In ‘Manifesto’ actress Cate Blanchett performs 13 different artistic and political manifestos to camera in a variety of different roles and settings.
Boldly refusing to make sense or even a point, director Julian Rosenfeldt employs Cate Blanchett as his Metronome single handedly delivering each text in a series of increasingly incongruous settings and even more diverse characters.
Tramps, rocks stars, house wives and more all spout prosaic epithets, all delivered with explosive acting and word perfect diction. Anyone familiar with Cate Blanchett’s turn in the Bob Dylan rockumentary ‘I’m Not There’ they will already be aware of her ability to totally lose herself inside a role and now with ‘Manifesto’ any doubt to her exceptional range is removed. However, what ‘Manifesto’ does not do is either entertain, educate or inform as a movie.
...is an art installation that has found its way into a mainstream cinema release…
Spiralling in its own self-importance ‘Manifesto’ is an art installation that has found its way into a mainstream cinema release and it is one whose oratorial fireworks even die-hard Blanchett fans will struggle to sit through without any context on offer. Despite even rounding itself off with a rendition of Lars Von Trier’s Dogme 95, any allegorical threads are left discarded, leaving the audience serrated into those who managed to sit through it all and those who ran out after their patience left ahead of them.
Despite its beautifully shot visuals and artfully realised set pieces, ‘Manifesto’s’ direction is one that is ultimately unlikely to galvanise many who hear it. Instead it is a multimedia production masquerading as a movie, and in the end one call-to-arms that you can safely leave unheeded as it passes you by.0