Art and Craft

Studio: Oscilloscope
Directed by Sam Cullman, Mark Becker, and Jennifer Grausman

Sep 15, 2014 Issue #51 - September/October 2014 - alt-J
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To be completely reductive, Art and Craft, a documentary about art forger Mark Landis, is like Crumb meets F for Fake meets Zodiac. It’s more like the first and the last of these than the one in the middle, which ostensibly it should most resemble. But directors Sam Cullman, Mark Becker, and Jennifer Grausman wisely sidestep studying “authenticity” like Orson Welles’ iconic film and instead examine the obsession with it, like Who The #$&% Is Jackson Pollock?

It isn’t said explicitly, but Mark, soft spoken and diagnosed with schizophrenia, allows his copies to be the manifestation of his issues. Not demons, just issues.

Landis doesn’t look like an art forger, Matthew Leininger, the man “after” Landis, doesn’t look like an art museum registrar, and yet they fall into one another’s lives almost serendipitously. Given that Landis donates the forgeries, it’s hard to hold much against the man. Art and Craft is able to stunningly engender sympathy and fascination, almost as if by surprise. It’s an impressive film about quiet desperation and obsession.

www.artandcraftfilm.com

Author rating: 7.5/10

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