Cate Blanchett spoke to Elle UK for the Beauty Matrix section. Time for beauty tips! Enjoy the reading!
Cate Blanchett spoke to Elle UK for the Beauty Matrix section. Time for beauty tips! Enjoy the reading!
Hola amigos Argentinos!
Manifesto’s installation is coming to South America this August to stay until November at Fundación Proa (Buenos Aires). You can read the official press release here.
On the right sidebar, in the projects section, there is the complete list of museums hosting the installation. Buenos días a todos!
Hello folks! We just found out the RED, the short film directed by Del Kathryn Barton, where Cate Blanchett embodies the female red back spider during the mating ritual, is going to be screened with Manifesto on June 8 and 12. You don’t have any more excuses not to buy a ticket now!
A new interview with Cate Blanchett for La Dernière Heure (DH.be) magazine!Enjoy the reading!
Cate Blanchett: “Maman, c’est un job à plein temps”
À la tête d’une fratrie de trois garçons et une fille, Cate Blanchett est une actrice et une mère épanouie. Voici ses recettes pour rester zen…
C’est l’une des actrices les plus récompensées du star system. Une institution à elle toute seule. Une quasi légende. Elle a volé sa pâleur à Madame la lune et pourrait sortir d’une toile de Boldini. Lorsqu’elle vous sourit, on dirait en effet le soleil qui entre dans la pièce. Sacrée dimension. Sacré physique surtout. Imposant et léger à la fois. Comme son jeu. Comme ses rôles. Silhouette d’ajonc et volonté d’airain, depuis que cette blonde Australienne s’est lancée dans le cinéma, les superlatifs pleuvent. Tout comme les comparaisons. Nouvelle Meryl Streep pour certains, DeNiro en version féminine pour d’autres, Catherine Elise Blanchett pour l’état civil n’a pas fini de nous séduire ! Rencontre avec une muse protéiforme…
Parlez-nous de vos enfants, Roman, Dashiell, Ignatius, Edith. Sont-ils imaginatifs ? Est-ce qu’ils jouent, lisent, vous font-ils rire ?
“Ils sont trop drôles. L’autre jour, on était en voiture et on chantait à tue-tête ! L’un de mes fils avait ses mains sur ses oreilles, et il m’a dit : ” S’il te plaît. Est-ce que tu peux arrêter maman de chanter ? Quelqu’un risquerait de t’entendre !” (rires) En ce qui concerne leur imaginaire, j’espère qu’il est très riche. Parfois il m’arrive d’aller chez d’autres gens et de me dire, que mes gamins n’ont décidément pas beaucoup de jouets. Je me souviens qu’à un Noël, nous avons proposé à mon aîné, qui avait 11 ans, de lui offrir une tablette Kindle alors qu’on partait en vacances. Comme son sac était déjà plein de livres, il a dit non ! Je pensais qu’il avait décliné ce cadeau potentiel parce qu’il n’avait plus de place dans son sac à dos ! En fait, pas du tout. Il m’a sorti le plus sérieusement du monde qu’il préférait l’odeur de l’encre et tourner les pages en papier ! J’étais très fière de lui et de… moi. Dans mon for intérieur, je me suis dit que je l’avais bien éduqué !”
Élever trois gars, plus une petite fille, cela ne doit pas être de tout repos ?
“Il faut avoir de l’énergie à revendre. C’est un job quasiment à plein temps ! Lorsque j’ai commencé à prendre des cours d’art dramatique, ma grand-mère avait l’habitude de me répéter : “Quand tu joues une pièce, allume les petites lumières de la création qui se trouvent dans ta tête. Mais dès que tu rentres chez toi, éteins-les et redescends sur Terre. Il y a un temps pour l’abstrait et un temps pour le concret !” Elle avait raison et c’est d’ailleurs ce que je m’efforce de faire avec mes enfants. Il y a un temps pour le travail et un autre pour eux !”
Malgré tout vos efforts pour rester une mère standard, vous n’avez pas le sentiment d’être une mère décalée dans votre for intérieur à cause de votre notoriété ?
“Aucunement ! Je suis dans le concret. Je vous donne un exemple. Quand je me rends au supermarché avec mes garçons, je dois, moi aussi, leur expliquer qu’avant de devenir un morceau de viande dans une boîte en plastique, il y avait une vache qui broutait de l’herbe dans la prairie ! Et comme toutes les mères, je dois aussi faire face à leurs réactions. À savoir : des yeux exorbités et un air qui veut dire : Pouah, je ne mangerai plus jamais de viande !”
Quelle mère pensez-vous être ?
“Oh la la, je ne sais vraiment pas ! Je ne me pose jamais la question ! Franchement, vous me voyez m’asseoir à une table et me dire avec un doigt sur la tempe : “Alors Cate, es-tu une bonne ou une mauvaise mère ?” La seule chose que je peux vous dire présentement, c’est quelle mère je ne suis pas ! Avec mon mari, par exemple, nous n’adhérons pas à cette mode actuelle dans les familles dites modernes, mode qui consiste à faire copain-copain avec nos enfants ! Nous pensons aussi, qu’il est extrêmement dangereux de vouloir à tout prix faire en sorte que notre progéniture nous ressemble. Nous ne sommes, bien sûr, pas très à l’aise non plus lorsqu’il s’agit de fliquer nos gars ! Vous savez, donner de l’amour, c’est certes beaucoup plus évident que de hausser le ton. Mais en y réfléchissant bien, un enfant qui n’est pas cadré est un enfant qui se sentira à un moment ou à un autre complètement déboussolé. Moralité : il faut savoir doser ! J’ajoute enfin que le plus important, c’est de laisser ses enfants s’exprimer. Surtout quand ils ont tort ou qu’ils viennent – je ne sais moi – vous casser un truc dans la maison. Cela leur apprend à structurer leur pensée mais aussi à prendre leurs responsabilités…”
L’autorité n’est donc pas pour vous quelque chose de figé ?
“Non, elle doit se nuancer, s’ajuster et être remise en question à chaque étape de l’évolution de ses enfants. Au fur et à mesure, on pose des lois nouvelles et on assouplit d’anciennes. Aujourd’hui, je le constate autour de moi, les parents préfèrent être aimés que craints. Alors, on veut être obéis mais sans se fâcher, interdire mais sans frustrer. J’en conviens, ce n’est pas évident. Trouver la bonne mesure entre le respect de l’enfant et les règles indispensables est un slalom permanent. Mais vous ne m’ôterez pas de l’esprit que la seule autorité valable est celle qui ne se voit pas, ne se remarque pas !”
Comment vous y prenez-vous pour que vos enfants ne soient pollués par ce cirque médiatique ?
“Je ne sais pas vraiment ce qu’est une enfance normale. Je pense que l’enfance par essence même est quelque chose de totalement… anormal ! (rires) Tous les enfants ont une vie imaginaire et il ne faut en aucun cas la museler, la brider. Avec mon mari, nous menons une vie qui s’apparente à un cirque permanent ! On essaie pour autant de la gérer tout en restant le plus stable possible. Comme tous les parents qui travaillent, je présume. Ce qui est génial pour mes enfants, enfin il me semble, c’est qu’ils ont l’opportunité de voir l’envers du décor. Beaucoup de gens, pas seulement les jeunes d’ailleurs, sont obsédés par la notoriété. La chance de mes garçons, c’est qu’ils peuvent voir tout le travail qu’il y a derrière. Les efforts que l’on doit faire pour être au
top. Ils ne voient pas un produit fini uniquement, en l’occurrence un film, mais tous les préparatifs derrière chaque scène ! Mes enfants ne me perçoivent donc pas comme une icône glamour du coup mais comme une maman qui se démène pour répondre aux attentes d’un réalisateur ! Le fait qu’ils soient témoins de ce processus créatif normalise l’aspect paillettes demon métier.”
Avez-vous pressenti chez vos aînés, une envie de suivre les mêmes traces que vous ?
“Pour l’heure, ils sont plutôt à fond dans les mangas ! Quoique, pas plus tard qu’hier soir, un de mes fils est entré fièrement dans ma chambre en me disant qu’il envisageait de devenir Hamlet. Sans vraiment savoir qui c’est ! (Rires). J’ai un rêve concernant mes garçons : qu’ils deviennent ce qu’ils souhaitent devenir ! Mon rôle consiste uniquement à les aider à réaliser leurs rêves. À leur baliser un peu les routes à emprunter mais en aucun cas les leur imposer.”
BIEN DANS SA TETE, BIEN DANS SON CORPS
Tournant le dos aux diktats de la mode, Cate Blanchett choisit ses tenues au coup de cœur. Et remercie son coiffeur…
Vous êtes toujours sublime, toujours très apprêtée quand on vous voit. Comment faites-vous pour arriver sur le tapis rouge si resplendissante et en même temps si naturelle ?
