelling aspect of this documentary was the incredible 'life' of these historically valuable films and photographs and the nothing-less-than-miraculous discovery or unearthing, as it was, of these practically "preserved in amber" gems.

The painstaking labor of love by Bill Morrison, the editor & director, is evidenced by his dedication to detail and precise arranging of clips, from already severely compromised nitrate films, to descriptively sync with the narrative. 

I agree that the score was a bit somber, until I realized it was probably meant to convey a sense of sadness, doom and grief lamenting the journey taken by these films from actual filming, canning, release in U.S. theaters, final destination to moving-picture purveyors in Dawson City, Yukon Territory, Canada, and the ultimate regrettable fate of thousands of them - and the rebirth of a precious few.

 

 

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3 hours ago, scsu1975 said:

Dawson City was a remarkable documentary, hindered only by an intrusive musical score which was repetitive, loud, and needlessly morose at times.

WORST - Score - ever!  I saw this in the cinema and the score made me want to run screaming into the night!

Fascinating find. Better to watch it with the sound off and listen to classical music!

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Really?

Complaints about the SCORE?

I mean, y'all should be used  to modern failed attempts to re-create the silent era scores for motion pictures.  I mean, look at it this way----

Did the obvious inaccurate representation of "rock'n'roll" music in many '50's movies( and a bit beyond) cause anyone to "run screaming into the night"?  And too,....

If I could sit through the score of SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER, surely anyone can withstand what DAWSON CITY had to offer!  ;)

Sepiatone

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3 hours ago, Sepiatone said:

Really?

Complaints about the SCORE?

I mean, y'all should be used  to modern failed attempts to re-create the silent era scores for motion pictures.  I mean, look at it this way----

Did the obvious inaccurate representation of "rock'n'roll" music in many '50's movies( and a bit beyond) cause anyone to "run screaming into the night"?  And too,....

If I could sit through the score of SATURDAY NIGHT FEVER, surely anyone can withstand what DAWSON CITY had to offer!  ;)

Sepiatone

If you watch Saturday Night Fever, you expect to hear disco music. If you watch an historical documentary dealing with the discovery of lost films, you don't expect to hear something funereal ... at least, not through the whole damn film. In addition, there were added sound effects to some of the silent clips, which were very annoying. But hey, everyone's tastes are different, and that's fine.

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9 hours ago, scsu1975 said:

If you watch Saturday Night Fever, you expect to hear disco music. If you watch an historical documentary dealing with the discovery of lost films, you don't expect to hear something funereal ... at least, not through the whole damn film. In addition, there were added sound effects to some of the silent clips, which were very annoying. But hey, everyone's tastes are different, and that's fine.

I couldn't help but think the musical score sounded as though it was intended for a Holocaust documentary.

But, I've heard worse.

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I don't want to berate the composer any more than I already have. After all it was the producer or director who OK'd it.

I can just imagine someone saying "Let's have something unusual. Something different from what people would expect with a silent film."

For my ear the score was incredibly obtrusive and overbearing, instead of complimentary to the film. Which, to my mind, defeats the purpose of a score.

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20 hours ago, Hibi said:

I think I've fallen in love with the guy with the unpronounceable long Polish last name. SIGH. 

I'll have to point out....

MOST of us Poles have those kind of names.  ;)

So, OK.  I love ya back!  :)  ;)

Anyway.... As I didn't find the score annoying, what I DID find annoying was that many of the "captions" that informed what a clip was from and it's age were not superimposed in a consistent enough manner and I missed reading all of many of them as when I finally located them on the screen they went away.  And too, their PRINTING was kind of small.

Sepiatone

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On 9/10/2018 at 8:45 AM, Sepiatone said:

I didn't catch the beginning of DAWSON CITY; FROZEN TIME but quickly got up to speed what it was about.  I found it both fascinatin and sad in a way.

That nobody at the time thought better of preserving those movies back then, but still, I was fascinated in realizing that many of the images I was viewing were 100 to more years old.  I just LOVE that "historical" stuff.  Seeing not only he film methods used, but much of what the WORLD looked like back then.  The stories  of how all that old film were found not only makes for a great documentary, but would make a fascinating STORY to make into a movie.  And I've often said the same thing about KEVIN BROWNLOW's book NAPOLEON, about his coming across an interesting old clip of a silent movie to his years long search for ALL of the movie and his eventual re-assembling and restoring the ABEL GANCE classic epic.  That story ALONE would make an intiguing movie.

Sepiatone

Love that Abel Gance film, and particularly the snowball scene.

If only someone would find the spider pit sequence from Kong or "London After Midnight" I could die happy. At least they finally found back some years ago the whole version of "The Saragossa Manuscript" and put out the original long version, sadly after its main fan, Jerry Garcia had died though.

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8 hours ago, Sepiatone said:

I'll have to point out....

MOST of us Poles have those kind of names.  ;)

So, OK.  I love ya back!  :)  ;)

Anyway.... As I didn't find the score annoying, what I DID find annoying was that many of the "captions" that informed what a clip was from and it's age were not superimposed in a consistent enough manner and I missed reading all of many of them as when I finally located them on the screen they went away.  And too, their PRINTING was kind of small.

Sepiatone

You said a mouthful, Sepia! I've already hagangued this documentary in another post, so I should go silent but whoever picked that typeface and point size was really not doing the audience any justice. I have good vision which I've been told is 20/20 and obviously don't wear glasses and was watching it on a fairly large screen and was having trouble reading all the constant captions.

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On 9/10/2018 at 2:20 PM, Emily Emerac said:

I simply couldn't get through the first 15 minutes or so of Dawson City.  I found the rather self-important style and strangely inappropriate music too much to take.

The Dawson City shown on all those gold mining TV shows looks a lot more down to earth and fun.

Emily, did you watch "Fragments"?
 

That was worth watching just to see Clara Bow in color!

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