Cate Blanchett discusses playing 13 different characters in ‘Manifesto’

Cate Blanchett discusses playing 13 different characters in ‘Manifesto’

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.

via IndieWire

Cate Blanchett va por más – Interview with Caras Chile #SaySì

Hello everyone!

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

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

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

Hello everybody!


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!

Sì – New interview and advertising

Sì – New interview and advertising

Good afternoon! Cate Blanchett talked with El Pais about 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”.

Armani release a new ad to celebrate Mother’s Day (internationally celbrated next Sunday). The photo isn’t new.

We also replaced some small images with larger ones

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

Cate Blanchett talks to David Miliband about refugee crisis #Town&Country

Hey everybody!

Cate Blanchett interview for Town & Country is here! There are also new photos by Max Vadukul. Enjoy the reading!

Cate Blanchett Sounds an Alarm About the Global Refugee Crisis

The actress and Goodwill Ambassador for the UN’s refugee agency talks to the president and CEO of the International Rescue Committee about the international effort to help people displaced by conflict.

The refugee crisis is a defining challenge of our age. Sixty-five million people have been forced from their homes by civil wars around the world. Twenty-two million have crossed borders and thus become refugees. They come from places like Syria, Afghanistan, and South Sudan. They are living in ramshackle conditions in Kenya, Ethiopia, Jordan, and Lebanon. They are victims of terror.

More than half of them are children.

Americans have big hearts and know the value of freedom and security. People often say charity begins at home; I say that it should not end there. But there is also a good strategic reason to help: If we don’t, the result is instability. Close allies like Jordan are struggling to support hundreds of thousands of refugees. The failure to provide proper aid has brought the crisis to Europe’s shores. And what could be more inviting to extremist groups than refugee children with nothing to do and no hope for the future?

As president of the International Rescue Committee, I know how vital our work is. The IRC was founded by Albert Einstein in New York in 1933; the needs now are greater than at any time since World War II. And at a moment when governments are threatening to reduce support, we are more dependent than ever on private generosity—and the bravery and commitment of people using their voices to draw attention to the crisis at hand. Which is why I was so eager to chat with Cate Blanchett (above, in Ralph Lauren Collection).

Most celebrities have a cause—it’s good PR, after all. But this one isn’t the simplest to tackle. It’s complicated, it’s political, it can require decidedly unglamorous travel, and it’s not necessarily something that the bulk of your ticket-buying moviegoers have a visceral connection to. Then again, as her fans know, Cate isn’t drawn to simplicity or merely going through the motions. Her work on behalf of the UNHCR, the UN’s refugee agency—which is one of the IRC’s longest-standing supporters—is substantive. It also sets an example, underlining the call to action I find myself making day in and day out: It is time to step up together.

David Miliband: What drew you to work on behalf of refugees? Was there a particular story you read or person you met that propelled you to take action?

Cate Blanchett: For me this issue has always been very close to home. I, like many Australians, feel a deep shame about our government’s continual violation of international human rights and draconian immigration system when it comes to offshore detention in places like Nauru and Manus Island. Every day I would read the news and feel more and more hopeless about the situation. It got to a point where I could no longer look away or ignore what was happening, not only on Australian shores but around the world.

So I began a conversation with Alison Tilbe at the UNHCR in 2014, at a time when the crisis in Syria had reached the breaking point. Given that the world is facing unprecedented global displacement, touching the lives of millions—both those forced to flee their homes and those tasked with providing them with shelter and protection—my work with the UNHCR began with a necessarily broad focus. Never in my lifetime had I felt more of a responsibility to stand alongside the world’s most vulnerable people.

DM: It’s interesting that you felt so connected to something that seems very far from what most people would assume is the fabric of your daily life.

CB: Actually, being a mother was, for me, undeniably a central point of connection to the refugee crisis. Learning that more than 10 million of the world’s refugees are children, and then meeting refugee parents in Jordan and Lebanon who had fled to protect the lives and futures of their children—well, that was personally heartbreaking and galvanizing.

DM: When you met with these Syrian refugees, what were the main points of connection you had with them?