“Le secret c’est de foire ami-ami avec son coiffeur et son maquilleur, (rires). Dites-vous bien que sans eux, sons leur sens artistique, sans leur aide, je ne serais pas là où j’en suis aujourd’hui ! Maintenant si vous portez une robe Armani couture taillée sur mesure, les probabilités pour vous faire remarquer sont encore plus grandes ! Vous savez, 50 % de mon métier consiste à passer dans les mains de ces véritables artistes ! L’image est essentielle au cinéma et il leur faut parfois qu’une dizaine de minutes pour transformer mon air de maman fatigué en un teint lumineux ! Mais je peux aussi comprendre que pour certaines de mes collègues cela soit une vraie plaie d’être l’objet de toutes les attentions !”
Si vous deviez décrire votre dressing ?
“Nous les actrices, nous avons un privilège. Ce privilège, c’est que beaucoup de designers nous sollicitent pour porter leurs créations. Le piège, c’est de se faire récupérer. De devenir leur ambassadrice, sans même s’en rendre compte. J’ai choisi le parti de porter ce que mon instinct me dicte de porter et non ce que tel ou tel couturier me pousse à mettre sur mon dos… ou sur mes fesses ! Mon dressing est globalement rempli de fringues coup de cœur. Et donc pas nécessairement des griffes. ”
Votre définition de la mode ?
“Mixer, brosser, combiner, associer, déstructurer, transformer, détourner. Il m’est arrivé, par exemple, d’associer un cardigan de plusieurs milliers de dollars avec une jupe achetée en solde chez un fripier ! La mode, je vais vous dire, c’est un truc très perso. Cela me fait toujours rire quand je vois ces coaches qui vous disent ce que vous devez ou non porter. La mode, c’est aussi une question d’état d’esprit. Vous ne vous habillez pas de la même façon si vous êtes amoureuse que lorsque vous avez le moral en berne !”
Votre couleur préférée…
“Le noir ! Quand vous êtes rousse ça fait ressortir vos cheveux et la blancheur opaline de votre visage!”
Quatre enfants et une ligne de déesse, nos lectrices sont en droit de se demander. Mais comment fait-elle ?
“J’ai toujours refusé d’écouter ou de lire toutes les conneries qui tournent autour des régimes. Qui plus est lorsque ces régimes sont des régimes Mode in Hollywood. Ils ont élaboré selon moi par des charlatans qui n’ont aucun scrupule à mettre la vie des femmes les plus fragiles en péril. En outre, je sais que, si je m’étais affamée, les hémisphères de mon cerveau auraient quelque peu merdouillé. Conséquences : je n’aurai jamais pu fournir un
travail de qualité sur grand écran. Dans The Aviator (de Martin Scorsese, NdlR), j’incarnais Katherine Hepburn, l’une des célèbres maîtresses du nabab Howard Hughes. Pour la préparation de ce film; j’avais dû me mettre au golf activement et au tennis car Miss Hepburn était une véritable athlète. Pratiquer un sport intensivement, évidemment cela vous aide à garder la ligne. Mais d’ordinaire, je ne suis pas très portée sur ce type d’activité ! Suer ! J’exècre. Bon, d’accord, je l’admets, lorsque j’attendais Dash, je m’étais inscrite pour des cours de pilâtes. Et puis, finalement, je n’y suis jamais allée. Trop H.S. à la fin de la journée !”
En attendant, vous êtes la preuve que l’on peut avoir plus de quarante ans à Hollywood et être encore sollicitée…
“Je pense que les actrices de plus de 40 ans sont en train de prendre une belle revanche à Hollywood. On ne les regarde plus comme des pestiférées, au contraire, on les respecte ! Il aura fallu du temps. Cela devenait usant de se battre contre ces a priori. Je pense que l’on peut toutes d’ailleurs remercier des actrices comme Meryl Streep ou Diane Keaton. C’est grâce à des femmes de cette trempe que nous avons pu démontrer que l’âge n’avait pas à interférer. Un acteur, une actrice ne peut pas être normée car sa fonction même, son essence même est d’offrir une infinité de palettes, de nuances. Et le fait de vieillir en fait partie. Aujourd’hui, on voit sur les écrans, des femmes bien en chair et pour certaines très en chair. On voit aussi des acteurs qui n ‘ont pas forcément un
physique de play-boy, de tombeur. Hollywood a su se réformer en profondeur en sortant des stéréotypes. C’est la même chose avec les actrices de plus quarante ans. Aujourd’hui, les bons rôles ne sont plus derrière nous,
mais devant nous ! A nous de savoir les saisir !”
Hello folks! We have the scans from the last issue of Town & Country, and we discovered a new promotional interview for Sì Rose Signature in Grazia France. Both magazines are currently in newsstands.
We have some news on the upcoming filming of Where’d You Go Bernadette, the movie starring Cate Blanchett and Kristen Wiig, directed by Richard Linklater.
After several rumors a non official confirmation comes from a charity auction: Richard Linklater has made a role available to support the Robert F. Kennedy Human Rights, confirming one more location.
The movie, set to film in Vancouver (Canada), will also film in Pittsburgh (Pennsylvania) from July to September (source)!
New promotional interview with Cate Blanchett for SK II. Enjoy the reading!
When you find yourself in the presence of Cate Blanchett what do you talk about? This isn’t a trick question. The actress has accolades by the dozen, is a devoted mother of four, and is a staunch advocate for women. Truly, where do you start?
Luckily, I’m with catching up with her for an SK-II press junket, so skin care and unrealistic standards about aging make natural entry points for discussion. The brand is celebrating its limited-edition Mother’s Day essence, a gift, I’ve got to say, is hard to hand over. I already have three different versions of the treatment. It’s light and refreshing—a joy to spritz and pat on, and if using it at every opportunity means I’ll have skin as radiant as Blanchett’s in 13 years (which is as long as she’s been the brand’s spokeswoman), I’ll happily hoard this bottle too. (Sorry, Mom.)
Here, the Broadway sensation talks masking, motherhood, and the importance of making time for yourself. Even if that’s only long enough to moisturize.
First off, I’ve just got to say your skin is phenomenal. What’s your current routine?
It changes depending on whether I’m just running around in everyday life or whether I’m on stage. Because obviously doing eight shows a week [on Broadway], I‘m taking my makeup on and off three times a night, eight times a week. So my cleansing regimen changes. On those nights, I use an oil cleanser because it gently removes all your eye makeup well. And then any other time, I use the SK-II LXP range morning and night: the facial treatment essence, the eye cream, the serum, and the moisturizer. For nearly an entire decade, I was decanting the essence into a spray bottle, and then I finally talked SK-II into doing a mist, which I now use day and night. And then, say today before an event, I put a mask on.
What kind of masks are your favorite?
I love to do a brightening mask [before appearances], because it evens out your skin tone and it helps to luminize it. It gives your skin more radiance. For a big event like a red carpet, I might do a treatment mask [to moisturize] the day before and then do a brightening mask while getting ready. And when I’m traveling, I’ll do a facial treatment mask because it’s really hydrating.
You have three sons, and you recently adopted a daughter. How has she changed the way you view societal pressures on women?
I think women are in a very challenging place at the moment. And the challenge is to band together no matter what your socioeconomic standing is. We’re all female humans. I’ve felt that way raising sons too. Because as a mother of sons you have a responsibility to instill in them the need to and the benefits of respecting women. That hasn’t changed. But what’s never been more important is the necessity to impart in young girls a sense of self-respect, a sense of having expectations, and a right to achieving quality. And of course having a young daughter now, one becomes more acute on a daily basis. I wake up to a reminder of that responsibility to lead by example.
What ways are you trying to make your daughter’s experience different from yours?
I grew up with a mother who was big on self-respect and sent me to attend a very feminist school. So much so, that we weren’t doing school plays with boys because [they] felt that plays always skewed to favoring roles for them. We had to invent our own drama. And I’m sure that’s where my love of drama was born and nurtured. My mom was very much about being self-directive as a woman and not finding your identity in who you were with.
What’s also important—and not to generalize—but women are great community builders. We have to recognize our right to self-expression and our right to discover and grow our individual identities. And yet, also at this moment, I think it’s important to remember our collective identity. It’s been a long time now since universal suffrage. Equal pay for equal work sounded like an odd conversation last year, and now it seems like an impossible conversation. Around the world, there are countries reducing the legal age where the girls can enter into marriage. Even in this country, there are states where girls can get married at the age of 14. And, talking about reproductive rights, we’ve lost a lot of ground. We’re only going to get that ground back and move forward if we act collectively. It’s a two-prong thing: it’s enshrining our ability to be individuals, but also to work together.
To that point, self-care has become a big buzzword lately—and it’s even harder to do when you have others you care for. Did you find it more difficult to take care of yourself when you became a mom?
