Category: Manifesto

Manifesto goes to Auckland for NZIFF

Manifesto goes to Auckland for NZIFF

Good morning everyone! After a brief stop, Manifesto is touring film festivals again. The next stop is in Auckland for the New Zealand International Film Festival (July 14 – August 6), the detailed programm has yet to be released.

Below there is the list of current and coming sceenings as published by FilmRise

New York, NY – NOW PLAYING
Film Forum – TICKETS

Washington, DC – NOW PLAYING
Landmark E Street – TICKETS

Rochester, NY – 6/9 through 6/22
Little Theater – TICKETS

Vancouver, BC
Vancity Vancouver – 6/16 through 6.19, 6/22, 6/27 ONLY – TICKETS
Rio Vancouver – 7/1 through 7/6 – TICKETS

Philadelphia, PA – NOW PLAYING
Ritz @ The Bourse – TICKETS

Eugene, OR – OPENS 6/23
Broadway Metro – TICKETS

Denver, CO – OPENS 6/23
SIE Film Society – TICKETS

Lake Worth, FL – OPENS 6/23
Stonzek Theatre at The Lake Worth Playhouse – TICKETS

Pelham, NY – OPENS 6/23
The Picture House

Olympia, WA – OPENS 6/23
Capitol Theater – TICKETS

San Francisco, CA – OPENS 6/23
Landmark Opera Plaza – TICKETS

Asheville, NC – OPENS 6/23
Grail Moviehouse – TICKETS

Berkeley, CA – OPENS 6/23
Landmark Shattuck Cinemas – TICKETS

Fort Worth, TX – 6/23 through 6/25
Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth – TICKETS

Seattle, WA – 6/23 through 6/25
SIFF FIlm Center – TICKETS

Boulder, CO – 6/28 through 7/1
Boedecker Theatre (Dairy Center of the Arts) – TICKETS

Waterville, ME – OPENS 6/30
Railroad Square – TICKETS

Rome, NY – OPENS 6/30
Rome Capitol Theatre – TICKETS

Coral Gables, FL – 6/30 through 7/6
Cosford Cinema – TICKETS

Toronto, ON – 6/30 through 7/6
Hot Docs Ted Rogers Toronto – TICKETS

Montreal, QC – 7/1 through 7/3
Parc Montreal (Enligh) – TICKETS

Wilkes-Barre, PA – OPENS 7/5
Kirby Center for the Performing Arts – TICKETS

New York, NY – 7/7 through 7/9 ONLY
Roxy Cinema – Tribeca Hotel

Dayton, OH – 7/8, 7/9, 7/12 ONLY
Neon Movies – TICKETS

Chicago, IL – OPENS 7/14
Gene Siskel Film Center – TICKETS

Winston-Salem, NC – OPENS 7/21
a/perture Cinema

Key West, FL – OPENS 7/27
Tropic Cinema

Cleveland, OH – 7/28 & 7/30 ONLY
Cleveland Cinematheque

Austin, TX – 8/11, 8/12, 8/13, 8/15 ONLY
Austin Film Society

Ellsworth, ME – OPENS 8/15
The Grand

Minneapolis, MN – OPENS 10/20
Walker Art Center

Most of the international releases are set for Autumn 2017, we’ll keep you posted!

Manifesto – A new festival, photos and a interview

Manifesto – A new festival, photos and a interview

Good afternoon dear fans & followers! I’d like to open this post thanking the lovely Patricia that with her very generous donation almost covered the whole cost of the host (the server where the site is hosted). An heartfelt “Thank you!” from the team of Cate Blanchett Fan and I hope from all the ones that visit this site daily. Thanks from the bottom of our hearts!

Talking about Manifesto, the movie is in the official program of the 3rd IndieBo – Festival De Cine Independiente De Bogotà (Colombia) that takes place from in July (13-23). The detailed program in not available yet.
A new interview with Cate has appeared in the lastest issue of Gente (Italy), and two new stills come from the Russian promotion of the movie, that opened there last week.



Manifesto – Update list of screenings

Manifesto – Update list of screenings

Hello people! A month ago Manifesto opened in NY theaters, and more cinemas had been added. You can find the list below, taken by the official site. Remember to check the site from time to time, maybe you’ll find a cinema next to you.

