Film Review: Manifesto

The line between art and film has become increasingly blurred as technological advances allow artists more access to digital media. Indeed, many have decided to specialise in multi-media installations and exhibitions. Julian Rosefeldt’s latest multi-screen installation debuted at Australian Centre for the Moving Image in 2015. After moving to Berlin and then New York, the film premiered at Sundance earlier this year.

Manifesto features Cate Blanchett in thirteen different and separate personas. Rosefeldt integrates a number of manifestos from different periods of time and transposes them into contemporary scenarios. Blanchett throws herself into each character. She plays, amongst others, a factory worker, school teacher, punk and a vagrant, as she imparts the manifestos of a variety of artistic movements (Dadaism, Futurism, Situationists etc) and individuals (including André Breton, Jim Jarmusch, Yvonne Rainer).

Manifesto is a call to arms. Rosefeldt collects together an angry and radical group of statements from throughout the ages. Many are still relevant today but others have lost their power somewhat. Some are as vital today as when they were written. Others have faded with age. What Manifesto does so well is to act as a conversation starter. A thought-provoking treatise on the nature of art. Blanchett is fantastic. Imbuing each character with their own distinct personality.

Manifesto is in cinemas from 24 November.

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