Art and Craft is a documentary about Mark Landis, the most prolific forger in the art community. We take a peek in to Landis’ life and what he does… and why he does it. It starts out as a straight forward catch-the-bad-guy type of movie, but quickly take a turn for the heart felt and personal. All the players involved in the narrative of this film are superbly complex and committed. The film is directed by a trio; Sam Cullman, Jennifer Grausman, and Mark Becker.
The good; the story. It’s what drives the film, with the simple question of “why?” we get this treat. What compels Landis to continue forging art and why hasn’t he been prosecuted? Those are the queries that bring you in, but you stay for the characters and how the story unfolds.
The trailer had be from go, saw it in the theatre and immediately looked up when I would be able to catch this travel gem of a film.
The bad; there were a lot of close ups in the coverage of Landism in particular when he’s working on a new piece. Makes me wonder why the shots were so so close and not on his craft, a lot were just on a portion of his face. I would’ve liked to have seen more of the artistry.
The film also focuses on Matthew Leininger, the registrar who discovered the 30-year old con. I wanted more from Matt’s side, but this is more of a criticism on the institution than the film, if someone in your employ sees a wrong being committed, why would you want him not to warn other institutions?
Overall, I had a blast watching Art and Craft. I was also fortunate enough to attend a screening with a Q&A from Jennnifer Grausman. I felt that the Q&A with her was a more appropriate ending than the one the film presented, she mentioned that the theatrical ending wasn’t the ending they originally had… always makes you wonder what ends up on the cutting room floor.
I love how personal this film actually is, and that the cat and mouse caper like quality of the film’s first act is akin to that of Jean Valjean and Javert.
You can learn more about this film here. Do yourself a favor and see this film if it’s playing at a theatre near you.