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Manifesto Movie Review: is a Stupendous Work of Art, Through Moving Pictures

Manifesto Movie Review: is a Stupendous Work of Art, Through Moving Pictures

Photo from Manifesto Movie

Photo from the film Manifesto.

Title: Manifesto
Director: Julian Rosefeldt
Starring: Cate Blanchett

‘Manifesto’ is the film that any contemporary artist would dream of having shot. Born out of the genius of acclaimed visual artist Julian Rosefeldt, the movie retraces the 20th century art movements and their statements, creating a video art installation that is unprecedented.

The telegraphic narrative with spectacular visuals, features two-time Academy Award winner Cate Blanchett in thirteen distinct vignettes. The chameleonic actress plays different professional categories from around the world, with impeccable accent diversification: a broker, a conservative mother, a manager, a funeral speaker, a punk, a choreographer, a teacher, a factory worker, a newsreader, a reporter, a puppeteer, a scientist and a homeless man.

Cate Blanchett embodies each of the Manifestos as an “artist-scientist,” (as Rosefeldt defines her), deeply researching the human condition. Her personification with each artistic movement becomes the emblem of the trait d’union between them all. We witness the tour-de-force performance as she transforms herself like never before, enunciating the various artistic creeds, from Futurism to Dada. Claes Oldenburg, Yvonne Rainer, Kazimir Malevich, André Breton, Sturtevant, Sol LeWitt, Jim Jarmusch, are just a few of the creative thinkers who are quoted and inspire the mise-en-scène.

Rosefeldt’s quest isn’t to merely weave together history’s most impassioned artistic statements. He investigates on the role of art. He reinforces the idea that it should be used as tool for a global call to action. The artist-director, thus uses the camera to depict how artists have searched for a sense of identity and social purpose. Art is fully accomplished when it can triumph over disharmony and chaos. It is the messenger of buried truths, that must be revealed to dismantle the bad reality.

This stupendous work of art, through moving pictures, should be watched over and over again and screened in schools and academias to educate and inspire younger generations. ‘Manifesto’ clarifies how art history is the best storyteller for global history. Julian Rosefeldt’s film poetically encourages people to engage in an enlightened phenomenological approach, to understand the world we live in.

Technical: A*
Story: A+
Overall: A+
Written by: Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi

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Chiara Spagnoli Gabardi, is a film critic, culture and foreign affairs reporter, screenwriter, film-maker and visual artist. She studied in a British school in Milan, graduated in Political Sciences, got her Masters in screenwriting and film production and studied at the Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute in New York and Los Angeles. Chiara’s “Material Puns” use wordplay to weld the title of the painting with the materials placed on canvas, through an ironic reinterpretation of Pop-Art, Dadaism and Ready Made. She exhibited her artwork in Milan, Rome, Venice, London, Oxford, Paris and Manhattan. Chiara works as a reporter for online, print, radio and television and also as a film festival PR/publicist. As a bi-lingual journalist (English and Italian), who is also fluent in French and Spanish, she is a member of the Foreign Press Association in New York, the Women Film Critics Circle in New York, the Italian Association of Journalists in Milan and the Federation of Film Critics of Europe and the Mediterranean. Chiara is also a Professor of Phenomenology of Contemporary Arts at IED University in Milan.

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