Reflections on Art and Life
Manifesto is a strange yet captivating film. Because it is a mish-mash of many art and political manifestos recited in new contexts by the ever-inventive Cate Blanchett, there is no traditional unfolding plot. The mind of the viewer is then free to wander off on all tangents and create its own new meanings and connections.
Manifesto reminded me of an art installation by Christian Marclay, The Clock, which I have seen at the MoMA in New York a decade ago. In that one, the scenes from multiple movies featuring clocks were strung together in a 24-hour sequence, such that the time on the screen corresponded with the time in real life. Again, there was no plot to speak of but it was endlessly fascinating to watch as the brain kept looking for connections between the scenes where there were none.
To me, this genre of film is not so much about deriving some wisdom or understanding, or becoming convinced of one thing or another, but about having an intellectual experience. Try it if you feel stuck creatively or if you need a mental reset. And if you ever have a chance to see The Clock (it is a traveling museum installation), make every effort to go.