CB: The idea of home. That was what I found to be the most profound point of connection with the people I met. Their memories of home—the natural beauty, the smells, the tastes, the feelings. It was the sense of fondness and longing when they spoke of home that I connected to—the idea of home being something that you always want to return to, even if you know it is impossible to do so. There is a beautiful poem by Warsan Shire called “Home,” and the first line is, “No one leaves home unless home is the mouth of a shark.” It perfectly expresses the notion that no refugee has ever fled their home out of choice. It’s always out of necessity.

DM: Were there any particular interactions that have stuck with you or haunted you since you’ve returned from your travels?

CB: I shared a meal in the Zaatari refugee camp in Jordan with one family whose 13-year-old son limped around in the dust with my eight-year-old son, playing soccer. I asked why he was limping, and his parents told me that he still had shrapnel in his leg from a sniper attack.

As a parent I connected with their desire to protect their children and provide them with every possible opportunity in life: a safe home, an education—but most important, a childhood free from the horrors of war.

DM: People say that if you study the statistics it’s depressing, but if you meet the people, there is resilience and hope. Did you feel that way?

CB: The statistics are certainly depressing. If you were to simply look at the statistics, it seems like an insurmountable problem.

Before I went on my first mission with the UNHCR, I prepared myself for what I was about to witness. And it’s true—the thing that was most surprising was the sense of hope and gratitude that people had. I met with families who had been forced to flee their homes in the night, taking with them only what they could carry in their arms, but escaping with their lives. They would talk of their future with hope and excitement, despite their circumstances and the challenges they knew they would face in starting a new life elsewhere. Their optimism and gratitude were incredibly humbling.

DM: Celebrities often take a beating for trying to use their fame to do good. How do you cope with the cynicism? Or don’t you find it?

CB: From my perspective, I feel an obligation to use my voice to speak up for those who are voiceless. It just so happens that my voice is able to reach a larger audience because of the fact that I have a public profile. If that were something that I thought was worthy of criticism or cynicism, then perhaps it would bother me that there are people out there who look to belittle or demonize those who are trying—in some small way—to help.

And I think if people were to meet the refugees I have had the privilege to meet, their cynicism would vanish. The resilience, the pride, and the resourcefulness of these people is humbling no matter what one’s profession.

As an artist, I’ve never been more conscious about the type of work one wants to make in times of crisis and in the face of moral repugnance—which we are currently witnessing around the world. There is a huge disconnect from the human collateral in this overly hostile and aggressive political climate. As a UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador, my task is simple: to help reforge the human connection to the stories of these people who so desperately need support.

DM: What are your next steps toward relieving the crisis?

CB: I’m currently working with the UNHCR on its global #WithRefugees campaign, and we are seeking to mobilize more voices in support of refugees than ever before.

And as you well know from your work with the IRC, in the current climate it’s no mean feat to provide lifesaving humanitarian assistance. Most operations are severely underfunded. Some of the UNHCR staff members I met with were having to make unbelievably difficult decisions about what form of assistance to cut, because the money simply isn’t there. Who wants to make the decision to cut food rations down to a meager 800 calories a day for families already undernourished, or cut schooling programs knowing that children’s futures are being lost?

DM: I’m consumed with the “disconnect” you referred to. Pope Francis said the world is suffering from “the globalization of indifference.” How do you think we can galvanize people in the comfortable West to action?

CB: If it is still true that the majority of the Western world labors within a democratic framework, then our votes and our voices count. The way we consume counts. The way we discuss these issues counts. Never has there been a greater need for tolerance, compassion, and solidarity with people who have lost everything. Never has there been a more important time to advocate for shared responsibility within our own communities and to address the fear and xenophobia that are dividing societies. Humanizing the issue–telling the individual human story–is one way to tackle that fear and indifference.

Photographed at Cipriani 25 Broadway in New York City. Hair by Robert Vetica for Leonor Greyl Paris. Makeup by Jeanine Lobell at Streeters. Nails by Tracylee using Chanel Le Vernis. Tailoring by Yasmine Oezelli at Lars Nord. Produced by Wanted Media.

