Manifesto (1989)

R | 96 mins | Comedy, Romance | 27 January 1989

Director:

Dušan Makavejev

Cinematographer:

Tomislav Pinter

Editor:

Tony Lawson

Production Designer:

Veljko Despotović

Production Company:

Cannon International
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HISTORY

The film begins with the following title card: “1920 Central Europe: After the fall of great Empires new governments appeared, taking themselves very seriously. Life became hard for revolutionaries. However, ice-cream was sold and enjoyed as if nothing had changed.”
       HR and Var production charts of 22 Sep 1987 and 9 Oct 1987 indicate that principal photography began 28 Sep 1987 under the working title, For a Night of Love. Writer-director Dušan Makavejev borrowed the title from the 1883 Emile Zola story that inspired his screenplay. According to production notes, filming took place in the Slovenian town of Škofja Loka. The fourteenth-century Capuchin Bridge served as the location for “Christopher’s” fatal fall.
       The picture received a “sneak screening” on 20 May 1988 at the Cannes Film Festival. By that time, the title had been changed to Manifesto. A 1 Jun 1988 Var review commended the film’s “picture-postcard” location, the fine performances, and Makavejev’s “charming” riff on sex and revolution. Helga Stephenson’s review in the Sep 1988 Toronto Festival of Festivals program book echoed many of the sentiments stated in Var. Four months later, the picture opened on 27 Jan 1989 for an exclusive run at the Cineplex Beverly Center in Los Angeles, CA. HR noted in its 26 Jan 1989 review that Manifesto had the potential to be an art-house success, but only if the Cannon Group marketed it with “special care and attention.”
       The film concludes with animated portraits of the key characters in the film. The whimsical images are accompanied by the appropriate cast credit. These credits are presented ... More Less

The film begins with the following title card: “1920 Central Europe: After the fall of great Empires new governments appeared, taking themselves very seriously. Life became hard for revolutionaries. However, ice-cream was sold and enjoyed as if nothing had changed.”
       HR and Var production charts of 22 Sep 1987 and 9 Oct 1987 indicate that principal photography began 28 Sep 1987 under the working title, For a Night of Love. Writer-director Dušan Makavejev borrowed the title from the 1883 Emile Zola story that inspired his screenplay. According to production notes, filming took place in the Slovenian town of Škofja Loka. The fourteenth-century Capuchin Bridge served as the location for “Christopher’s” fatal fall.
       The picture received a “sneak screening” on 20 May 1988 at the Cannes Film Festival. By that time, the title had been changed to Manifesto. A 1 Jun 1988 Var review commended the film’s “picture-postcard” location, the fine performances, and Makavejev’s “charming” riff on sex and revolution. Helga Stephenson’s review in the Sep 1988 Toronto Festival of Festivals program book echoed many of the sentiments stated in Var. Four months later, the picture opened on 27 Jan 1989 for an exclusive run at the Cineplex Beverly Center in Los Angeles, CA. HR noted in its 26 Jan 1989 review that Manifesto had the potential to be an art-house success, but only if the Cannon Group marketed it with “special care and attention.”
       The film concludes with animated portraits of the key characters in the film. The whimsical images are accompanied by the appropriate cast credit. These credits are presented in a slightly different order from opening credits. A full cast list appears as the credit scroll begins.
       End credits include the following acknowledgments: “Special thanks to: Ivan Passer; Branko Vučićević; Rajko Grlić; the people and town of Škofja Loka.”
       End credits indicate that the film was: “Produced in Yugoslavia with the co-operation of Jadran Film, Zagreb.” More Less

GEOGRAPHIC LOCATIONS
SOURCE CITATIONS
SOURCE
DATE
PAGE
Box Office
Feb 1989.
---
Hollywood Reporter
22 Sep 1987.
---
Hollywood Reporter
26 Jan 1989
p. 10, 12.
Los Angeles Times
27 Jan 1989
p. 1.
Variety
9 Oct 1987.
---
Variety
1 Jun 1988
p. 12.
CAST
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT

