The film is definitely very avant garde. The monologues are interesting, but there is little to no connection between them. Those who are unwilling to go outside of traditional narrative bounds absolutely need to stay away from this film. They cut back and forth between the characters a bit too much for my taste, but that is the only issue with the experimental style of the film that I am going to say. That is because I accept this film for what it is: an art piece.
The film has a message to say regarding the presence of art, and it is delivered well. What that message is is left up to the viewer, though. The monologues are quite diverse and present many different perspectives. Some are hilarious, some are metaphorical, and some are extremely "meta". All are used brilliantly. I think that Cate Blanchett was the perfect actress for these roles. She shows so much range and is willing to undergo so many transformations, and delivers each one in a believable, unique way.
The visuals of the film are also beautiful, making this film more than just a series of manifestos that are read aloud. The director manifests the themes of the film through the set design and choice of the characters that are shown onscreen. The makeup and costuming that are used to transform Blanchett are phenomenal, surprising me with how far into character she was able to go. The score, when there, is amazing. When absent, there is a reason for it to be absent. In this film, there seems to be a reason for everything.
Overall, I really loved "Manifesto". I found it to be an interesting, well-made experimental film. However, this film is definitely not for everyone. The plot is not cohesive, but that is on purpose... It is an avant garde film!
Big Tuna's Rating: A-
How Did I Watch It?: In theaters at a film festival.
Had I Seen It Before?: No.
Would I Watch It Again?: Yes.