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Manifesto

Director:  Julian Rosefeldt
Year Released:  2015
Rating:  1.0

Cate Blanchett gets dressed up to play 13 different roles - including vagabond, stock broker, punk rocker, reporter and teacher - to recite (either to the camera or via voice over) a collection of manifestos covering a number of artistic movements, including the Futurists (Vertov!), the Dadists (Picabia!), the Surrealists (Breton!) and various filmmakers (Jarmusch! Herzog! Von Trier!). The problem is, it's little more than a movie about numerous concepts without knowing what to do with them or having much of an identity itself: nothing gets synthesized. What remains is a bit of a slog, with Cate stomping around a variety of well-shot, sometimes exotic locations that don't have a whole lot to do with each other - Rosefeldt is more of a stylist than a thinker, or he'd have come up with a unique declaration of his own. In one (intentionally?) humorous scene, Blanchett-as-instructor paces up and down the aisles of her classroom, telling the elementary school students about the 'vows' of Dogme 95 ("The film must not contain superficial action," "The camera must be hand-held") while her pupils follow along dutifully (bliss!) ... and her Yvonne Rainer impression (with a German accent?) is neat as well ("No to spectacle!").

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