Gallery Links:

via Town and Country Magazine

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.

Cate Blanchett will be on the cover of Town & Country 50 Philanthropy issue

Cate Blanchett will be on the cover of Town & Country 50 Philanthropy issue

Hey everyone!

Cate Blanchett will be featured on one of the three covers of the June/July Town & Country 50 Philanthropy issue (on sale nationwide May 16). The June/July issue of the magazine highlights a venerable group of 50 academics, business tycoons, entertainers, political leaders and tech giants who are currently shifting the philanthropic landscape. Besides the actress and UNHCR goodwill ambassador, the other two covers will feature Michael Bloomberg and John Legend who both will join Glenn Close during Town & Country’s Fourth Annual Philanthropy Summit at Hearst Tower on May 9, 2017.

For more information on the summit, visit and follow along at #TandCPhilanthropy

via Marketwire


The cover is available in our gallery! Enjoy!

Gallery Links:

New promotional interview with Cate Blanchett #SaySì

New promotional interview with Cate Blanchett #SaySì

Bonjour, everyone!

A new promotional interview with Cate Blanchett for the new fragrance Sì Rose Signature by Giorgio Armani. She also talks about her Broadway debut, the current political context, her approach to new projects and her collaboration with Giorgio Armani. Enjoy the reading!

Cate Blanchett Armani Privé

Cate Blanchett, femme d’action, sur tous les fronts

A 47 ans, le visage du parfum Si de Giorgio Armani est monté pour la première fois sur une scène de Broadway. L’actrice oscarisée est aussi une femme engagée auprès du Haut Commissariat des Nations Unies pour les réfugiés. Rencontre en coulisses avec une amoureuse de la vie.

C’est ce qui s’appelle avoir de la suite dans les idées. Pas juste par ambition personnelle, non, ce projet c’est d’abord une histoire de troupe, de couple un peu aussi, puisque le texte de The Present, glaçant d’actualité, c’est son mari Andrew Upton qui l’a signé. Avec comme point de départ le premier jet de trois cents pages d’une pièce longtemps inconnue d’Anton Tchekhov transposée dans une Russie post-perestroïka déjà gangrenée par la montée en puissance des oligarques. Bien sûr, c’est elle que le public vient voir, même si la star a vite fait de laisser place sur scène à un pur talent de comédienne.

La mécanique de jeu entre tous ces acteurs plus épatants les uns que les autres est parfaitement huilée, c’est eux d’ailleurs qu’elle voulait mettre en lumière sur la scène mythique de l’Ethel Barrymore Theatre, à Broadway. Mission accomplie.

La veille de notre rencontre dans l’un de ces gratte-ciel tellement new-yorkais qui surplombe Central Park, elle a enchaîné deux représentations dans la même journée, elle jouera encore le soir même et n’en laisse pourtant rien paraître.

L’accueil est chaleureux, la parole engagée. Même quand elle enfile son costume d’égérie – cela fait quatre ans maintenant qu’elle est le visage de Si, le parfum signature de Giorgio Armani -, Cate Blanchett n’est pas là pour perdre ce temps qui lui est si précieux à faire de la figuration. Cette tribune qui s’offre à elle, l’Australienne entend bien se l’adjuger pour aborder ce qui lui tient à coeur, en tant que femme, mère et ambassadrice de l’ONU auprès des réfugiés. Démonstration.

C’est la première fois que vous vous retrouvez sur une scène de théâtre de Broadway. Vous en rêviez depuis longtemps, n’est-ce pas ?

C’est l’aboutissement d’un travail de longue haleine. Andrew (NDLR : Andrew Upton, son mari) et moi avons dirigé ensemble la Sydney Theatre Company, pendant plus de cinq ans. C’était déjà notre ambition alors de faire découvrir le travail de la troupe à l’international. Nous avions eu l’occasion de tourner en Europe et même aux Etats-Unis mais Broadway, c’est une autre histoire. Car pour jouer ici, il faut accepter de rester à New York entre trois et six mois, ce qui n’est pas facile à mettre en place lorsque vous avez comme nous quatre enfants. Mais là, nous y sommes ! Ce qui m’excite le plus, c’est de mettre en lumière le travail d’acteurs et de techniciens australiens qui n’étaient jamais venus ici.