OT: This fansite is going to sustain the larger part of its maintenance costs in two months time. Since we widely extended our archive in the last year, the costs are increased and we can no longer sustain them our own. This site is maintained by the admins in terms of money, material and time (a lot) for free. Nothing we gain for it, so we humbly ask all of you to support the site, and leave a donation. Thanks

New York, NY – NOW PLAYING
Film Forum – TICKETS

Santa Fe, NM – Now Playing
The Screen – TICKETS

Portland, OR – OPENS 6/2
Cinema 21 – TICKETS

Tempe, AZ – OPENS 6/2
Harkins Valley Art

Lancaster, PA – OPENS 6/2
Zoetropolis – TICKETS

Santa Monica, CA – OPENS 6/2
Laemmle Monica Film Center – TICKETS

Pasadena, CA – OPENS 6/2
Laemmle Playhouse 7 – TICKETS

San Diego, CA
Digital Gym – TICKETS

Howell, MI – OPENS 6/9
Historic Howell Theater

Hollywood, CA – OPENS 6/9
Arena Cinelounge

Columbus, OH – OPENS 6/9
Gateway Film Center – TICKETS

Vancouver, WA – OPENS 6/9
The Kiggins Theatre – TICKETS

Albuquerque, NM – OPENS 6/9
The Guild Cinema – TICKETS

Fort Lauderdale, FL – OPENS 6/9
The Classic Gateway – TICKETS

Washington, DC – OPENS 6/9
Landmark E Street – TICKETS

Chattanooga, TN – 6/9 through 6/15
Palace Picture House – TICKETS

Rochester, NY – 6/9 through 6/22
Little Theater – TICKETS

Brooklyn, NY – 6/12 through 6/15
The Syndicated

Montreal, QC
Festival du Nouveau Cinema Mtl (*at Parc) – 6/15
Parc Montreal (Enligh) – 7/1 through 7/13 – TICKETS

Richmond, VA – 6/15 through 6/18
Bijou Film Center – TICKETS

Vancouver, BC
Vancity Vancouver – 6/16 through 6.19, 6/22, 6/27 ONLY – TICKETS
Rio Vancouver – 7/1 through 7/6

Philadelphia, PA – OPENS 6/16
Ritz @ The Bourse – TICKETS

Pelham, NY – OPENS 6/23
The Picture House

Eugene, OR – OPENS 6/23
Broadway Metro – TICKETS

Denver, CO – OPENS 6/23
SIE Film Society – TICKETS

San Francisco, CA – OPENS 6/23
Landmark Opera Plaza

Berkeley, CA – OPENS 6/23
Landmark Shattuck Cinemas

Lake Worth, FL – OPENS 6/23
Stonzek Theatre at The Lake Worth Playhouse

Fort Worth, TX – 6/23 through 6/25
Modern Art Museum of Fort Worth – TICKETS

Seattle, WA – 6/23 through 6/25
SIFF FIlm Center

Boulder, CO – 6/28 through 7/1
Boedecker Theatre (Dairy Center of the Arts) – TICKETS

Waterville, ME – OPENS 6/30
Railroad Square

Rome, NY – OPENS 6/30
Rome Capitol Theatre – TICKETS

Coral Gables, FL – 6/30 through 7/6
Cosford Cinema

Toronto, ON – 6/30 through 7/6
Hot Docs Ted Rogers Toronto

Wilkes-Barre, PA – OPENS 7/5
Kirby Center for the Performing Arts – TICKETS

Chicago, IL – OPENS 7/14
Gene Siskel Film Center

Cleveland, OH – 7/28 & 7/30 ONLY
Cleveland Cinematheque

Austin, TX – 8/11, 8/12, 8/13, 8/15 ONLY
Austin Film Society

Ellsworth, ME – OPENS 8/15
The Grand

New clips for Manifesto and Canada openings

New clips for Manifesto and Canada openings

Hello there! Manifesto is opening in Canada in three diffent cities
Vancouver June 16 VanCity – tickets
Toronto June 30 Hot Docs Ted Rogers CInema
Montreal July 7 Cinema du Parc
(source)
Two new clips from the movie had been released. Enjoy!

