“A well-rounded and compassionate portrait of an outsider with some degree of misdiagnosed mental illness, Art and Craft is an engrossing document of immense talents gone sideways. Art forger Mark Landis has a level of craft and mimicry that is unparalleled, which goes beyond copying. But its meticulous fastidiousness seems rooted in a mania he cannot control. Soft-spoken and shy, it’s clear Landis has no malicious intent, but he’s nevertheless a massive stain on the reputation of the art world that many want to blot out.
“The documentary’s coup de grace is capturing an exhibit dedicated to Landis’ forgeries, one meant to further ferret out Landis’ imitation, raise awareness of art fraudulence and celebrate his talents (as complex a motivation for an art show as there possibly has ever been). Landis meets his nemesis Leininger, and even the preoccupied man is forced to recognize he’s dealing with an emotionally multifaceted individual, far from possessing unscrupulous traits, and who could probably use some kind of psychological help, too.
“What emerges here is perhaps the key to the documentary and the psychology behind Landis’ actions: the need to be accepted, the desire to fit in and the longing to belong to a community he so greatly admires. Straightforwardly shot and sensitive of its subject, Art And Craft is a intriguing depiction of counterfeit impulses (both wrongly perceived and irrepressible), immense talent gone awry and what lies behind the desire to create.” — from Rodrigo Perez‘s 4.30.14 Tribeca Film Festival review.