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Cate Blanchett is Everything/Everyone in ‘Manifesto’

Project takes on "13 distinct, charismatic yet generic" characters

Cate Blanchett becomes art imitating people imitating artists in Julian Rosefeldt’s “Manifesto,” a feature film based on what started as an art installation nearly three years ago. The installation featured random characters quoting artists and philosophers, which Rosefeldt captured on video for German television to fund the project, he tells Paula Schwartz in Moviemaker.

 The movie version evolved with Blanchett playing 13 characters—e.g., school teacher, puppeteer, factory worker and homeless man—quoting the likes of Claes Oldenburg, Yvonne Rainer, Kazimir Malevich, André Breton, Sturtevant, Sol LeWitt, Jim Jarmusch and others.

 “A major challenge for Rosefeldt’s team was that they only had 11 days to shoot with her, all in Berlin and its environs,” Schwartz writes. “Sometimes, for organizational reasons, they covered two roles in a day, which meant additional costumes and makeup changes for the star.”

 The film opens in select cities May 26.