The Los Angeles Times
Yahoo! Movies

Manifesto – Screenings in two more festivals

Manifesto – Screenings in two more festivals

Hello everyone!! June is coming in a few days and more film festivals are unveiling their programs. Starting with the Americas, Manifesto it’s scheduled for the Festival du nouveau cinéma in Montreal, Canada on June 15.
The movie is also part of the 2nd edition of Secret Florence (Italy) where the movie will be screened on June 16.

The complete screening can be easily found in the official site

In the gallery you can find two new stills, a lot of replaced images with HQs ones and the movie poster. Enjoy!



Manfesto’s installation tours in Argentina

Manfesto’s installation tours in Argentina

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!

Sydney Film Festival: RED screens with Manifesto

Sydney Film Festival: RED screens with Manifesto

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!

Interview: Cate Blanchett, Beyond Character #Manifesto

Interview: Cate Blanchett, Beyond Character #Manifesto

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.

via Interview Magazine

Cate Blanchett on her new film ‘Manifesto: Three promotional interviews

Cate Blanchett on her new film ‘Manifesto: Three promotional interviews

Hello everybody!

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.

via Entertainment Weekly

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.

via Observer

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.”


via Slate

Cate Blanchett shares an anecdote about her work with Terrence Malick and Manifesto

Cate Blanchett shares an anecdote about her work with Terrence Malick and Manifesto

Hi everyone!

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

Sydney Film Festival: Manifesto in the official line-up

Sydney Film Festival: Manifesto in the official line-up

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!

Cate Blanchett and Julian Rosefeldt on ‘Manifesto’ – Two promotional interviews

Cate Blanchett and Julian Rosefeldt on ‘Manifesto’ – Two promotional interviews

Hey everyone!

Two new interviews from Manifesto‘s press junket. Read below!

She’s Every Woman: In Julian Rosefeldt’s Manifesto, Cate Blanchett Proves It’s All in Her (Interview)

Cate Blanchett is every woman in Julian Rosefeldt’s feature film Manifesto, based on the German artist/director’s multi-screen video art installation, a hot ticket back in December where it lived at the Park Avenue Armory in Manhattan.

A conceptual art piece that features monologues culled from 20th-century declarations by artists about their visions of life and art: You probably don’t expect that to be very cinematic. But when it’s Cate Blanchett in the persona of 13 distinct, charismatic yet generic individuals in different accents and hairstyles, the effect is so hypnotic she nearly pulls you through the screen.

Her characters spout and sometimes rant actual philosophical and artistic declaration. They are the words of artists, architects, dancers and filmmakers, ranging from Karl Marx, Wassily Kandinsky, André Breton, Claes Oldenburg, Sol LeWitt, Werner Herzog and Jim Jarmusch. The artistic movements include the writings of Futurists, Dadaists, Fluxus artists, Suprematists and Situationists. (The last two movements most people, including me, have never heard of).
Because Blanchett is so busy—she’s just wrapped Ocean’s Eight and Thor: Ragnarok, and also just announced she will star in the stage version of All About Eve in London—a major challenge for Rosefeldt’s team was that they only had 11 days to shoot with her, all in Berlin and its environs. Sometimes, for organizational reasons, they covered two roles in a day, which meant additional costumes and makeup changes for the star.

Some of the scenes are shot in desolate industrial spaces evoking a not-so-distant dystopia. The movie opens with three old women setting off fireworks. Then an unrecognizable Blanchett, as a homeless man in sooty clothes and a scruffy grey beard, traipses across a concrete jungle quoting Marx: “Capitalism, the economic machinery is in decay… Role of the artist is the revolutionary.” Blanchett then transforms into a corporate Wall Street drone in a red wig and dead eyes, reciting from the Futurists: “The suffering of a man is of the same interest to us as the suffering of an electric lamp.”

Featuring 13 vignettes, the 95-minute film concludes with Cate in a school room, quoting Jim Jarmusch to her impassive students: “Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination… And don’t bother concealing your thievery—celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: ‘It’s not where you take things from—it’s where you take them to.’”

Manifesto is by turns artsy, pretentious, profound and funny. Humor helps, but it’s also eerily prophetic. Rosefeldt’s movie lands itself in a zone between creating art and relating it to today’s political and cultural landscape. He first started shooting the art installation in December 2014. The video installation first opened at the Australian Center for the Moving Image in Melbourne in December 2015 and then moved to Berlin’s Hamburger Bahnof museum in February 2016. The film version of Manifesto first screened at Sundance this year.

