Manifesto is a masterful showcase of Cate Blanchetts talents

MANIFESTO (Julian Rosefeldt). 95 minutes. Opens Friday (June 30). See listing. Rating: NNNNJulian Rosefeldts Manifesto offers many pleasures. Some of.


MANIFESTO (Julian Rosefeldt). 95 minutes. Opens Friday (June 30). See listing. Rating: NNNN

Julian Rosefeldts Manifesto offers many pleasures. Some of them are conceptual, some of them are surreal, and some of them are Cate Blanchett.

The film offers the breathtaking sight of watching Blanchett delivering famous statements on art, politics and life in intriguing, sometimes jarring new settings. Its a showcase for her virtuosity, of course, but also for the ideas shes relaying.

Shot at locations all over Berlin by writer/director Rosefeldt, who originally conceived this as an art installation for the Australian Centre for the Moving Image, Manifesto is a clever and occasionally brilliant experiment, taking key speeches and texts from the 20th century and filtering them through a new visual context.

Each new environment offers us a new Blanchett the actor appears as at least a dozen characters (including a furious homeless man, a new widow, a TV news anchor and a schoolteacher), varying up her delivery to suit the setting.

It takes a while to settle into itself, and Rosefeldts attempts at providing visual connection between individual sequences betray the projects origin as a collection of fragments rather than a continuous narrative work. But when Blanchett delivers a selection of Dada principles as a eulogy, or flows from Stan Brakhage and Jim Jarmusch into the tenets of Dogme 95 in a lecture to third graders, Manifesto snaps together in a most satisfying way.

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