Wildly imaginative, thoroughly entertaining and deeply absurd, Matthew Rankin’s prizewinner for best Canadian first feature at TIFF is a history lesson like none you’ve ever seen. Presented in the inimitable style of the Montreal-based and Winnipeg-bred filmmaker’s many acclaimed shorts, THE TWENTIETH CENTURY draws from many of the strange-but-true aspects of the early history of William Lyon Mackenzie King – this nation’s 10th prime minister for those keeping score – to create a tragicomedy about ambition, obsession and the seamiest undercurrents of Canadian society. The ingenious practical effects, eye-popping sets and outlandish performances — including standouts by the great Louis Negin, Festival guest Sean Cullen and Daniel Beirne as King – are all just part of the fun.
Matthew Rankin is a Canadian experimental filmmaker. He is most noted for his 2014 film Mynarski Death Plummet, which was a shortlisted Canadian Screen Award nominee for Best Live Action Short Drama at the 4th Canadian Screen Awards and a shortlisted Jutra Award nominee for Best Short Film at the 17th Jutra Awards, and his 2017 film The Tesla World Light, which won the Canadian Screen Award for Best Animated Short at the 6th Canadian Screen Awards and received an Honourable Mention for the Toronto International Film Festival Award for Best Canadian Short Film at the 2017 Toronto International Film Festival.