En quoi Broadway est différent d’autres grandes scènes dans le monde ?

Les gens ici sont très engagés : ils aiment le théâtre, ils voient beaucoup de choses et ils répondent vraiment au texte, à la langue. Je ne m’y attendais pas, d’ailleurs. C’est très excitant, évidemment. Surtout lorsque vous montez une pièce comme celle-ci, qui parle de la Russie d’aujourd’hui. Dans le contexte politique actuel en plus…

Je suppose que lorsque vous avez pris la décision de vous installer aux Etats-Unis pour plusieurs mois, vous n’imaginiez pas que Donald Trump deviendrait président. Et vous voilà aux premières loges…

C’est en quelque sorte un privilège horrifique d’être à New York en ce moment (NDLR : juste après la signature de la première version du ” muslim ban “, interdisant l’entrée sur le territoire US aux ressortissants de certains pays, dits musulmans). Même lorsque je rentre du théâtre à minuit passé, je ne peux pas m’empêcher d’allumer la télévision ! Ce qui se passe ici tous les jours est tout simplement moralement répréhensible. Les gens qui souffrent et vont continuer à souffrir suite à ces décrets sont les plus marginalisés. 65 millions de réfugiés sont éparpillés partout dans le monde. C’est un problème qu’il faut résoudre sur le plan international par la coopération, sûrement pas par l’antagonisme et le nationalisme.

Avez-vous participé à la Marche des Femmes ?

Je jouais le 21 janvier donc je n’ai pas pu me rendre à Washington. Mais il y a eu un rassemblement sur Broadway et toute la troupe y était. Le droit des femmes à choisir leur destin ne fait de tort à personne, au contraire de tout ce que prônent les suprémacistes blancs. Cela dépasse le simple clivage politique. J’ai des amis qui ne votent pas comme moi mais cela ne nous empêche pas de partager le même sens moral. Le discours ouvertement raciste, sexiste, misogyne que l’on entend aujourd’hui n’a pas sa place dans une société civilisée et cela ne nous mènera nulle part. L’administration américaine actuelle ne fait qu’offrir une plate-forme à tous ceux qui veulent propager la haine et des concepts moraux répugnants. Et elle n’est malheureusement pas la seule à surfer sur cette tendance.

Les femmes doivent donc être une fois de plus prêtes à se battre pour défendre leurs droits ?

Se battre n’est jamais la solution. Je préfère parler d’argumentation, de débat raisonné. Il faut rouvrir la conversation. Ce qui est horrifiant avec cette administration, c’est qu’aucune discussion n’est possible, ils la refusent. Ils n’ont pas de décence. Et c’est ce genre d’attitude qui amène à la dictature. Mais nous devons aller de l’avant, rester positifs et confiants, certains de nos valeurs et de nos droits. Et demander des comptes.

Considérez-vous que c’est du devoir des artistes de s’engager ?

Il n’y a rien qui m’intéresse moins que la politique pour la politique. En revanche, je crois en la justice et l’égalité. Normalement d’ailleurs, ces notions devraient se retrouver au centre des préoccupations des élus. Mon rôle d’ambassadrice de l’ONU au service des réfugiés est totalement apolitique. Il s’agit ici de protéger les droits des gens les plus vulnérables. Ce qui est le plus interpellant, c’est cette linguistique qui fait qu’un réfugié devient un migrant et puis, tout à coup, un terroriste. Et ces trois mots qui n’ont aucun point commun finissent par s’appliquer à une même personne. Mais la chose la plus perturbante pour moi, c’est ce qui arrive aux enfants. En tant que parent, cela me brise le coeur quand je découvre des femmes séparées de leurs maris, dont les enfants ont des impacts de bombes dans le corps. Dans une situation comme celle-là, moi aussi je chercherais à m’enfuir ! Et n’importe quel Américain, Australien ou Européen ferait de même.