Since the art installation’s inception, the political and cultural landscape has shifted seismically. When Blanchett quotes Kazimir Malevich—“art requires truth, not sincerity”—it’s a reminder that art taps into energies of truth. This makes it particularly timely today, as the president, a kind of performance artist himself, creates alternative facts and calls them realities.
Last month Blanchett and Rosefeldt attended the New York premiere of Manifesto at the Tribeca Film Festival. They participated in roundtables and interviews all day, and by the time we spoke to them it was nearly 7 p.m., with the premiere still ahead. They must have been tired, but they gamely spoke to reporters for nearly 25 minutes. Blanchett’s Manifesto characters express themselves loudly and insist on being heard. In person, the actress speaks more softly and has a lot to say. She wore an exquisite suit, almost architectural in structure, that was pastel pink, a color that makes most people look washed out but had the opposite effect on her. Following are highlights from the roundtable.

Paula Schwartz, MovieMaker Magazine (MM): When you created Manifesto as an art installation, was it also always planned as a film?

Julian Rosefeldt (JR): The reason there is a movie is the simple fact that I needed to finance the installation… I was approached at the same time then by two wonderful women who do art on TV. One is now directing the Munich Film School, and she was collaborating on [Michael] Haneke’s [films]. I asked them if they could help in the financing of the installation and they said yes, they were willing to do that, but they needed a linear version in order to show it on TV. But the basic interest was to work with Cate on the installation, and now I’m very happy we have the film.

Cate Blanchett (CB): And so is the one that’s on the German television the same as this one?

JR: It hasn’t been shown yet.

MM: Cate, to your thinking were you making a film, an installation or both?

CB: It was definitely an installation. It was a 13-channel work that the audience can self-direct. All of the manifestos were abandoned at one particular point and the common points, the points of connection, were made very clear for the viewer because of this pitch, where all of the persona characters, whatever you want to call them, face the audience and intone it. At first I must admit I was a little skeptical of the functional decision of having to make a linear version. But when Julian showed it to me, I could see it had a need to exist in and of itself. And it’s very, very different experience. But also I think it’s a provocation in and of itself to an audience that is used to dealing with a narrative with a first, second and third act. When you see a movie in the cinema, you immediately search for a certain type of meaning, and this really subverts that experience… You have to give over the need to make sense, which is ironic given how much intellectual rigor and application there is to not only the way Julian’s made the work, but to the manifestos themselves.

JR: Adding to what Cate just said, in the art context, you’re ready for any kind of experience. Almost no scandal is possible anymore in the art world, at least not in the Western context. Of course it’s not about scandals, but it’s certainly about encountering something that surprises you. In the movie context it’s all the opposite; you really want the story to be told… That’s the reason we love stories in books and movies. We desperately want stories to be told because we don’t live them ourselves. This filmic version is very experimental, while in the art context it is an almost classic presentation, ably filmed, beautifully shot filmic images. I’m very interested in the mechanics of filmmaking, the myth-making machine that cinema is, and deconstructing it.

MM: How did you decide on each accent and each costume and visual to go with each character?

CB: It was very “night before” random. Because we had to shoot so quickly, there’s obviously an incredible amount of preparation that went into the planning of the work. There was one point when Julian and I were both in New York. We sat down and he’d come up with about 50-60 characters and scenarios. Then we saw which ones would both align and which manifestos would lend themselves more to conversation, to monologue or to an inner monologue. Obviously they all had to be in English because I can’t speak Mandarin, unfortunately, and that might cross a culturally sensitive boundary anyway—but once we found those points of intersection between those three elements, it was like, “OK, why don’t we make this one from here? Why don’t make this one from there?”

JR: Sometimes it was just kind of natural. For the teacher character, it seemed to me we could create a character quite close to Cate herself. So she’s Australian. The stock exchange [scene] of course happens on Wall Street. For the funeral, [we thought] why not have a light Canadian accent? Or the homeless character in Newcastle, and so on? So it kind of evolved organically, although we gave up on many beautiful ideas for scenes. When I’m asked, “Can you tell us about the scenes you didn’t realize,” I have a hard time remembering them all, because once you start doing something you live with what you have. I wanted to do at least 10 [characters]; I asked Cate to do 20, and she said, “Could we do seven or eight?” We ended up doing 13.