Absolutely. When anything momentous happens in your life—if you take a big career turn, or you fall in love for the first time, or you have a child, adopt a child, even when you turn a certain age—it often takes a while to recalibrate and work it out. You realize, “I don’t have two legs anymore; I have four legs.” A lot of things went out the window for me for awhile. Looking after yourself is usually the first thing to go. But then I quickly realized if you’re incapable of looking after yourself, you’re incapable of looking after other people. It’s about trying to find as much as you can of a balance. I mean, life is constantly out of balance. I haven’t found a balance.
Totally. I think work-life balance is a myth.
It is a myth! Life is chaos. And that’s why taking literally three minutes for myself in the morning and at night—to put on two sets of moisturizers and a serum—sounds really small, but it certainly became an indispensable life raft. Now, I’m like, “I’m taking these three minutes, and I’m not leaving the house until I’ve done it.” You wouldn’t go out of the house without brushing your teeth, right? I do often go out of the house without brushing my hair. Something’s got to go! But I’ll always have moisturizer and sunscreen on—and underpants.
You mentioned earlier about there being societal pressure “even when you turn a certain age.” At what time in your life did you stop feeding into those unrealistic expectations?
I think there’s far more pressure on women than there is on men. The fact that we’re having this very conservation is proof. I think, like anybody, you have good days, and you have bad days. It doesn’t really have a rhyme or a reason. The media often says [that] when you hit 40 or 50, or whatever the milestone is, you have to prepare yourself for it. I think we all grow in very random, personal ways. So anything you have to do to make yourself feel better or more confident, whether it’s looking after your skin, getting a massage, going to the gym, or sleeping—anything!—you should do it.
We often talk about quick beauty fixes, but sometimes you just need to sit down and turn your phone off for 20 minutes, and that’s all you need to make your face relax. People think you look so much better, and it’s just because you’ve gotten rid of the stress. It’s hard, particularly at the moment. I think there’s a lot of fear and anxiety being cultivated by our various governments around the world. It’s increased people’s stress loads. Give up social media. That’ll take 10 years off you.
Do you think the way we discuss aging and self-care has evolved?
I grew up in a house with three generations of women. I was brought up by my mother and my grandmother in the same house. So I’ve grown up around people older than me. I think as a society, we need to banish the notion of “old age.” We don’t get to know and cohabit and mingle with people who are several generations ahead of us. And as a result, we’ve become more fearful of aging. And you know, how funny my mom and my grandmother were, how active they were, [it was inspiring]. I used to love hearing the stories from when they were girls. So it’s never been a fearful space for me. I mean, no one wants to die. But we’re all heading in that direction, and it’s really helped me move through knowing that there are more interesting things to come.
And, look, I’m very privileged. I’m financially secure. I have healthy children. I’ve been blessed in a lot of ways, so it’s very easy for me to say that [I’m comfortable]. And you know, it wasn’t always that way for me. It certainly wasn’t for my mother or my grandmother. But growing up alongside them was really formative.
What were their viewpoints on aging? Did they ever give you advice?
My grandmother had a few regrets, I think. [Her big lesson to me] was don’t leave life regretting not having done something. Don’t say, “I wish I had done that.” Just go and try and do it. But on a practical level, my mother was very big on protection and moisturizing—taking care of herself the best she could then. She had limited means, but she still took care of herself. She didn’t expose herself to the sun. And that’s something that was passed down to me, which I’m really grateful for.
And before we go, what are you looking forward to most this Mother’s Day?
I’m looking forward to having no plans whatsoever. Just an open horizon for the whole day. That’s my idea of bliss.
This interview has been edited and condensed.
It’s Cate’s Birthday!
From Cate Blanchett Fan team, we want to wish Cate a very Happy Birthday and an exciting Mothers Day! We hope she has an amazing time surrounded by those she loves.
New Cate Blanchett interview!
“Chameleon” always feels like the inevitable mot juste when describing Cate Blanchett. In Manifesto, Blanchett’s latest starring vehicle in which she interprets 12 distinct personae—each one a “conduit” (as she calls them) for the recitation of around 60 spliced-up artist manifestos—her agile shape-shifting becomes the driving force. Throughout the film, she morphs from a primetime news anchor to a Russian choreographer to a schoolteacher, and from Marxism and Dadaism to Futurism and Fluxus. The result is a consciously disorienting experiment that’s variously provocative, surreal, and bitingly comical as it leaves us to draw our own conclusions.
Written, directed, and produced by German visual artist Julian Rosefeldt, Manifesto was originally exhibited in 2015 as a multi-panel video installation. Trading conventional narrative for poetic cadence in its feature-length form, it feels like a return to the European art-house films of the ’60s. The framing of these monologues into seemingly incongruous, banal scenarios distills the power of Blanchett’s performance down to the most minute details of her delivery. “It was a painstaking process to develop [scenarios] that allowed enough openness so that the manifesto wasn’t squashed by the situation, but was rather set free,” she reveals. “I didn’t think about them being characters, necessarily. It’s more that they do and say certain things within a framework or situation.”
Prior to Manifesto’s release at Film Forum in New York City last week, we caught up with Blanchett and Rosefeldt at the Tribeca Film Festival.
FRANK CHLUMSKY: You both met for the first time in Berlin in 2010. Did you develop the concept for this project collaboratively?
JULIAN ROSEFELDT: This project wouldn’t exist if we wouldn’t have met. Years before when we first met we had decided to do something together, and then it became intensely collaborative after I did research on all the manifesto texts. I sent her the work and some ideas for scenes, and she contributed other ideas for scenes. Then it was all about which text-collage goes with which scene and which character.
CATE BLANCHETT: [Julian] has sort of touched on this before in other work: the idea of mining the manifestos with his own provocations.
CHLUMSKY: Did you develop a concrete approach first, or did this come together in a more experimental fashion?
BLANCHETT: The whole thing was an experiment, an investigation; the architecture around the piece was very clear, but within that it allowed for an incredible amount of freedom.
ROSEFELDT: One thing that shaped it a lot was the time pressure. We had two weeks for everything, including preparations for makeup and costumes. We had 11 days together, which meant that we had to do a lot of work after we decided on the characters and combinations of scenes. “How is this going to look? What’s going to happen?” And then again it was very experimental, because Cate was thrown into cold water every morning. So were we, in a way. When you encounter another scenario every day, you don’t have time to get used to it. Every day is like starting from scratch, coming back to another reality.
CHLUMSKY: How does Berlin as a shooting location function in terms of the visual atmosphere?
ROSEFELDT: Berliners have a hard time saying that this is Berlin. My intention is that what you see is a big city, but not necessarily Berlin.
BLANCHETT: It’s elastic enough. At one point, we were talking about going outside the city down to Bavaria where we would use the forest to film, but that didn’t become logistically possible; we found more interesting locations closer to home.
ROSEFELDT: We had many more ideas for scenes than we were actually able to realize. In one she was supposed to be a climber in the mountains, playing with her echo. You know, when you climb a mountain you have this euphoria like, “Woo-hoo!”
BLANCHETT: There was another where she was a sports coach giving a pep talk. There were all these other really wonderful scenarios. [But] it wasn’t supposed to describe too closely what the manifesto was trying to get to—we didn’t want to make it too literal.
ROSEFELDT: Also the attitude of the character wasn’t supposed to be too close to that of an art-historian or someone who just teaches or talks about those manifestos. Whenever you have a situation where someone just talks to an audience, it could be easily understood as someone just talking about manifestos…
BLANCHETT: There was another one we talked about: having an after-hours cleaner in an art museum. So a lot of it would be interior monologue, but then we found that that would seem as if they were talking about the art museum. That then became the person who worked at the garbage facility.
ROSEFELDT: Other [scenarios] were just to too funny, too jokey. There was a sexual scene where the woman just talks and talks and the man that falls asleep—that was just a joke. Sometimes you didn’t find the texts that would match that, you needed something that just copes with that energy. That was difficult. You know a lot now! [laughs] You’re the first person to hear about all these unmade scenes.
CHLUMSKY: [laughs] Well, I did want to ask about the process of building characters. They seem to exist as avatars, or some kind of highly-stylized mouthpieces for these recontextualized and collaged manifestos. What is the experience like of interpreting a character whose dialogue is removed from their context?
BLANCHETT: Yes, it’s not often that the dialogue they’re saying is nonsensical, or that they’re trying to say something banal, prosaic, or domestic; they’re trying to do a domestic action—like explain something to someone, or ask someone to do something, like in the situation of the teacher—but they’re actually saying something that is not one-to-one with that acting action. It always felt sort of contrapuntal, this relationship between the text and the reality of the situation. I found that quite interesting; in a way I was trying to make energetic sense rather than intellectual sense, and hoped that that would produce an interesting tension in an audience that was expecting to make an intellectual connection on account of them being artist manifestos. But in fact they’re making a different connection. You feel it very acutely in the museum as a multi-channel work, where you see the mask come down and they all become, in a way, neutral masks. So the hair and makeup—the facade of the mask—is on, but the mask is dropped by the actor because they’re just being neutral. You’re then self-consciously aware that there’s an actor acting. I think you probably get that slightly less in [the film version].
