¿ ART AND CRAFT

NOW Magazine - Hot Docs - - Reviews -

(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.

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