CB: But I was frustrated as an actor. There was an exercise in drama school where you did a neutral mask: You tried to get to a point of neutrality from which you could go in any different direction, so that you don’t impose your own energy. You don’t impose your own way of thinking or certain approaches upon on a character, so that the character can be a thing separate from you. I was very frustrated because the inner voice and the connective tissue that’s really clear in the linear version is, “This is my voice. This is my natural accent.” I found that very frustrating. It’s almost like I wanted to make it more neutral, and unfortunately you can never truly eradicate yourself.

MM: In the production notes, it says on certain days you would shoot multiple characters and switch in between them. How challenging was that?

JR: Twice, I think, we had to do that. It was because we had such a short time to shoot this and we were location-jumping for each character so the scenes would consist of seven or eight locations. They’re all in different spots in Berlin… It was a beautiful trip, and we had a lot of fun although all this pressure of time and circumstances. I remember meeting every morning in the make-up wagon with a completely new character and accent, and she was of course already rehearsing the accent. We had about six or seven pairs of different teeth in the film. It was a bit like Alice in Wonderland. From day to day you encounter different worlds, and sometimes you go back to the world that you already encountered. It was very electrifying for the whole team. Sometimes we had only one or two takes. We lost a lot of time in the morning on the funeral scene where DP Christoph Krauss and I wanted to shoot, because we found some beautiful gravestones in the back of the scene. That scene didn’t even make it in the film. Then after the lunch break we just had an hour and a half to shoot the whole thing, and Cate just did it.

CB: In one take.

JR: It just happened. Sometimes the time crunch can be very productive and push you to creativity.

MM: About your singular approach to the characters, did it change from monologue to monologue? How did you adapt to each character?

CB: Having encountered many of the manifestos when I was studying art history at university, I’d sort of had an intellectual, historical response to those… I expected that to be reignited. But given that I was having to make them manifest—to physically manifest the manifestos—the response I had was completely non-intellectual. It was energetic, it was physical. And so I very much saw them not as being characters. This wasn’t a decision I made. It was just something that evolved. It was more about what they did. What was the situation they were in? Often, the way the manifesto was delivered was sort of in a contrapuntal way to the actual meaning of the manifesto, so the content was completely subverted. You were saying something as dialogue that was either nonsensical or completely out of context, and it would never be said as dialogue, so I didn’t have an intellectual response to it at all.

JR: Also they are, as you said, not really characters. There was neither the wish nor the time within the framework of the film—90 minutes and no narrative—to create real characters, so they’re all almost caricatures which together build this portrait of society, these extreme archetypes of society. Some of them are more believable, like the single mother, maybe, or the teacher… others are exaggerated, and all of them use words that sometimes are nonsensical. Sometimes they’re very controversial, but they keep on speaking within the scene with the same attitude… The starting point was to on the one hand [pay] homage these artists as writers and poets, and also to see if their texts could be actually applied or be sensible today in our society. All of a sudden, two years [after the film was made], we as viewers can actually be scared by the texts’ visionary, seismographic energy!

MM: Cate, you’ve always mixed it up. You’ve done big films, indie films, plays, experimental projects like this. How important is it to you to not get in a rut and to mix it up every time?

CB: It must be very important to me [laughs]. I get very restless and bored with myself every second of the day. The sound of my own voice, my physical limitations… and so it’s always the surprise that I’m always drawn toward. If you want to keep growing as an artist, as an actor, whatever you want to call yourself—or whatever you get called—you have to keep risking failure. You have to bite off more than you can chew, and this was certainly that.

But I’m also excited when you can speak to different types of audiences. The idea that the children get offered, through their education, an art experience and they might encounter this… they might never have heard of a manifesto before. That’s what public art galleries should be and why there’s got to be greater access to those places. Film festivals are so important because often films like this that defy definition can find an audience, albeit small.

But yes, to be in dialogue with someone like Julian is really exciting because your frame of reference is so interesting. And the questions that you [Rosefeldt] ask and your ability to see is so open. I also admire how clear your eye is, so I find that really inspiring to be around. So the process is as interesting as the outcome. You’re not necessarily outcome-focused, which sometimes you can feel in a film because everyone’s aware of the money they’re spending.

