Streaming Release!

The Twentieth Century

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Canadian filmmaker Matthew Rankin’s one-of-a-kind debut feature is an outrageously strange, hilarious and proudly unreliable faux-historical drama about the rise of real-life Canadian Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King in the 1920s, reimagined as a Dali-esque fever-dream by way of Monty Python.

“Hilariously absurd … clever animation, wacky puppets, painted backdrops and masks create a twisted, cult atmosphere as well as pay tribute to film classics like The Lady from Shanghai.” – Alissa Simon, Variety

Filled with boot fetishes, an ejaculating cactus and gratuitous ice skating, it’s a psychosexual political satire like nothing you’ve ever seen.  In Rankin’s bizarro interpretation of events, Prime Ministers are not elected, but chosen through a competition with events like “ribbon cutting” and “baby seal clubbing,” and candidate Mackenzie King (Daniel Beirne) is a petulant, power-hungry dweeb with a secret shoe fetish and unhealthily close relationship with his ill-tempered shut-in mother. When his hopes of victory are foiled by an unexpected rival, he descends into a downward spiral of self-pity and illicit shoe sniffing. Luckily, one needn’t have a firm background (or any background, for that matter) in turn-of-the-century Canadian political history to appreciate the absurdist humor or off-kilter beauty of The Twentieth Century.  (Dir. by Matthew Rankin, 2019, Canada, 90 mins., Not Rated)