CHLUMSKY: Why the decision, then, to turn it into a feature-length film from a visual installation?
ROSEFELDT: [looks at Blanchett and laughs] She knows I’ve not said this before, but there wasn’t a decision; there was an obligation to do this, in a way, because I needed to finance the installation. There was a TV channel that was willing to support the installation generously, but they of course needed something linear. I had to cope with that idea that it would have to take this shape. I also found this very exciting, because it’s a different audience. The museum can be a very self-selective audience.
CHLUMSKY: In sequencing the film linearly, was there a narrative logic you were trying to find?
ROSEFELDT: Visual narrative, I would say. There’s no story there, so we had to play with the tricks of filmmaking, adding up music, trusting that rhythm, speed, and edits would perfectly match with the images. The wonderful thing is that we had the film, because we wanted things to happen at the same time in different parts of the room like the spiral staircase, or two children playing in a circle. Through the edits these cuts became directly connected to each other: the stock exchange, which you see in a wide angle, cuts directly to the opener of the single mother and this kind of suburban housing complex where she lives. It was nice to see that thing that we had instinctively had shot for the installation worked so well as edits or transitions for the film.
CHLUMSKY: Which scenarios do you enjoy most?
ROSEFELDT: I would say the teacher, I think. One sort of contains the recipe of the entire project, but mostly because I like the hope in it. The children are there, and they will have to deal with whatever we do and carry this thought into the future. Besides, it’s very funny. [whispering, pointing to Blanchett] She likes the newsreader best [laughs].
BLANCHETT: I do also like the mashup of the manifestos with the Fluxus, in the scenario with the choreographer. I find that text very provocative.
ROSEFELDT: That’s interesting because it’s a very complicated collage. There’s feminism and there’s Fluxus.
CHLUSMKY: What do you feel the collaging of the manifestos does to their effect? Does it blow-up their significance and expose how conflated they can be? Does it reveal something entirely different?
ROSEFELDT: It’s certainly not mockery. I’ve been asked before if I’m making fun of those manifestos. The humor in the piece deals with the self-ironic aspect of the manifesto. We often forget that because we treat them as masterpieces. Humor is often forgotten by art historians and art critics when thinking about the work. Every piece of art that’s living on at the MoMA or something is monumental in its meaning, but when it was created, it wasn’t at all that. Very often these texts were written before the art was actually there. With the editing, we had different many ideas. It was driven by sympathy between the many voices but disagreement between the ideas as well. So inside you see a lot of controversy, just as in real life.
Cate Blanchett interview with Indiewire about Manifesto and a new exclusive clip!
Cate Blanchett Plays 13 Characters in ‘Manifesto’ Because She’s Frustrated That Film Has Become Far Too Literal
“I couldn’t be less interested in my own life and my own experience and telling the world what I think,” the actress said.
“I loved the movie,” I told Cate Blanchett.
“Is it a movie?” Cate Blanchett replied.
“Um…” I said, still shaking her hand.
“Really,” she said. “I was hoping you could tell me.”
In another context, that could have been a trick question. But I was meeting with the Artist Formerly Known as Carol to discuss “Manifesto,” and there are no easy answers when it comes to the her beguiling collaboration with German video pioneer Julian Rosefeldt (whom she met at a gallery opening six years ago and vowed to work with that same night). In fact, it could be argued that the movie — or not movie — exists to embarrass easy answers, to encourage critical thinking, to challenge our preconceptions of what art should be and what art should be called.
Initially staged as an immense multi-screen installation that viewers could walk through and process at their own pace, the project has been newly reshaped as a linear 94-minute theatrical experience; movie or not, it’s now playing in movie theaters. The basic premise remains the same: From Tristan Tzara’s “Dada Manifesto” to Werner Herzog’s “Minnesota Declaration” and all points in between, Rosefeldt takes the defining artistic diatribes of the last two centuries, threads them into a beautiful havoc of conflicting ideas, and funnels them through the mouth of the world’s most fluid star.
Blanchett plays 13 different characters, and none of them agree with each other — most of them don’t even agree with themselves. In the funniest of these gorgeously shot vignettes, Blanchett appears as a prim teacher who rattles off film treatises to a bored class of elementary schoolers. One moment she’s reciting Dogme 95’s “Vow of Chastity” and preaching about the need to restore purity to the cinema, the next she’s quoting Jim Jarmusch’s “Golden Rules of Filmmaking” and telling her students to “steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination.”
The kids fidget in their seats as they repeat after the only adult in the room. It’s up to them to strafe through this intellectual crossfire and make some kind of sense from what they find in the rubble.
Blanchett is a heavily bearded homeless man who stands on the rooftop of an abandoned factory and screams Guy Debord’s “Situationist Manifesto” at the sky. She’s a bridge-and-tunnel stockbroker who sits in a sea of computer terminals and orates about futurism. She’s a surrealist puppeteer who makes herself into a marionette, a news reader who quizzes herself about conceptual art, and a scientist whose speech on suprematism is interrupted by the discovery of a monolith. At one point, in a bit that seems lifted directly from a Roy Andersson film, she recontextualizes Tristan Tzara’s “Manifeste de M. Antipyrine” as a funeral oration: “Dada remains within the framework of European weaknesses, it’s still shit, but from now on we want to shit in different colors.” Amen.
Manifestos are first and foremost expressions of identity, and so the idea of one person delivering more than one of them — let alone 13 — is a fascinating thing to process, particularly when that person is able to level the playing field between them all. Blanchett, who refuses to pass judgement, ensures that each of her characters is silly, and that each of their messages is seductive.
“I’m very non-hierarchical in the way I work,” she said, sitting inside a dimly lit room near the projection booth of the Tribeca Performing Arts Center, minutes before “Manifesto” was set to enjoy its New York premiere. Her brilliant career has borne that out from the start, and only more so as she moves further into the stratosphere.
2017 serves as a perfect microcosm of her versatility, her unwillingness to discriminate between high and low: She began the year with “Manifesto,” and followed that up by earning a Tony nomination for her dazzling performance in “The Present,” an unbridled modern update of Chekhov’s first play. This fall, she’ll be seen in multiplexes across the world as the villain in the new “Thor” movie.
Still, “Manifesto” was the rare project that gave Blanchett pause. “I’m known for my work in a narrative medium, so I hoped that I wasn’t going to be a liability in the context of the art world. I was afraid that might subvert the audience’s willingness to try and not make sense of it,” she said. “That was my only worry.”
Rosefeldt, a genially confident man who tends to talk in a whisper, was terrified for the opposite reason. “I have a slightly different position of this,” he said, “because I worked with the team for almost a year preparing the film, and then Cate arrived and we just threw her into this world… I was scared to death knowing that I was going to work with a Hollywood star.”
“Maybe one day you will,” Blanchett cracked.
Rosefeldt elaborated: “For me, day one was very nervous because it could be we don’t get along or something. It turned out to be wonderful, and from day two we just had fun, even though it was very tiring. It was a beautiful trip, in a way like a road movie or a holiday, where every day you encounter a different world.”
“It wasn’t a holiday, believe me,” Blanchett insisted, thinking back on a Berlin shoot so hectic that she once had to play two characters — the homeless man and the news anchor — on the same day. “It was many, many things, but a holiday it was not. I’ve seen photos of your holidays,” she said to Rosenfeldt with a smile, “and this wasn’t one of them.”
Their work may have been hard, but it was rewarded with a uniquely fruitful collaboration, one that somehow only grew more interesting as it continued to assume new shapes. It wasn’t always certain that things were going to turn out that way. Rosefeldt, who first conceived the theatrical version of “Manifesto’ in order to help finance the installation, remembered how nervous he was to tell Blanchett of his plan, and Blanchett confirmed that her director had good reason doubt. “I was a little skeptical of what the piece would even mean in this linear context,” she said. “But I think something else has been found.”
The installation version of “Manifesto” is undeniably a more visceral experience, but this new version offers its own unique rewards. While the former created an incredible sense of scale and polyphony, surrounding viewers with Blanchetts that would sync into a high-pitched choir of indistinct voices every 11 minutes, the latter better exploits Blanchett’s celebrity. The very thing that she and Rosefeldt were nervous about has now become their project’s ace in the hole.
In a piece that hinges on divorcing things from their context, reconfiguring “Manifesto” for Blanchett’s usual medium only calls greater attention to the tension between words and images. In this format, watching the actress dress like a punk and spout Manuel Maples Arce’s “A Strident Prescription” immediately calls to mind Blanchett’s perfect mimicry of Bob Dylan in “I’m Not There,” or Mary Maples in “Truth.” Are all of her performances manifestos? Does the fact that we never forget that we’re watching Cate Blanchett make it easier to be taken by these manifestos, or does it make it easier to discredit them?
