Manifesto (Rosefeldt, 2015)

Cate Blanchett plays over a dozen characters, takes on half as many accents, gets to wear some great (and not so great) wigs, and speaks the impassioned rhetoric of art and cultural theorists from the past century. Futurists, Dadaists, Vorticists, Surrealists, Pop Artists, and many more are covered in this artistic endeavour, wherein the language of the manifesto is promulgated, punctuated, and made porous as texts slip into one another and subtext is deliberately turned performative. As a film, it’s maybe not as compelling as it was an art installation, and Cate doesn’t exactly prove herself to be the next Tracey Ullman when some of her characters veer into ham territory. It largely works, though, on the basis of how playfully it captures the manifesto’s desire to collapse art and form (and the formation of an artistic revolution) into its own singularity.


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