PRODUCTION CREDITS
NAME
PARENT COMPANY
PRODUCTION COMPANY
PRODUCTION TEXTS
The Cannon Group, Inc. presents
a Golan-Globus production
of a Dušan Makavejev film
DISTRIBUTION COMPANY
NAME
CREDITED AS
CREDIT
DIRECTORS
Prod mgr
Prod mgr
1st asst dir
2d asst dir
2d asst dir
PRODUCERS
Assoc prod
Exec prod
Exec prod
WRITER
PHOTOGRAPHY
Dir of photog
Focus puller
Clapper/Loader
Gaffer
Key grip
Crane op
Stills photog
Spec photog
Panavision equip
Prod processing
ART DIRECTORS
Art dir
Asst art dir
Draftsman
FILM EDITORS
Post prod supv
1st asst ed
2d asst ed
Asst ed (Yugoslavia)
SET DECORATORS
Set dresser
Prop master
Stand-by propman
Propman
COSTUMES
Cost des
Ward master
Ward mistress
Tailor
MUSIC
Mus comp and cond
Mus rec at
Mus asst
Mus asst
SOUND
Sd mixer
Boom op
Dubbing ed
Dial ed
Asst sd ed
Asst sd ed
Dubbing mixer
Asst dubbing mixer
VISUAL EFFECTS
Spec eff
Spec eff
MAKEUP
Chief makeup artist
Asst makeup artist
Supv hairdresser
Hairdresser
PRODUCTION MISC
Exec in charge of prod
Prod supv
Scr supv
Dial coach
Casting
Loc mgr
Loc mgr
Crowd coord
Prod coord
Prod secy
Prod accountant
Asst accountant
Cashier
Prod asst
London contact
Insurance
STAND INS
Stunt coord
ANIMATION
Title graphics & anim
COLOR PERSONNEL
SOURCES
LITERARY
Screenplay inspired by the Emile Zola story "For a Night of Love" in Her Two Husbands, and Other Novelettes (Philadelphia, 1883).
AUTHOR
SONGS
"Why Stars Come Out At Night," by Ray Noble, performed by Camilla Søeberg
"I'd Give A Million Tomorrows," by Jerry Livingston & Milton Berle, performed by Nick Curtis.
DETAILS
Alternate Title:
For a Night of Love
Release Date:
27 January 1989
Premiere Information:
Cannes Film Festival sneak screening: 20 May 1988
Los Angeles opening: 27 January 1989
Production Date:
began 28 September 1987 in Škofja Loka, Slovenia
Physical Properties:
Sound
Color
Duration(in mins):
96
MPAA Rating:
R
Countries:
United Kingdom, Yugoslavia, United States
Language:
English
PCA No:
29102
Passed by NBR:
No
SYNOPSIS

In 1920, a train traverses Central Europe en route to the small town of Waldheim. Special inspector Avanti introduces himself to fellow passenger Svetlana Vargas, unaware that the young woman carries a pistol in her garter belt. She offers him chocolates, sings a melody, and asks if he likes her lace stockings. Avanti is enchanted. When the train arrives in Waldheim, Avanti discretely acknowledges local police chief, Otto Hunt, and suggests they speak later. Christopher, the postman, alerts Hunt to the delivery of the king’s portrait, causing Hunt to fret about the impending royal visit. Svetlana takes a car into town, delighted to see her former schoolteacher, Lily Sacher, walking through the streets with a group of schoolchildren. Nearby, the physical education instructor, Rudi Kugelhopf, blows a whistle and encourages boys to exercise. Police chief Hunt declares that Rudi is disturbing the peace, and arrests him. Rudi and Svetlana exchange a meaningful glance as he is led away. That night, Stella Vargas advises her daughter, Svetlana, to take advantage of the king’s visit and find a husband among the royal entourage, but the girl insists she will only marry for love. The sound of flute music draws Svetlana to her balcony. Across the street, Christopher puts down the instrument and gazes longingly at the young woman, who slips off her dress and retreats to her room. There, she takes a bath and fends off the advances of Emile, the family servant. She alternately protests and kisses him, before having sex with him. Later, Svetlana warns Emile that their trysts must end. The next morning, the town bustles with activity. At the post office, Avanti buys stamps, while Hunt demands ... +