On ne sort pas intact de telles rencontres, j’imagine…

Evidemment. Vous n’êtes plus simplement assis devant votre poste de télévision mais face à des personnes qui vous racontent leur histoire, vous parlent de leurs espoirs, de leurs rêves et vous vous rendez compte que les chances qu’elles atteignent un jour l’un de leurs objectifs s’amenuisent de plus en plus. C’est une leçon d’humilité. Je viens d’un pays dont l’histoire s’est construite sur l’accueil de réfugiés. Et pourtant, aujourd’hui, nous les refoulons sur des îles off-shore. Je ne reconnais plus l’Australie dans laquelle j’ai grandi. A l’école, nous célébrions notre multiculturalité, nous étions un pays tolérant, généreux. Heureusement, des millions de gens sont encore prêts à se lever, à protéger les plus faibles. Ils sont le vrai coeur battant de notre nation.

Cate Blanchett UNHCR Ambassador

Selon vous, oser prendre des risques, c’est primordial ?

Bien sûr ! Dès que quelque chose vaut la peine d’être tenté, c’est toujours une plongée dans l’inconnu avec tout ce que cela sous-entend. C’est excitant et terrifiant à la fois. L’adoption de notre petite fille fait partie de ces expériences : nous en avions parlé longtemps avant, et un jour, c’est devenu possible pour nous. C’est un merveilleux privilège. L’amour, l’aventure, le rire, c’est facile d’y céder, même si on reste toujours un peu suspendu avant de dire oui.

Avez-vous toujours du mal à dire non ?

Plus que jamais : il y a tellement de choses à faire qui en valent la peine ! Avec quatre enfants et un mari, mon temps n’est pas toujours le mien. J’essaye malgré tout de dire oui à un maximum de choses, sans quoi je ne vois pas l’intérêt d’être en vie.

Pour ce projet théâtral, justement, vous avez travaillé avec votre mari. Etait-ce plus compliqué ?

Andrew aime les acteurs et il n’est jamais pointilleux sur ce qu’il écrit et sur ce que les comédiens en font sur scène. Les répétitions sont des lieux d’échange. Les idées que chacun amène sont là pour évoluer et notre vécu personnel peut s’y retrouver : par exemple, la scène où j’enlève mon soutien-gorge en plein lunch, c’est une chose que faisait ma belle-mère pendant les déjeuners du dimanche, pour signifier qu’elle en avait assez ! Mais nous ne ramenons jamais les tensions des répétitions à la maison.

Qu’est-ce qui vous plaît dans le fait d’être sur scène plutôt qu’en tournage ?

J’ai fait mes études dans une école dramatique qui préparait au théâtre, je n’avais jamais imaginé alors faire des films. La scène reste mon premier amour, parce que vous avez une interaction directe avec votre public. Jouer cette pièce, en plus pour un public américain et maintenant, change le sens de notre travail et cela implique aussi qu’il évolue au fil des représentations. Sur un plateau de cinéma, même si j’adore cela, vous n’avez aucune idée de la manière dont votre jeu sera perçu plus tard.

Gardez-vous en vous des traces de vos rôles passés, au moins pour construire de nouveaux personnages ? Ou préférez-vous faire chaque fois table rase ?

Je n’ai pas de méthode préétbalie : le texte, les partenaires et le metteur en scène ou le réalisateur vont déterminer le travail. Mais c’est vrai que si vous jouez de grands personnages avec beaucoup d’aura, cela rejaillit sur vous. C’est pareil quand vous lisez un roman ou un article fouillé : votre cerveau en reste imprégné. Un livre comme A la recherche du temps perdu vous marque à jamais. C’est pareil avec les rôles. Ce n’est pas que les personnages vous habitent pour toujours – je ne me noie pas dedans – mais ils décuplent vos capacités.

Est-ce vrai qu’après chaque tournage, vous vous dites que ce sera le dernier ?

Toujours ! Faire un film, cela demande tellement d’efforts : si j’accepte un job, je m’investis totalement. Il n’y a rien de plus luxueux que d’avoir du temps pour soi en suffisance. Rien que de pouvoir contempler l’horizon en se disant ” je n’ai rien de prévu cette semaine “, c’est fantastique !

