According to Merriam-Webster, a manifesto is "a written statement declaring publicly the intentions, motives, or views of its issuer." Inspired by this concept, artist and filmmaker Julian Rosefeldt drew from the most recognizable art and political manifestoes of the 20th and 21st century—think Karl Marx, Wassily Kandinsky, Sol LeWitt, even Lars von Trier—and assigned them 13 distinctly different personas, all portrayed by Cate Blanchett in Manifesto. From a funerary eulogist spouting the tenets of Dadaism to a housewife praying to pop art at the dinner table, each role in the film comprises a different movement. Just don't call them characters. "They’re more archetypes or stereotypes because each one of them has a short moment to exist," Rosefeldt tells HarpersBAZAAR.com. "They're almost caricatures... like acting school examinations."
But make no mistake; Manifesto isn't amateur hour. Within just 11 days of filming, Blanchett managed to fully occupy and own each role, transforming herself from a homeless man into a CEO, a scientist into a ballet instructor, a creepy puppeteer into an angry punk.
In the below clip, exclusive to BAZAAR.com, Blanchett plays a schoolteacher assigning her students a project using the words of Jim Jarmusch: "Class? Is everyone listening? Now, nothing is original." The scene appears in the movie's epilogue. “The children will have to bear with whatever we create, whatever we make in this world," says Rosefeldt. "They’re at the end because they’re carrying it off, for good or for bad."