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The Twentieth Century ()

The 20th Century (original title)
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Determined to become the leader of the Dominion of Canada, a young W.L. Mackenzie King rises to power.

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Cast

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Mackenzie King
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Ruby Eliott
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Bert Harper
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Arthur Meighen
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Lord Muto
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Mother
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Dr. Milton Wakefield
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Mr. Justice Richardson
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Lady Violet
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Father
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Little Charlotte
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Angel of Britain
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A.A. Heaps
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Smoking Street Child
Raynnie Platz ...
Orphan Girl
Rest of cast listed alphabetically:
Élia St-Pierre ...
Wretch Orphan

Directed by

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Matthew Rankin

Written by

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Matthew Rankin ... (writer)

Produced by

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Emmanuel Hessler ... line producer
Menaic Raoul ... producer (as Ménaïc Raoul) / producer
Gabrielle Tougas-Fréchette ... producer (as Gabrielle Tougas-Frechette)

Music by

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Christophe Lamarche-Ledoux
Peter Venne

Cinematography by

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Vincent Biron

Film Editing by

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Matthew Rankin

Art Direction by

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Dany Boivin

Costume Design by

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Patricia McNeil

Makeup Department

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Nermin Grbic ... hair department head
Audrey Lampron ... hair stylist

Second Unit Director or Assistant Director

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Catherine Kirouac ... first assistant director

Art Department

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Sylvie Desmarais ... art department assistant/painter
Jessica Hart ... property master
Marc-Antoine Lemire ... props

Sound Department

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Natalie Fleurant ... adr supervisor
Bernard Gariépy Strobl ... re-recording mixer
Sacha Ratcliffe ... Sound Designer

Stunts

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Jean-Francois Lachapelle ... stunt coordinator

Camera and Electrical Department

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Maxime Boutin ... first assistant camera

Music Department

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François Arbour ... score mixer

Additional Crew

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Guillaume Leuillet ... production assistant

Production Companies

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Distributors

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  • Oscilloscope (2020) (United States) (Oscilloscope Laboratories)

Special Effects

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Other Companies

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Storyline

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Plot Summary

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 rival, the zealous mama's boy has his spirit shattered. Profoundly depressed and driven to unconventional forms of sexual gratification with ladies' footwear, Mackenzie King finds both himself and his country at a crossroads - you know, the kind that culminates in the navigation of a perilous ice maze. Referring to that series of once-ubiquitous, government-sponsored television shorts that dramatized milestones in Canadian history, Rankin and company (which also includes a mustache-twirling Sean Cullen as a tyrannical Governor General) have brilliantly conjured a Heritage Minute from hell: a perverse, phantasmagorical parody of Canadian national identity, and the figures that inspired it. All that and an ejaculating cactus too. Written by Toronto International Film Festival

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Additional Details

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Also Known As
  • Le 20ème Siècle (Canada, French title)
  • Le vingtième siècle (Canada, French title)
  • The Twentieth Century (Canada, English title)
  • The Twentieth Century (World-wide, English title)
  • The Twentieth Century (United States)
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Runtime
  • 90 min
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Did You Know?

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Quotes Dr. Milton Wakefield: [pulls boot from King's grasp] Mr. King, you intend to fornicate with this garment?
Mackenzie King: No, I don't.
Dr. Milton Wakefield: Look me in the eye.
Mackenzie King: There's been a shortage of ladies' footwear at the Daughters of the Empire's temperance league, and I was asked...
Dr. Milton Wakefield: [slaps King with boot] You're a disgusting backslider.
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