MM: The political landscape has changed considerable since you began this project in December 2014. How does it feel to see the manifestos and the current political situation seem so aligned?

JR: Very early when we started to write a concept to raise money for Manifesto, I often discussed the artist’s sense of the universe, the fact that they can foresee things and can feel something without being able to prove it yet. Some of these texts were not conceivable then as they are now—like the conceptual art piece, where she’s a news reader and a reporter and she says, “All current art is fake. All of art is fake.” The audience at Sundance was laughing. I was shocked when that laughter happened, because I thought it was… funny, but not that funny. Of course, everybody was thinking about Trump. It took me a second to realize that myself, so I was overrun by the actuality of the piece. I keep saying it is an anti-populist piece par excellence because it’s all about meaning and about sensibility and creativity and thinking, risking thoughts and inspiring everything that populism doesn’t have because it’s just about loudness and volume and noise and nothing in it.

MM: In the scene where you’re a suburban housewife with children, are those your kids? They have the most absolute, innocent look on their faces. Did they understand what was going on?

CB: Yes [they are my kids]. I know, they’re so sweet. I was on a family odyssey through Europe with my extended family and so they were in Berlin a couple of days before. Julian said, “Do you think Andrew [Upton, Blanchett’s husband] and the three boys would be up for being in the film?” I asked them—I thought it would be in a museum context—and they said fine. We did sort of try to quarantine from them [some of the text] but they were great. They were really good sports, and I probably couldn’t have done it any other way.

MM: Cate, was there one of the characters or manifestos that most resonated with you?

CB: One of the greatest, most provocative sentences in the entire thing for me is written by a female, [Mierle Laderman Ukeles]: “After the revolution, who’s going to pick up the garbage on Monday morning?” Which I think is a really provocative thought. But I really relished playing the news reader and the reporter. I love doubling; the whole thing is an act of doubling, I think. What resonated for me, what I found most compelling, was that these are assertions of artistic individuality, but yet there are so many points of connection between them, which I think given the political polemic at the moment is really interesting. What are the points of connection? It’s very easy to divide and destroy, but how do you actually connect? Artists are very good at connecting things. MM

Manifesto opens in theaters on May 12, 2017.

via Movie Maker

Cate Blanchett and Julien Rosefeldt On ‘Manifesto’ And Their Faith In Audiences

The superstar and her director discuss their fascinating new art project

Critical theory is not just for the dusty classrooms of higher education anymore. Filmmaker-artist Julien Rosefeldt and actress-deity Cate Blanchett have liberated the dense seminal texts of Dadaism, Situationism, and 10 other -isms from the stifling context of academia with their new work, Manifesto. Neither narrative film nor video art piece, this collection of sketches casts a chameleonic Blanchett in 13 roles and uses her as a mouthpiece for missives from an assortment of luminaries including everyone from Marx to Werner Herzog. At once a whirling hurricane of truth and a one-woman showcase (Blanchett morphs into a salty punk rocker, a Slavic choreographer, a homeless man, and a peppy pair of newswomen, to name a few), it’s wholly unlike any other film that has come before, or is likely to come after. And it’s a testament to Blanchett’s star power and the sheer ambition of this project that it’s ended up in select theaters across America nonetheless, beginning this Friday.

Following Manifesto’s screening at the Tribeca Film Festival, Rosefeldt and Blanchett sat down with us to discuss the growing cult of Carol, taking in Martin Scorsese’s latest as a spiritual experience, and the faith they have in intelligent audiences.

A great spirit of collaboration runs through this project. Julien has the director credit, but how would you two split up authorship of Manifesto?
Cate Blanchett: I had seen a few of Julien’s works before where he’d used physical performers, actors, landscapes, pieces of architecture, and dancers. And when someone works in different mediums, they must inherently collaborate with people, to paint with all of the different colors and textures they offer. But in terms of the genesis of this idea, the minutiae of how the work came together, that’s absolutely Rosefeldt.
Julien Rosefeldt: I’d say differently. It started with curiosity from both of us; we felt it would be exciting to do something together. I saw Cate for the first time long before we joined for this project, more as an artist than as an actor. Because what she does involves so much more than moving your arms and tongue. This was a meeting of two artists, using architecture and dance as instruments. You bring this all in and shake it up, then pick one theme, this project’s being language. People ask me when I will do my next feature film, and I tell them I’m not even sure if this is a feature film. This is an experiment.

