Renowned for his mesmerizing, gonzo biographical shorts Mynarski Death Plummet and The Tesla World Light, Matthew Rankin doubles down on his signature blend of historical and aesthetic abstraction with his debut feature, a bizarre biopic that re-imagines the formative years of former Canadian Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King as a series of abject humiliations. Stylistically indebted to early cinema via its alchemy adoption of antiquated analogue techniques that recall the work of Guy Maddin, The Twentieth Century plays fantastically fast and loose with history as it riotously roasts both its subject and the political legacies of the Great White North. Exuding both manic ambition and cherubic naivety, Daniel Beirne is magnificently funny as a young Mackenzie King, who is determined to fulfill the political destiny that was prophesied by his dogmatic mother (played by Maddin regular Louis Negin). But when destiny appears to be deferred by a romantic rebuke and an unexpected ...
Toronto International Film Festival