(USA / 2014 / Directed by Sam Cullman, Jennifer Grausman, & Mark Becker)
Unrated / 89 mins.
Mark Landis has been called one of the most prolific art forgers in US history. His impressive body of work spans thirty years, covering multiple styles and periods. And while the copies could fetch impressive sums on the open market, Landis isn’t in it for money, but instead donates his fakes to museums across the country.
When Matthew Leininger, a tenacious registrar in Cincinnati, discovers the ruse and organizes an exhibition of the work, Landis must confront his legacy and a chorus of museum professionals clamoring for him to stop. However, it’s not so clear that he can. Landis is a diagnosed schizophrenic whose elaborate con is also a means to cultivate connection and respect – feeding what he now understands as an outright “addiction to philanthropy.” ART AND CRAFT starts out as an art caper, rooted in questions of authorship and authenticity. What emerges is an unflinching exploration of life with mental illness and the universal need for community, appreciation, and purpose. (C) Oscilloscope.