Do you consider Manifesto to be a work of video art, then?
JR: I don’t think it’s very interesting to even think about that distinction. But the industry that is behind movie releasing demands categorization. Everything either has to be a feature film, a short film, or a documentary. That’s why they’ll show this work with the machinery of narrative film and in an art film context. It narrows the world. But I see it as equally interesting to do an opera, or an endless performance or something.
CB: It does shake up an audience to see something that has a very different ambition than the majority of things they consume, or rather, that are served up to them. I recently saw Scorsese’s Silence, and I was struck by several moments that require a very particular type of attendance to them. I bemoan the fact that most audiences are either too restless or perceive themselves to be too time-poor to attend to a masterwork like that. There were many, many, moments in that when I thought, I could watch this on loop in an art gallery. The works that have left-field ambitions, works that break new ground, the distributors and exhibitors have very little patience for them.

Manifesto will have to play in theaters alongside any other movie, but it’s not driven by mechanics of plot or character development. As an artist, you lose control over your labors once they’re released, but do you still wonder how a wider audience will perceive this, as opposed to museum crowds?
JR: From the few experiences I’ve had at film festivals, I can see that in the first minutes, there’s irritation. Like, “What the fuck is going on?” Then I observed a certain sort of magic in the audience.
CB: It’s a letting go.
JR: Something happens, and they become very committed. Extremely focused, curious with very sharp senses. I wasn’t at the screening at Sundance, but I was told the atmosphere was one of intense focus. This is probably due to the fact that, when you come to a movie theater, you don’t count on a non-narrative installation. And the heavy overdose of text is quite intimidating at first, but then you find it’s totally digestible. You can follow these texts, and even understand them. Writers, even critics, want to make every script as simple as possible, and I say to them, “Your audience is much smarter than you think, my friend.” It’s a disease of our time that things are condensed. Because we are afraid of loneliness and boredom, we speed up everything and only have edits, nothing in between.

What is added to these theoretical texts by putting them in the context of a scene and in the mouth of a person?

CB: They’re liberated from their historical context, so their contemporary relevance is up for grabs. I didn’t really think about these people as characters, but more like conduits. Part of a mechanism that serves a function. You want them to be believable, but some of them are more extreme, which they need to be to match the energetic level of the writing.
JR: All this has the same aim, which is freeing the original text from interpretation in an artistic capacity. You’re able to look at the text itself instead of someone’s read of it. That was a very satisfying experience, learning that these theorists were also great poets and writers.

The writings you cite present a lot of overlapping, sometimes even contradictory viewpoints. Are we to understand that these don’t express your personal philosophies?
CB: I didn’t think about that. The desire to be part of this—I don’t mean to sound so prosaic—was to work with Julien. I’d read the manifestos, and not all of them either, back when I was studying art history at university. But that was very much in their historical and academic context. In a way, the works that were supposed to result from these manifestos were thrown out the window for [Manifesto]. In putting this writing in domestic situations, or situations contrapuntal to the actual drive of the work, you can find new points of similarity between these great bastions of contemporary thought. The world is in a state of flux, grasping for basic human values wherever they sit in a time of capitalism gone crazy, and the political context of what’s said now has begun to rise to the surface.

Cate, in the year and a half since its release, Carol has really struck a chord with the gay and lesbian community. Are you aware of the second life it’s taken on?
CB: You’re very dislocated from an audience, working in film. You don’t know if anyone’s even seen it. [Director] Todd [Haynes] had kept me abreast of the responses that he got, which was really gratifying for all of us. But I was on stage recently here, and people from many, many different cultures would wait at the stage door to tell me what the film had meant to them, or how it had changed their lives or given a voice to something they hadn’t seen in mainstream cinema. That was very, very rewarding.

via Nylon

Manifesto goes to the Seattle International Film Festival

Manifesto goes to the Seattle International Film Festival

Good evening! Manifesto scores another film festival, the 43rd SIFF (May 18 – June 11), with two screenings, on May 22nd and on May 26. You can book a ticket here

The movie is set to open in a limit release at Film Forum (NY) in two days, tickets here. The complete list of screenings can be found at the official distributor’s site.

