Oscilloscope Labs has unveiled the US trailer for The Twentieth Century, a strange, absurd, and at times psychedelic biopic that re-imagines the formative years of the former Canadian Prime Minister William Lyon Mackenzie King as a series of abject humiliations.
Toronto, 1899. Aspiring young politician Mackenzie King (Vancouver Film Critics Circle award for Best Actor winner Dan Beirne) dreams of becoming the Prime Minister of Canada. But his romantic vacillation between a British soldier and a French nurse, exacerbated by a fetishistic obsession, may well bring about his downfall. In his quest for power, King must gratify the expectations of his imperious Mother, the hawkish fantasies of a war-mongering Governor-General, and the utopian idealism of a Québécois mystic before facing one, final test of leadership. Culminating in an epic battle between good and evil, King learns that disappointment may be the defining characteristic of the twentieth century!
Check out the trailer for The Twentieth Century below:
This indescribable movie stars Dan Beirne as Mackenzie, plus Sarianne Cormier, Catherine St-Laurent, Mikhaïl Ahooja, Brent Skagford, Seán Cullen, and Louis Negin. And if the trailer didn’t give you much in the way of what the film is about don’t worry, It’s almost impossible to describe The Twentieth Century and it’s certain to garner and love it or hate it discourse.
The Twentieth Century premiered at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival where it nabbed the prize for Best Canadian First Feature Film, and has been adored throughout its year-plus-long festival run. later it went on to win the FIPRESCI Prize at the 2020 Berlin International Film Festival, and was up for eight Canadian Screen Awards including Best Motion Picture, Best Actor, and Best Director. The film won prizes for Best Art Direction/Production Design, Costume Design, and Hair.
Director Matthew Rankin doubles down on his blending of historical exploration and stylized abstractions. Known for some mesmerizing and weird biographical short films like Mynarski Death Plummet and The Tesla World Light, Rankin continues to showcase a true holdover style. Comparisons have been made to the work of fellow Canadian director Guy Maddin, as well as Michael Powell and Emeric Pressburger, and even John Waters in its grotesque look at Canadian politics and identity.
Check out a pair of nostalgia-infused posters for the film as well:
Oscilloscope Labs will release Rankin’s The Twentieth Century in “virtual cinemas” in the US starting on November 20th this fall.