Il vous arrive de jouer deux fois sur la journée, d’être six heures sur scène. Comment tenez-vous le coup ?

Je suis disciplinée : c’est le seul moyen de parvenir à faire tout ce qui doit être fait dans le temps imparti. J’ai parfois le sentiment que ma vie ressemble à des manoeuvres militaires tellement tout est minuté ! Maintenant, quand je n’arrive pas à tout accomplir, je ne suis pas du genre à m’autoflageller. Le fait d’être un personnage public génère en soi beaucoup de tensions. Ce qui me fait le plus de bien, c’est de réussir à être engagée dans l’instant. Et pour une fois, de ne pas avoir de plan.

Cate Blanchett Sì Rose Signature 2017

Total Respect

Pas de doute, c’est comme cela que s’écrivent les légendes. Elle aime raconter qu’avec son premier cachet, elle s’est offert un tailleur-pantalon – “en solde” – Giorgio Armani. On imagine bien aussi qu’elle était le genre de fille du Maestro, de celles qui ont la grâce de ne pas devoir être ultra féminines pour être belles. Tout naturellement, ils se sont trouvés. Elle n’oublie pas leur rencontre “lors du premier défilé Armani Privé, rappelle-t-elle. Je devais porter une de ses créations. Il s’est approché et s’est mis à genoux pour ajuster l’ourlet de ma robe. Il a su me mettre à l’aise avec élégance car j’étais très nerveuse. Mon respect pour lui n’a fait que croître depuis.” Le créateur italien, qui suit de près son travail, ne manque jamais de lui envoyer des lettres – manuscrites – d’encouragement. “Quand il m’a demandé de devenir le visage de Si, c’était dans la continuité de la relation de travail qui s’était tissée entre nous, poursuit-elle. Il m’habillait sur tapis rouge mais il a aussi signé les costumes d’une pièce que j’ai mise en scène à Sydney. J’aime sa manière de mettre au jour la dualité des femmes. C’est dans des vêtements initialement conçus pour les hommes que je me sens le mieux.” C’est pourtant vêtue d’une robe Haute Couture qu’elle apparaît dans la campagne de l’édition collector Si Rose Signature. Dans son rôle d’égérie, Cate Blanchett n’a pas démérité : le parfum dans toutes ses déclinaisons caracole dans le top 10 des meilleures ventes en Europe.

via LeVif Magazine



Hi everybody! Great news about REFUGEE, a short documentary narrated by Cate Blanchett, following the work of five acclaimed photographers reporting the refugees crisis. The ehxibition will open in Houston (Texas), for Fotofest International from May 12 to July 15, 2017.

The documentary it’s also available on Netflix now. Enjoy!

Earthflight 3D – Screenings list

Earthflight 3D – Screenings list

Hello again! Do you remember Earthflight 3D? The short documentary on birds migration narrated by Cate Blanchett? We reported the news in September and the documentary it’s still running across Nothern America, set to open in New York in September. Below you can find the complete list of screening as reported in the official site.

Country/State City Museum/Theater Launch

Illinois Chicago Field Museum Running
Canada Ottawa Canadian Museum of Nature Running
New Jersey Jersey City Liberty Science Center Running
California Berkeley Lawrence Hall of Science Running
Nebraska Hastings Hastings Museum Running
Czech Republic Ostrava Ostrava Science and Technology Center Theater Sep-17
New York New York American Museum of Natural History Sep-17

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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Cate Blanchett nominated for a Tony Award

Cate Blanchett nominated for a Tony Award

The nomination we were all waiting for! Cate Blanchett is nominated for a Tony Award for her role in The Present

Best Performance by an Actress in a Leading Role in a Play
Cate Blanchett, The Present
Jennifer Ehle, Oslo
Sally Field, The Glass Menagerie
Laura Linney, Lillian Hellman’s The Little Foxes
Laurie Metcalf, A Doll’s House, Part 2

The 71st annual Tony Awards will be held on June 11. Congratulations to all her fellow nominees

via Entertainment Weekly

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