Both invisible and indivisible at the same time, Blanchett becomes the medium, and not the message. Rosefeldt has referred to her as “an artist-scientist, deeply researching the human condition,” and it’s clear that the actress likes that description. “I couldn’t be less interested in my own life and my own experience and telling the world what I think,” she said when I suggested that “Manifesto” and its call for critical thinking might be particularly compelling at a time when people are so quick to conflate depiction with endorsement.
“Film has increasingly become a very literal medium,” she continued. “I’m always asked at what points I, the actor, connect personally with the material. It’s like people feel you can only give a truly, deeply, resonant performance that costs you something if you’re recalling the death of your dog. No! The point of difference, the empathetic connection to somebody else’s circumstances that are outside my own experience, that’s what drives me. It should always be a provocation, and trying to establish empathetic inroads between yourself, the work, and the audience, because that’s who it’s for.”
Rosefeldt nodded along beside her. “It was all about creating a mental space, a tension between what you see on screen and the audience,” he said. “The audience should always be included, and not just as a receptionist to the story. You have to create participation by triggering the senses — I can feel goosebumps when I listen to some of the words in ‘Manifesto,’ and I know them all by heart.”
In a world of arguing that Ryan Gosling saved jazz and accusing Martin Scorsese of supporting Jordan Belfort, “Manifesto” argues that the relationship between the art and the artist isn’t nearly so important as the relationship between the art and ourselves. That cinema’s greatest value can’t necessarily be found by reflecting our own worldview, but also by broadening it. “Manifesto,” I concluded as I said goodbye to Blanchett and Rosefeldt, is a movie, it just doesn’t allow us to watch it like one.
Check out an exclusive clip from “Manifesto” below.
Cate Blanchett spoke to Caras Chile magazine as part of the promotional interviews for the new Sì Rose Signature.
Read it below!
Tras un aplaudido debut en Broadway con The Present y otros dos esperados proyectos cinematográficos para la segunda mitad del año, la actriz australiana habla de sus ambiciones y se manifiesta abiertamente por los derechos de la mujer. Divertida e irónica, conversamos con ella en Manhattan durante el lanzamiento del nuevo perfume Sì Rose Signature de Giorgio Armani, que la tiene como rostro.
Cate Blanchett (47) sin una gota de maquillaje y enfundada en un traje de dos piezas puede derrochar tanta elegancia como sensualidad. Así es como la ganadora del Oscar en dos ocasiones (Blue Jasmine y The Aviator) irrumpe en el backstage del histórico teatro Barrymore de Nueva York, donde hace su debut en Broadway con The Present, la obra que su marido, el cineasta australiano Andrew Upton, adaptó del guión de Antón Chéjov.
Sobre el escenario Cate es Anna Petrova, una viuda rusa que reúne a los personajes claves de su vida en una alocada fiesta para celebrar sus cuarenta años. Junto a todo un elenco australiano (que incluye a Richard Roxburgh) la rubia nuevamente cosecha los elogios de la crítica internacional. “Ha sido un privilegio actuar en este escenario y para esta audiencia”, comenta sobre este comeback a las tablas que la trasladó desde Australia a Nueva York junto al resto del clan Uptown-Blanchett; sus hijos pre adolescentes Dashiell, Roman, Ignatius y la pequeña Edith, a quien adoptaron en febrero de 2015.
En Manhattan se divide entre familia y trabajo. Reconoce que es meticulosa y perfeccionista, por algo carga una mochila de potentes actuaciones en producciones como Elizabeth (1998), El Señor de los Anillos (2001) y Carol (2015): “Tengo un leve nivel de descontento que me mantiene inquieta y me hace perseguir mis metas”. Hace un par de semanas se dieron a conocer imágenes de ella en el metro de la ciudad durante las grabaciones de Ocean’s Eight (dirigida por Gary Ross y producida por George Clooney y Steven Soderbergh), el spinoff de la trilogía que se inició con Ocean’s Eleven en 2001 y donde compartirá pantalla con Sandra Bullock, Rihanna y Anne Hathaway.
Es cercana y no demuestra aires de diva. “¿Les gustó realmente la obra?”, pregunta al bajar del escenario. Es pausada y mira fijamente mientras saluda a los más de cien invitados de todo el mundo que viajaron a la Gran Manzana.
Como la fuerza del chypre y la suavidad de las rosas fusionadas, la actriz reconoce que ve algo de la fragancia en ella misma: “Parte de ser humanos es tener dualidades y vivir junto a ellas”. Al mismo tiempo, recuerda el olor del eucalipto, um aroma que la hace viajar a esa Australia donde creció y forjó una personalidad tan pícara como ágil, que incluso la llevó a ironizar sobre la elección de Trump en el show de Jimmy Fallon. “Tomo muy en serio mi trabajo, pero siempre es importante mirarse y reírse _ ¿cierto?, nos comenta en tono de broma.
Al día siguiente, logramos detener su agitada agenda en Manhattan para entrevistarla en la suite presidencial del hotel Mandarin Oriental, a pasos de Columbus Circle en pleno centro de la ciudad. “¿Linda vista, no?”, dice mientras camina hacia el otro extremo del salón principal con un reconocible tono de voz grave, que se escucha claramente en la habitación que mira desde el piso 53 directo al Central Park.
— La crítica adora tu interpretación de Anna y es considerada un debut de alto impacto… ¿Hay algo que tengan en común?
— Me cuesta encontrar nuestro punto de similitud. Pero en el mundo de Chéjov existe una historia detrás de cada personaje. Alguien me dijo que la mujer para Chéjov era como el clima; con cambios constantes de sol, lluvia y nubes…y definitivamente me identifico con eso.
— El perfume Sì es un llamado a nuestra fuerza interna, a nuestra libertad como mujeres y a ser nosotras mismas. Es un mensaje que creó Giorgio Armani hace varios años, bastante visionario para el momento que estamos viviendo…
— Claro. Hay muchas fuerzas conspirando en contra de la igualdad, lo que me parece absurdo y muy ridículo. Tener al mundo sufriendo y luchando por conseguir avanzos…Porque digámoslo, el derecho de votar no es suficiente. Cuando Elizabeth Warren fue censurada (refiriéndose al veto al discurso de la senadora contra el entonces candidato a fiscal general, Jeff Sessions) me pregunté: ¿En qué siglo estamos viviendo? Por otro lado, mira a las marchas de mujeres en todo el mundo, que han sido tan inclusivas. Hay comunidades LGBT y hombres. Eso nos debiera engrandecer a todos, pero aún falta mucho por recorrer.
— ¿Cuál cree entonces que es el rol de los hombres en ese camino?
— No sentirse amenazados. Esto no significa que perderán algo, que dejarán de lado su masculinidad o que los echarán del trabajo. Esto significa una evolución para la especie. El hecho de compartir roles, como el de criar a nuestros hijos, es una bendición…
— ¿Ha creado distinto a Edith por ser mujer, de sus otros hijos?
— Sabes, el género es lo último que considero. A ella no la crio distinto porque sea una mujer, pero sí puedo decirte que quizás estoy más pendiente de la forma en la que el mundo avanza para cuando ella entre en él.
— Hace unos días vimos fotografías suyas en la marcha que unió a Nueva York y Washington por los derechos de la mujer… ¿Cómo fue la experiencia?
— No pude estar mucho tiempo, porque estaba en pleno ensayo, pero fuimos con mis hijos y la compañía. Fue un momento de máxima esperanza y solidaridad.
— ¿Qué mensaje daría a las mujeres que no se sienten libres?
— La verdad es que son muchísimas…aquellas que no son libres en lo emocional, espiritual, sicológico y también físico. Como una mujer que vive segura gracias a lo que hace, como una mujer blanca de un país occidental, en este momento, solo me queda imaginar lo que significa ese infierno…ese horror de vivir sin libertad, sin el derecho a elegir.
— ¿En este momento de su vida y carrera, usted se considera una mujer que se abre a la vida, que les dice sí a las nuevas experiencias…una mujer Sì?
— Realmente, ¿cuál es la otra opción?
via Caras Chile 10 Marzo 2017
ALL CURRENT ART IS FAKE!
It’s time for more articles and interviews for the linear version of Manifesto. Read them below!
Cate Blanchett says ‘My dreams are like dog dreams.’ Find out what she means.
Apart from Tilda Swinton, there is really no other instantly recognizable, Oscar-winning actress who can shift so easily from tentpole Marvel blockbusters to avant garde experimental cinema like Cate Blanchett.
Manifesto (now in theaters) is most definitely the latter — an operatic 94-minute movie version of a gallery installation by German artist Julian Rosefeldt. It’s the only Blanchett that audiences are going to see onscreen until Thor: Ragnarok (out in November) and Ocean’s Eight (next year), but luckily it’s a lot of her. She plays 13 characters, in fact, all speaking different manifestos, from Karl Marx’s “Communist Manifesto” up to Lars von Trier’s “Dogme 95.”