Manifesto – Promotional interviews

Manifesto – Promotional interviews

Good afternoon everyone! Three new interviews from Manifesto‘s press junket. Read them below!

Another way of portraying humanity. Cate Blanchett and Julian Rosefeldt on Manifesto

The role of the Manifesto animals as being “another way of portraying humanity”, how the changing of the settings each day “was a bit like Alice in Wonderland”, the importance of finding “points of intersection”, and having the characters evolve “organically” were revealed inside the Crosby Street Hotel before Cate and Julian had to rush off to walk the red carpet for their Tribeca Film Festival première at the Festival Hub in Spring Studios.

Anne-Katrin Titze: How did you decide on the accents to go with each Manifesto cluster and with the visuals? As the third part, really, in the decision making?

Julian Rosefeldt: Will you answer that?

Cate Blanchett: It was very night-before, random. There was, because we had to shoot so quickly, an incredible amount of preparation that went into the planning of the work. You know, there was one point where Julian and I were both in New York and we sat down and he had come up with sort of about fifty characters, about fifty, sixty different scenarios. And then seeing which ones would both align and which manifestos lend themselves more to conversation, to monologue, or to an inner monologue.
And then, once we’d found those points of intersection between those three elements, then it was like, okay, what about we … because obviously they all had to be in English because I can’t speak Mandarin, unfortunately. And that might cross a boundary, a culturally sensitive boundary, anyway. And then it was just, okay, why don’t we make this one from here? Why don’t we make this one from there?

JR: Sometimes it was kind of natural. The teacher seemed to be. We both have children – not together. It seemed to me like a person that we could create quite close to Cate herself – like, she’s Australian. And then the stock exchange, of course, happens on Wall Street. And the funeral, why not select a light Canadian accent? Or the homeless man in a Newcastle one?

So it kind of evolved organically. Although we gave up on many beautiful ideas for scenes. But when I’m asked, “Can you tell us about the scenes that you didn’t realize?” I have a hard time of remembering them all. Because once you start doing something, you live with what you have.
I remember us bargaining, like, I wanted to do at least ten, so I asked Cate to do 20. And she said “Could we do maybe seven or eight?” Then we ended up doing twelve. It sounds very pragmatic, but this is also a part of filmmaking – that you have to make it happen. And you have to deal with time and money and children.

CB: But I was frustrated. You know, as an actor, there was an exercise we did at drama school where you tried to … You did Neutral Mask. So you tried to get to a point of neutrality from which you could go in any different direction. So that you don’t impose your own energy, you don’t impose your own way of thinking, your certain approaches upon a character so that the character can be a thing separate from you.

Obviously though you are the instrument that you’re using. And I was very frustrated, you know, because the inner voice and the connected tissue that’s really clear in the linear version is: This is my voice. This is my natural accent and I found that very frustrating. It’s almost like I wanted to make it more neutral. You know, unfortunately, you can never truly eradicate yourself.
JR: It was a beautiful trip and we had a lot of fun, although [there was] all this pressure of time and circumstances. I remember meeting her every morning in the makeup wagon with a completely new character and accent. She was of course already rehearsing the accent.

And then we started to talk about the text while she became a newsreader. We had six or seven pairs of different teeth in the film. The settings were very different, of course, every day. It was a bit like Alice in Wonderland. From day to day you encountered different worlds.

AKT: Quick question about the animals – You already put a lot on your plate and then decided to add ravens…

CB: A baboon!

AKT: Exactly! A monkey, dogs, three dogs at the funeral. Why the animals?

JR: The animals are just another way of portraying humanity, I would say. They’re just a different species. If you see them altogether over the film, it’s just us, over there. I like them because they are a mirror to us in a way. Because they can’t know what’s going on in the world but they are there all the time, faithful and testimony of what we’re doing here in this world. So they are testimonies. They’re just there.

via Eye For Film

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Manifesto Opening at Tribeca Film Festival

Manifesto Opening at Tribeca Film Festival

Last night Cate attended the opening of Manifesto at this year’s Tribeca Film Festival. Photos are up in the gallery.


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