Manifesto

Manifesto

DVD
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Baker & Taylor
Cate Blanchett delivers a series of art and political manifestos as a variety of characters.

Copyright Date: ©2017
Characteristics: 1 videodisc (95 min.) : sd., col. ; 4 3/4 in

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Nursebob
Apr 22, 2018

Originally presented as a multi-screen gallery installation, Julian Rosefeldt’s celebration of various schools of 20th century thought and artistic expression makes for an engaging cinematic experience with Cate Blanchett portraying no less than a baker’s dozen worth of personas, each reading from one particular group’s published manifesto. She’s a grieving widow haranguing a crowd of graveside mourners with the anti-everything ferocity of Dadaism. She’s a wholesome midwest housewife lowering her head over the dinner table and, in lieu of grace, delivering instead a longwinded paean on the comforting familiarity of Pop Art. Now she’s both a news anchor and a roving reporter exchanging banter on the precepts of Conceptual Art and Minimalism. And, my personal favourite, she’s a no-nonsense teacher drilling the virtues of Von Trier's Dogme 95 into the heads of her bewildered second grade students. Theatrical, volatile, glorious, and contradictory, Blanchett’s consummate acting skill and Rosefeldt’s keen eye for marrying ideology with the perfect image (a goth punk delivers a rant on Stridentism; a maddeningly pretentious CEO gushes over Abstract Expressionism) add up to a master class on the artistic and philosophical movements which have shaped western society. Well worth a second viewing.

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