The art installation was a sensation when it played at New York’s Park Avenue Armory. The film is a different but unexpectedly robust experience, with some segments that are hilariously droll. In the funniest one, Blanchett plays a newscaster named Cate speaking via satellite to a weather person, also played by Blanchett, also named Cate. It might not be for all tastes — as Blanchett and Rosefeldt admitted when they sat down with EW last week — but those who casually dismiss a challenging and unique project like Manifesto probably shouldn’t consider themselves real fans of the actress.
ENTERTAINMENT WEEKLY: Cate, when I was watching Manifesto, I thought about Todd Haynes’ I’m Not There, where you play Bob Dylan, and Jim Jarmusch’s Coffee and Cigarettes, where you’re yourself and your punk, lower-class cousin.
CATE BLANCHETT: Yeah, for me, this is probably akin to those experiences.
JULIAN ROSEFELDT: I’m Not There actually plays a really important role in the genesis of this project. Cate and I first met three years ago at an exhibition of mine.
BLANCHETT: We were looking for something to do together.
ROSEFELDT: We talked and talked. I remember we talked about Andrei Tarkovsky films. And she was so sweet and started to compliment my work.
BLANCHETT: It was all bulls—. I just wanted to work with you and I’d say whatever it took.
ROSEFELDT: [Laughs] But I felt like a little boy. I’m being complimented by Cate Blanchett! So I brought up that scene at the end of I’m Not There, when Cate as Bob Dylan looks right into the camera. I was talking to [I’m Not There cinematographer] Ed Lachman last night and he said that it was you who decided to do that, not Todd Haynes.
BLANCHETT: Oh, really. I can’t remember.
Also there’s the ending of the other Todd Haynes film that Cate starred in. She look right into the camera in the last seconds of Carol too.
ROSEFELDT: Ah, that’s true.
BLANCHETT: Nah, I’m not looking into the camera there. I’m looking at Rooney [Mara]
ROSEFELDT: But that glance in I’m Not There for me is one of the strongest moments of anything Cate has ever done. Amazing, amazing. You can feel it’s not overly scripted, it feels like it’s just happening. So I mentioned to Cate that I found that moment to be particularly extraordinary. But, of course, right away she started talking about Todd’s earlier film.
BLANCHETT: Superstar? The Karen Carpenter film. It’s brilliant.
ROSEFELDT: Yes, which I hadn’t seen at the time. And so she was telling me all about it.
Cate, how much do you love the opportunity to play more than one character?
BLANCHETT: Oh, I love doubling. And when you’re working in cinema, you rarely get to double. It’s often done on stage but much more rarely on screen. On film, you’re usually inviting an audience into a very literal narrative experience. So to allow an audience to free associate and find points of common reference is very exciting.
There’s that one sequence in Manifesto when you’re the news reporter and the weather person.
ROSEFELDT: That maybe reminded you of Coffee and Cigarettes.
Yes, I loved it. And it’s really hilarious. How much did you both allow yourselves to have fun with all this heavy material?
BLANCHETT: The material is absurd. And actually we laughed a lot. It’s also slightly hysterical because of the pace we were working at. For me, doing it all in 11 days was quite hysterical and instinctual. So there was that natural absurdity that was built-in.
ROSEFELDT: Sometimes I’m asked if I’m making fun of those certain manifestos where there is comedy. It is not mockery, because I do love all these texts. But the humor does help discover that some of these texts were not written with 100 percent total sincerity. I mean, the guys writing “Dogme 95” were, of course, having a big laugh. Or at least an amazing fun time.
BLANCHETT: Oh, for sure. They are provocations. As in, ‘What are you gonna make of this, huh? I’m gonna blow it all up!’ But now most of these artists — and of course most of them are male — are part of what we perceive to be the establishment. But at the time they were outsiders, which is always the place of an artist. So they can be outside and look in, challenging us to look at the way we live and breathe and work and think.
Cate, you play 13 different people, including a homeless man. But were there any ideas that you considered but decided against because they were too gonzo? Like playing different ethnicities, for example.
ROSEFELDT: We had a post-coital scene at one point, with a man falling asleep while the woman is still talking.
BLANCHETT: We talked about having me speak different languages. It would have been great if I could’ve spoken Mandarin, but then there is a cultural sensitivity to crossing those lines. Art still needs to be liberated from notions of bureaucratized thinking. I mean, look at the work of Cindy Sherman. She crosses ethnicity boundaries and that’s part of the provocation.
ROSEFELDT: Let me actually ask you a question. You say you liked the “news show” scene, where the text is very comprehensible. But in some of the other scenes, where the material is much more dense, were these texts understandable for you?
No, to be honest. But I thought the experience was more about sinking into those worlds and not paying attention to every word.
BLANCHETT: I know I didn’t! [laughs]
You weren’t paying attention to every word?
BLANCHETT: I couldn’t. But each of them has a particular energy, so it made much more musical sense to me than intellectual sense. It’s like a ballet of words.
Cate, you mentioned how quickly you filmed this. I’m curious about when you’re playing all of these characters, what do you dream about at night?
BLANCHETT: My dreams tend to be like dog dreams. I’m usually so tired that I hardly dream at all. In a way, I do think that the zone one performs in — without getting too ooga-booga about it — it’s like that moment when you wake up in the morning and you’re emerging from a dream state but you’re not quite up. Where are you? Can you hear the birds? Or is that the traffic? It’s that zone in which I perform. It’s like one foot in reality and one foot in a dream state. I spend most of my life in that state!
Do either of you think that events in the world have changed this picture? Do I, seeing it for the first time now, have to interpret it somewhat differently?
ROSEFELDT: You have to.
BLANCHETT: Just by force of circumstances you do. That’s what art does. It has very specific meaning at the time that it’s made. But a great work of art mutates and it’s meaning is porous enough to allow an audience to place themselves in it.
ROSEFELDT: And now after every Q&A for the film, I’m asked about populism. In Turkey, in France, in Sundance, in New York. When Cate as the newscaster says “All current art is fake,” everybody laughs because you think about “fake news” now.
BLANCHETT: Of course you do. Language is so powerful. Artists are like temperature takers of their time. And we need them more than ever.
Interview: An Art History Lesson From 13 Different Cate Blanchetts
Manifesto is a bit of a high-minded Frankenstein’s monster, an unwieldy, electric project from German artist Julian Rosefeldt that is as hard to explain as it is unable to explain itself. Originally an art installation, Manifesto morphed into a film (but even that isn’t the right term), a collection of 12 voice-overs and monologues culled from history’s great manifestos, explosive calls to action and destruction from the world of art, architecture, film and beyond. And, naturally, for 12 different vignettes the artist enlisted 13 different Cate Blanchetts; the two-time Oscar-winning chameleon and soon-to-be Marvel menace appears as everything from a tattooed punk rocker to a news anchor speaking to a weatherwoman (both Blanchett) to a mud-covered homeless man shouting Situationism theory into a bullhorn. It’s a dazzling experience, and one that, for someone whose experience with art extends mostly to the paneled page, is continuously overwhelming.
So, I went to the source. I met up with Blanchett and Rosefeldt at SoHo’s Crosby Hotel for what turned into a widespread discussion on art, acting, empathy and, dare I say, the meaning of life…and how it all boils down to a baboon sitting on a trash can.
What drew you to the idea of manifestos? I had no idea there was just…so many of them.
Julian Rosefeldt: The starting point was another project where I studied Feminist theory and read two manifestos by a French futurist, Valentine de Saint-Point, who had a really interesting, crazy life. She ended up as a Muslim in Egypt but before that, she wrote a really radical feminist manifesto. “Lust is a force.” I had already met Cate, and we had the idea to do something together. My own interest in artist’s writings started when I was a young high school student, I got into it, read hundreds of manifestos. Not only visual artists, but political manifestos, feminist manifestos, filmmakers, architects, theater makers. The idea was to do, on one side, an homage to these writings because they have been mostly forgotten or covered over by the visual work of those artists, but also trying to find out if they are applicable, if they can be used today, and what they mean to us. But it was very much driven by the beauty, the pure poetry of these texts. When I read them, I got the idea that [Blanchett] could do them because I could already sense them being performed, hearing her voice saying them instead of just reading them as art history.
In the hundreds of manifestos that you read, and the dozens that you performed, did you notice a throughline?
JR: There are many things that connect them. Insecurity —
Cate Blanchett: Assertion of their individuality. [laughs]
JR: It’s surprising because they’re all so angry so they seem secure, but if you see when they’re written you find out they can only be insecure and fragile at that moment in life. Manifestos are a wish to create utopia, ideas that can never be fulfilled but because they are so large they need to be drafted down and shouted out into the world.
CB: There’s a desire for them to change what they perceive to be the status quo. It’s an energetic response to what they percieve to be the institutions that are forcing them to be outside the system.
