Art and Craft 3.0 stars

Art and Craft movie poster

Ordinarily, you might be right in thinking that a documentary about a clever forger who gets his own gallery retrospective would make for the worst sort of art-world inside baseball. (His brilliant masterstroke for avoiding prosecution: he donates all of his work instead of selling it.) But superforger Mark Landis is not your ordinary artist-provocateur, out to make us reassess our notions of what qualifies as art and/or what makes a work significant. Instead, he's more of an ordinary artist, full stop: an inward, awkward soul who craves an audience and maybe a kind word. Directors Sam Cullman, Jennifer Grausman, and Mark Becker take a low-key approach that proves less gentle than it initially appears. In the story they're telling, Landis has already been exposed, thanks in part to Matt Leininger, a Midwestern curator and registrar who simply cannot abide his fakery. Gradually, the hunter and his prey are drawn together in both geography and character, until crusading hero and mischievous genius are shown for what they are: people in the grip of a curious devotion, working it out as best they can. Wonderful and not a little sad. 2014.

Matthew Lickona

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