In 1920, a train traverses Central Europe en route to the small town of Waldheim. Special inspector Avanti introduces himself to fellow passenger Svetlana Vargas, unaware that the young woman carries a pistol in her garter belt. She offers him chocolates, sings a melody, and asks if he likes her lace stockings. Avanti is enchanted. When the train arrives in Waldheim, Avanti discretely acknowledges local police chief, Otto Hunt, and suggests they speak later. Christopher, the postman, alerts Hunt to the delivery of the king’s portrait, causing Hunt to fret about the impending royal visit. Svetlana takes a car into town, delighted to see her former schoolteacher, Lily Sacher, walking through the streets with a group of schoolchildren. Nearby, the physical education instructor, Rudi Kugelhopf, blows a whistle and encourages boys to exercise. Police chief Hunt declares that Rudi is disturbing the peace, and arrests him. Rudi and Svetlana exchange a meaningful glance as he is led away. That night, Stella Vargas advises her daughter, Svetlana, to take advantage of the king’s visit and find a husband among the royal entourage, but the girl insists she will only marry for love. The sound of flute music draws Svetlana to her balcony. Across the street, Christopher puts down the instrument and gazes longingly at the young woman, who slips off her dress and retreats to her room. There, she takes a bath and fends off the advances of Emile, the family servant. She alternately protests and kisses him, before having sex with him. Later, Svetlana warns Emile that their trysts must end. The next morning, the town bustles with activity. At the post office, Avanti buys stamps, while Hunt demands to see Rudi Kugelhopf’s mail. Christopher assures the policeman that nothing of interest has arrived for delivery. However, he later hides a letter in a desk drawer. Meanwhile, Svetlana goes to the stables and flirts with the stable boy, Martin. Emile witnesses the encounter, dismisses Martin, and seduces Svetlana into having sex with him. Afterward, she rides into town. Avanti observes her go into a bakery, unaware that she is delivering her pistol to the baker. He initiates a conversation with Tina, a teenage girl selling ice cream. However, Hunt interrupts the flirtation, reminding Avanti of their appointment at the sanitarium, where Rudi Kugelhopf is being held. Doctors force Rudi to run on a treadwheel, to no avail. He refuses to renounce his radical beliefs. Elsewhere in Waldheim, Svetlana whispers a coded message to a nun, and the baker bakes the pistol into a loaf of bread. Christopher opens the letter addressed to Rudi and learns that the teacher has been selected as the assassin in a scheme coordinated by Svetlana. The next day, while everyone prepares for the king’s arrival, Avanti entices Tina to accompany him into the forest. The underage girl allows him to seduce her, but before things go too far, they are discovered by Lily Sacher. The schoolmarm ties Avanti with a rope and leads him back to where the crowd has gathered to greet the king. She then attempts to incriminate Avanti by describing his lewd behavior, but the king merely laughs. Meanwhile, Svetlana, dressed as a nun, delivers a loaf of bread to the incarcerated Rudi. They profess their love for each other and vow to kill “the tyrant.” A short while later, the king’s entourage arrives to inspect the sanitarium. Doctors present Lily, who will not cease her tirade against Avanti, as a candidate for hydrotherapy. The king takes a turn hosing her with cold water, before meeting Rudi, whom doctors describe as “very dangerous.” The physical education teacher reaches into the loaf of bread for the pistol, but decides not shoot the king. That night, Stella Vargas throws a party. Svetlana is stunned when Avanti instructs them to prepare for the king’s arrival. Realizing that Rudi did not go through with the assassination, she asks Martin to fetch a gun and bring it to her room. Emile follows her, intent on seducing her again. Svetlana wrestles him, and he falls backward, striking his head against the fireplace. As she rolls his dead body in a rug, Hunt and Avanti burst in, insisting that the king use the balcony to wave at bystanders. No one notices the rolled up rug in the middle of the room. After the king leaves, an emboldened Christopher climbs up the balcony to Svetlana’s room. He shows her a packet of love letters he intended to send to her and reveals that he knows about her and Rudi’s assassination plot. Svetlana pushes him onto the bed, and they make love. Afterward, she shows him Emile’s body, and he agrees to dispose of it. Meanwhile, Avanti lures Stella Vargas to the garden, plying her with champagne and confections. They have sex against a stone balustrade, much to the amusement of nearby partygoers. At the sanitarium, Lily frees her comrade Rudi, but admonishes him when she realizes he did not kill the king. In a rush to leave, she knocks over a jar of flammable chemicals. As the room burns, Rudi jogs on the treadwheel and declares, “His heart is on fire!” Christopher carries Emile’s body to a bridge over the local river. However, he loses his balance trying to toss Emile off the bridge, and plummets to his death. In the morning, Hunt and Avanti find the two men in a stiff embrace at river’s edge. Later, Avanti and Svetlana depart Waldheim together. As the train gathers steam, they kiss passionately. However, the moment is short-lived. Lily raps on their compartment window, smiling maniacally and waving a gun. +

Legend
Viewed by AFI
Partially Viewed
Offscreen Credit
Name Occurs Before Title
AFI Life Achievement Award

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