JR: Nowadays, it’s not so risk-taking to write a manifesto. Manifestos have certainly transformed into different possibilities of saying what you want to say. The art scene is global and massive and you do these things, like interviews and panel discussions, publish them on a blog.
CB: When I first discovered manifestos, I was at university studying art history. Part of the pleasure and the excitement is to take these assertions out of their historical context and to see what sticks. So [Manifesto] is deliberately…it’s a subversion in and of itself, but also it’s quite perverse because the characters are often antithetical to what the text is saying, or what the text is asserting. In doing that, I personally found an energetic similarity to all of them, the texts, that was quite often angry, but very youthful, and idealistic. Even though they were talking about what they wanted to irradicate, they were also talking about building something new. It was kind of a positive forward-looking, creative sense of what could come. Which doesn’t seem to be very alive in the world at the moment.
So much of the language is hyperbolic — “I want to destroy this, do away with this.”
CB: Yeah, but a much as you’re wanting to provoke change in the world around you, you’re wanting to provoke and challenge yourself.
Did you have to shy away from performing each character in that loud, overblown way or, I guess, separate the words of the manifestos from what you were actually doing?
CB: Well it was quite forensic in the planning, like which part of these manifestos lent themselves to be more dialogue, monologue and conversational, and which parts would be said from an interior voice. And when it was an interior voice, who was the voice talking to? What was the attitude, or the reason for saying it? So I found the parts that we filmed were much more easily ascribed than doing the voice-over. Because the voice-over is speaking directly to the audience…or are they speaking to themselves? We played a lot with that.
JR: The inner voice, although she speaks with the same dialect, often becomes a comment on the whole project, almost like a goddess who looks at the scenery.
CB: We talked a lot about it, because they’re not really characters, they’re just masking and then unmasking, but the voice is quite unmasked. So does that go to a neutral place? And if so, given that each person is inhabiting each of these personas, each of these situations, what then becomes neutral? Is that me?
Was there a lot of room to play with how you did each vignette?
JR: We had a very tight window for scheduling, about 12 days with Cate so it had to be prepared very well. Cate, with her experience, and her sensibility, and empathy for human beings, saw things in the text that weren’t there before. She experimented. I remember you [to Blanchett] were playing with the School Teacher, quoting Jim Jarmusch’s “Golden Rules of Filmmaking,” after saying “nothing is original. You can steal from architecture, books, random conversations…” and when you say random conversations, you used that moment to apply it directly as a teacher speaking to a student.
CB: It was a way to try and find…it’s like a piece that I saw in Berlin called “Murmeln Murmeln,” which means “Mumble Mumble,” and the actors were all basically saying “mumble, mumble, mumble” but, as children who learn language do, they intone it in different ways. Oftentimes, the texts, for me, became like that; I didn’t think about what I was saying, it was about the intention. I could be speaking Swahili right now, but you could glimpse what I was talking about by the stress, or the way I’m using my hands. But it was very instinctual. I just had to have no shame. Because we had no time, there were no rehearsals, per se. The night before we’d talk and I’d say, “Okay, let’s make this one Scottish! This one will be, I don’t know, a bit Cockney.” We talked a lot, so you can make very quick decisions because you feel like you’re all singing from the same song book.
There are surprising moments, though; I was walking through that derelict series of buildings as the Homeless Guy. I knew I’d be walking past Julian’s camera, but they were busy focusing on a baboon sitting on a rubbish tub [laughs]. That’s what the piece is. I do something, Julian does something.
JR: I remember you saying, “now we’re doing art.”
CB: That’s art.
JR: What I learned from Cate in Manifesto is that the curiosity doesn’t end with rehearsing the text. It’s neverending. Her curiosity for the human nature is never-ending. It goes on, and on, and on. I think that’s what makes an actress extraordinary. You never stop being curious. You want to keep loving humanity more. If you’re cynical, if you detest life, you will be very limited in your language. If you embrace life, if you see all things happening as surprises in front of your eyes, you can’t stop learning.
Manifesto is now playing in theaters.
Cate Blanchett Talks Playing a Punk Rocker and a Puppeteer in the Multichannel Movie Manifesto
“It’s… is it a film?” It’s a fair question Cate Blanchett asks. Manifesto is now playing at New York’s Film Forum, and it screened as part of the Tribeca and Sundance Film Festivals, and yet the tricky epistemological matter of what exactly it is remains. The work—that’s a nice neutral noun, right?—began as a multichannel video installation by the artist Julian Rosefeldt, with Blanchett playing a dozen different characters reading texts compiled from sources ranging from Marx and Engels to Lars von Trier. The “linear version,” as Blanchett and Rosefeldt call it, condenses those channels into one, and further trims the installation’s collective two-plus hours of footage into a tidy 90-odd minutes. The result is neither fish nor fowl, no longer video art but not quite a coherent theatrical feature, even an abstract and non-narrative one.
One thing Manifesto, in any manifestation, is: a showcase for Blanchett’s prodigious talents. In the course of the movie (let’s just call it that), she plays a frumpy hausfrau, an imperious, Russian-accented choreographer, a shambling, raccoon-eyed punk singer, and a bearded homeless man. (The first list of potential characters numbered around 60.) Although Blanchett’s personae sometimes match up to the words she’s saying—a patiently tsk-tsking schoolteacher instructs grade-school children in the elements of von Trier’s abstemious Dogme95 manifesto—the scenes weren’t conceived as dramatic set pieces, Rosefeldt explained alongside Blanchett at a New York hotel last week, nor was there necessarily an intellectual rationale for placing a given scene in a given setting. “An analyst might find a reason for it,” he said, “but that wasn’t really the recipe. The aim was always peeling out the original core of the idea and context.” His slice-and-dice approach to the original texts, with bits of a dozen or more combined into a single monologue, strips the manifestos of their intended prescriptive meaning, leaving a kind of urgent, all-purpose exhortation. “There’s a heavy, thick layer of dust, of interpretation, throughout history. If you blow this away, all of a sudden, you find a very fresh text that not necessarily connects to the visual work, but therefore is beautiful to discover or re-discover as pure poetry and utopia.”
Although Manifesto’s characters were conceived without any psychological underpinnings, Blanchett didn’t find it especially difficult to grasp them through their actions, even though the entire project was captured in only nine days of shooting. “The thrust of the character was very much about what they did, and what they said, rather than how they felt,” she said. “It was more about making a mask that could be taken on and off. It was much more interesting for us to elaborate them as part of a mosaic that creates society as a whole, like a puzzle.” Blanchett’s fitness for projects like Manifesto or Todd Haynes’ I’m Not There makes you wonder if she’s not an avant-garde actress who is only incidentally a movie star. Much more challenging, she says, was recording the movie’s voiceover, in which Rosefeldt’s bricolage monologues had to be spoken as a continuous whole. “I thought my eyeballs were gonna drop out, or my ears were gonna start bleeding,” she said. “When you’re not distracted by the visuals, you have to make sense of these things, which are often nonsensical. It was really hard to find a psychological attitude toward something that doesn’t have one.”
Perhaps the most charming of Manifesto’s segments is the one in which Blanchett plays a puppeteer who creates and then interacts with a puppet version of herself. The interplay between real Blanchett and puppet-Blanchett is so fluid that I wonder if she’d previously honed her skills on some past project. Blanchett chuckles. “What puppetry skills?” But Rosefeldt was equally impressed. “After you did that scene,” he says to Blanchett, “there were rumors in the crew, like when did you learn this?” He turns towards me, and away from her playful oh-you scoff. “She says, ‘I think I learned it two minutes ago.’”
“I’d watch you,” Blanchett says to Rosefeldt. “You have an incredible facility. I often find with directors that if you turn the sound down on what a director says to you, there’s something about the way in which a director communicates; they’re giving you the direction in a physical sense. Or if you watch their eyes you think, ‘Oh, I think I understand what you mean.’”
It’s fitting that in a project devoted to stripping words from their original meaning that so much of the communication would be nonverbal. And in breaking apart the sometimes blustering rhetoric of its sources, Manifesto also finds room for a new voice. “When you see it in all in one piece, it seems like it’s from a group mind rather than an assertion of individual expressions, and I think you’re much more aware, as an end result, that you’ve got a whole lot of manifestos written by men,” Blanchett says. “But the female presence is also much stronger in the linear version. I think you make that connection a lot stronger. The female presence is more acute.”
One more promotional interview about Manifesto! Enjoy the reading!
Cate Blanchett Borrowed a Technique From Terrence Malick To Make ‘Manifesto’
Cate Blanchett continues to mesmerize and surprise us. She can give dramatic performances as riveting as the ones in Blue Jasmine and Carol, transform into a decadent menace as Cinderella’s evil stepmother, then play a Marvel villain in Thor: Ragnarok. But on the off-chance you’re not yet totally sold on Blanchett’s otherworldly versatility, her latest film will seal the deal.
