A magnificent Cate Blanchett plays 13 different roles in this homage to the great artistic manifestos of our time, directed by influential artist Julian Rosefeldt.
Taking on roles as diverse as a homeless man, preppy newsreader, and puppeteer, Blanchett is a chameleon. She playfully embodies key artistic manifestos including those of the Futurists, Dadaists and Lars von Trier's Dogma 95. The ideas of a range of artists, including Yvonne Rainer and Jim Jarmusch, are also explored. Manifesto was commissioned as an installation by, amongst others, the Art Gallery of NSW and the Australian Centre for the Moving Image. The ideas find new life in this feature-length form. With its stunning visuals and Blanchett's luminous performances, it is far more than a catalogue of famous manifestos. In questioning the role of art and artists in society today, it is a call to action.
All told, Manifesto is an art film in the truest sense: It is conceptual in nature, nontraditional in form, and perfectly esoteric in appeal… What few could foresee walking into the experience is how an often-contradictory collection of dogma might inspire the artistically open-minded. Whereas a single manifesto rigidly demands creativity within constraints, this maelstrom of competing rules and regulations encourages viewers to take a stand and consider their own aesthetic. – Peter Debruge, Variety
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. – Sundance Film Festival