Tour-de-force: a term so overused that we need an undeniable acting performance to renew its meaning for cinema. Cate Blanchett has just given us one, going all-out in Manifesto. Already respected as one of the best actresses in film, Blanchett raises the bar even higher by playing 13 different roles in Manifesto, embodying some of the most influential and emotional artist manifestos in history. The first trailer has been released ahead of its premiere at the Sundance Film Festival on January 23.
Manifesto is a 2015 Australian-German multi-screen film installation written, produced and directed by Julian Rosefeldt. It features Cate Blanchett in 13 different roles performing various manifestos. Production on the film began in December 2014 in Berlin, where it was shot over 12 days. The film premiered and screened at the Australian Centre for the Moving Image from December 9, 2015 to March 14, 2016. The installation was also shown in Berlin at the Museum für Gegenwart, from February 10 to July 10, 2016 and the Park Avenue Armory in New York City from December 7, 2016 to January 8, 2017. The trailer debuted on Yahoo! Movies.
The architect of this unique film idea is director Julian Rosefeldt, a veteran of intricate films and installations. In Manifesto, he uses the words from various twentieth century manifestos of artists, architects, and filmmakers for dialogue. With a gorgeous production and luscious cinematography that would make Baz Luhrmann proud, Rosefeldt puts Blanchett in the everyday world-as a housewife, a factory worker, or a TV anchor-declaring the words that have inspired whole art movements. Manifesto is entertaining while also asking us to question if these passionate statements still hold true and inspire us today.
Manifesto draws on the writings of Futurists, Dadaists, Fluxus artists, Suprematists, Situtationists, Dogma 95 and other artist groups, and the musings of individual artists, architects, dancers and filmmakers, editing and reassembling them as a collage of artists’ manifestos, ultimately questioning the role of the artist in society today. Performing these ‘new manifestos’ while inhabiting thirteen different personas, among them a school teacher, a puppeteer, a newsreader, a factory worker and a homeless man, Cate Blanchett imbues new dramatic life into these famous words in unexpected contexts. Rosefeldt’s work questions whether these passionate statements, composed by artists with utter conviction, have withstood the passage of time. Can they be applied universally? How have the dynamics between politics, art and life shifted? And what is the artist’s role in society today?
The film integrates various types of artist manifestos from different time periods with contemporary scenarios. Manifestos are depicted by 13 different characters, among them a school teacher, factory worker, choreographer, punk, newsreader, scientist, puppeteer, widow, and a homeless man. The supporting cast includes Erika Bauer, Carl Dietrich, Marie Borkowski Foedrowitz, Ea-Ja Kim, Marina Michael, Hannelore Ohlendorf, Ottokar Sachse, Ralf Tempel, Jimmy Trash and Andrew Upton. Take a look at the first trailer for Manifesto below.