‘The Twentieth Century’ Assessment: The Nice Bizarre North
Matthew Rankin’s loony debut function, “The Twentieth Century,” presents a feverish reimagining of turn-of-the-Twentieth-century Canada. An exuberant feat of visible design, it’s meticulously bizarre and stuffed with rambunctious humor.
In Rankin’s lurid imaginative and prescient, the goody-two-shoes Mackenzie King (Dan Beirne) is groomed to be prime minister by his eccentric, shut-in mom (Louis Negin). King — the character shares his title with the precise tenth prime minister of Canada — faces main obstacles: a fascist chief known as Lord Muto (Seán Cullen), bullying from different candidates and a few heavy sexual neuroses. He’s energized by Muto’s noble daughter, Ruby (Catherine Saint-Laurent), however political defeat plunges him into self-loathing and an all-consuming foot fetish.
Like I stated, this isn’t the Canada of historical past textbooks (regardless of together with the Boer Warfare). It’s extra akin to the fond burlesques of Man Maddin, or the surreal lampooning of “The Youngsters within the Corridor.” Maddin is basically the tactic right here: Rankin equally toys with the Victorian trappings of silent-movie melodramas (orphans, wall-to-wall craving), supercharged with impolite passions that may tickle Freud. The candidates for prime minister compete in “exams of management” that poke enjoyable at nationwide id: sniff-testing wooden, passive-aggressive queuing, and clubbing child seals.
“The Twentieth Century” additionally boggles the eyes with, nicely, Twentieth-century arts. The expressionistic units evoke wartime poster artwork and Artwork Deco, and the 16 millimeter movie inventory yields each ruddy hues and Northern Lights blues. Is all of it a bit a lot? Positive, however the self-consciousness is baked in: Rankin names one public gathering place “Disappointment Sq..”
The Twentieth Century
Not rated. Operating time: 1 hour half-hour. Watch by means of digital cinemas.
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