In Manifesto, Blanchett plays 13 characters with a dozen different accents. The art film from German artist Julian Rosefeldt, which began as a gallery exhibit and is now being released as a 95-minute feature, features Blanchett as a homeless man, a grade school teacher, a puppeteer, a scientist, a choreographer, a news anchor, and a punk musician, among others. On top of memorizing a hefty amount of dialogue about Dadaism, Surrealism, Futurism and other art movements, the Oscar winner only had 11 days to shoot the entire project, and on some days she played multiple characters. When I asked her how she pulled it off, Blanchett shared an anecdote about her work with Terrence Malick, and how she borrowed a technique of his to make Manifesto.
There have been many stories about the mysterious filmmaker and his unorthodox, script-free process – like how he gave Thomas Lennon a note card with an inspirational phrase on it in lieu of dialogue in Knight of Cups. Blanchett, who appeared in Knight of Cups with Christian Bale and Song to Song alongside Ryan Gosling, shared an interesting tidbit about Malick’s experimental process that involved reading his actors poetry via an earpiece:
“I’d just recently come from doing a little bit on a Terrence Malick film and he was really interested in the actors having earwigs in. Obviously Terry writes reams and reams of poetry, and you never know whether it’s going to be in the film or not in the film. So I had him in my ear reading Heidegger and bits and snatches of things. And so I’d be saying – I’d be like George Bush during the presidential debates – I’d be saying Terry’s lines to Christian [Bale]. And then, ‘Sorry, what was that Terry?’”
That gave Blanchett the idea to do something similar for Manifesto. At the end of all 13 shorts in Rosefeldt’s film, Blanchett turns to the camera to recite a monologue in a high-pitched, monotonous tone. To make sure she maintained the same tone of voice, she recorded each monologue then listened back via an earpiece to recite them again for the camera:
“Because there’s so much text with the pitch-tone, the night before I would record it in a very neutral, measured, slow way so that then when the pitch-tone moment came up, which was in my ear, [it] would switch on, I’d hear my voice and I’d be able to [says in monotoned voice] ‘pitch da da da and be listening to this.’ It was very, very, very technical, actually.”
One challenge for Blanchett during the project was trying to remove herself from each of her characters. Despite using a variety of accents, from Canadian to New Yorker, the monotone voice at the end of each segment is essentially Blanchett’s natural Australian accent. She referenced the neutral mask acting exercise she learned in drama school, where an actor tries to separate their character from themselves. “I was very frustrated because the inner voice and the connected tissue that’s really clear in the linear version is my voice, this is my natural accent,” she said. “It’s almost like I wanted to make it more neutral, and unfortunately you can never truly eradicate yourself.”
Do all the Marvel movies and experimental films you want Cate Blanchett, just please don’t eradicate yourself. Manifesto opens in limited release on May 10.
via Screen Crush
Hello Australian fans! Manifesto is coming to Sydney in June, for the Sydney Film Festival (June 7-18, 2017). The official program includes two screenings of the movie, one on June 8, and another one on June 12. Don’t miss this chance!
Good afternoon! Cate Blanchett talked with El Pais about Sì and The Present. Enjoy!
EL DRAMATURGO Antón Chéjov sostenía que uno nunca debe colocar un rifle cargado en un escenario, a menos que vaya a ser disparado. Con Cate Blanchett (Melbourne, 1969) la explosión está asegurada, y será tan sutil o enfática como sea necesario. Implacable reina de Inglaterra en Elizabeth, inestable mujer de millonario encarcelado dispuesta a reinventarse en Blue Jasmine o seductora lesbiana en Carol, el pasado diciembre la actriz arrancó su debut en Broadway con una versión de la primera obra del dramaturgo ruso, en la que ha desplegado la misma apabullante fuerza interpretativa que la ha convertido en una intérprete icónica.
The Present (el presente) –la adaptación que ha hecho Andrew Upton, esposo de la actriz, de Platonov, una extraña obra de más de 300 páginas que nunca llegó a representarse en vida de Chéjov– cobra vida con una Blanchett que llora, ríe, patalea y se sube encima de una mesa a bailar a ritmo de punk. El desdén y la coquetería que su personaje, la arruinada viuda Anna Petrovna, muestra hacia los viejos amigos y admiradores invitados a su 40º cumpleaños dan paso a un memorable desbarre con vodka y dinamita. “Las obras de Chéjov pueden ser horribles de interpretar porque no hay lugar donde esconderse, tienes que estar ahí. Están escritas para compañías; cuanto más tiempo pasas con los actores, con los personajes y con la historia, más rica y profunda se vuelve la representación. Es como vivir con una familia, los personajes se tratan unos a otros de una forma brutal y al mismo tiempo con amabilidad, a veces en una misma frase”, explica en un hotel del Midtown neoyorquino, vestida con un impecable traje de chaqueta azul marino.
El día anterior Blanchett tuvo función doble, es decir, pasó cerca de seis horas subida al escenario con sus viejos amigos de la Sydney Theater Company, la compañía con la que ha trabajado desde hace dos décadas y que llegó a codirigir junto a su marido. Aún le quedaron fuerzas para acercarse a un cóctel con la prensa –parte del lanzamiento de Sì Rose Signature, una nueva variante del perfume de Armani del que es imagen desde hace años– y retirarse cuando uno de sus cuatro hijos pequeños vino a buscarla.
Al día siguiente, terrenal y real, su voz ronca y franca soltura añaden cierta ironía a su innegable carisma. A Blanchett te la crees no solo en la pantalla, sino en la media y corta distancia. No esquiva preguntas, no hay miradas nerviosas a su asistente ni silencios cortantes en la ronda de entrevistas. Y si tiene que puntualizar que, por ejemplo, su postura ante el machismo de la industria no ha cambiado tanto como las preguntas que la prensa plantea (“los periodistas ahora quieren hablar de esto, hemos estado mucho tiempo dormidos y las mujeres han funcionado bajo la confusa esperanza de que las estructuras patriarcales las premiarían al final, pero no ha sido así”), lo hace sin mostrarse brusca.
¿Cómo se definiría? “Es muy difícil ser objetiva sobre la personalidad de una misma y, si soy sincera, trato de pensar en ello lo menos posible. Pero me sentí muy honrada cuando el señor Armani me pidió que representara este perfume porque su trabajo conecta con una larga historia, con las aspiraciones y complejidades de ser mujer”, apunta. Añade que con uno de sus primeros sueldos se compró un traje del diseñador italiano que aún conserva.
No se corta al hablar de las convenciones teatrales en la meca neoyorquina: “Muchas de las cosas que llegan a Broadway son lo que llaman revivals, algo que encuentro muy extraño porque cada producción debe y tiene que ser original, de ese momento”, explica. La obra no es muy conocida y apenas ha sido representada. “Andrew ha actualizado el texto para que fuera más relevante, y habla del ascenso de Putin y de los oligarcas”. Ahora, el turbulento cambio de Administración en la Casa Blanca y las tormentas posteriores, a Blanchett la han pillado subida al escenario. “El público suele pensar que en un teatro desempeñan un papel pasivo, pero ellos completan el círculo, el significado del trabajo se transforma en función de la atmósfera que aportan y el cambio político ha traído mucho, ha hecho aflorar muchas cosas. Cosas que tienen que ver con el compromiso moral y con la fealdad del mundo”.
Blanchett habla de su lado intrépido, pero se quita importancia. “Trato de implicarme en tareas que están por encima de mis capacidades o de lo que yo pienso que soy capaz de hacer. Creo que soy aventurera, pero también estoy llena de miedo como cualquiera”, reflexiona. “Digo que sí siempre, intento abarcar más de lo que puedo digerir. Pero luego encuentras la manera de hacerlo e involucras a otra gente y se convierte en un sí más grande”. Podría sonar exagerado quizá, pero basta ver la impresionante obra de videoarte Manifesto, del artista Julian Rosefeldt, en la que Blanchett recita manifiestos artísticos (interpreta desde un vagabundo hasta un banquero, “no hubo tiempo para ensayar, lo rodamos del tirón en un día”), que se proyectó simultáneamente en 13 pantallas en la sala Armory de NY, para asentir a sus palabras. Al final, explica, interpretar es jugar en equipo: “Puedes hacer toda la preparación que quieras, pero si no respondes a lo que hacen los otros actores, la obra está muerta. Podría colar en las películas, pero no en el escenario. Alguien te tira una pelota y la tienes que lanzar de vuelta. Esa es la alegría, el gozo de cada función”. Y en este embrollo sus hijos no quedan fuera. “Les incomoda verme en el escenario. No les gusta que el personaje que interpreto lo pase mal”. Así que este invierno la esperaron en el camerino. “Cuando entro tengo que empezar a gritar: ‘¡Suelta el ipad!’, me cambio y salgo corriendo. Un caos”.
We also replaced some small images with larger ones