¿ ART AND CRAFT
(Jennifer Grausman, Sam Cullman, Mark Becker (Co- Director), USA). 89 minutes. Rating: NNNN Jennifer Grausman and Sam Cullman’s maddeningly involving documentary tracks two obsessive men: Mark Landis, a delicate Southern soul who spends his days making near-perfect copies of European masterpieces and donating them to museums all over America, and Matt Leininger, a Cincinnati art authority who’s tracked Landis’s deceptions for years, to no avail. Because Landis never takes money for his phony art, he isn’t technically committing fraud; in addition, many institutions are loath to admit they’ve been had, allowing Landis to keep conning others.
What’s fascinating about Art And Craft is watching the filmmakers try to figure out which of their subjects is the story’s hero. Leininger has righteousness on his side, sure, but Landis – a former mental patient who self- medicates with red wine in a Milk of Magnesia bottle – is the very definition of a tortured artist.
By the end of the movie, you may find your sympathies similarly split. NW Apr 29, 9 pm, Scotiabank Theatre 3; Apr 30, 11: 59 pm, The Bloor Hot Docs Cinema; May 3, 4 pm, The Bloor Hot Docs Cinema; May 4, 11 am, The Revue.