Art and Craft
Art forgers are in it for the money, right? Not always. The notorious master forger Mark Landis, the subject of a New Yorker profile last year and now Sam Cullman and Jennifer Grausman’s film, is in it for the attention—seemingly an oxymoron for an ostensibly stealthy enterprise. A lonely, elderly eccentric, Landis “donates” his forgeries to unsuspecting American museums, which in return furnish him with a patron’s VIP status and welcome. It’s astonishing that Landis would acquiesce to being filmed in the act of creating fakes and then duping their recipients, but he appears to be a complex and uncommon subject.
This film by Jody Lee Lipes, also known as Lena Dunham’s favored cinematographer, shadows the wunderkind choreographer Justin Peck as he works to create the New York City Ballet’s 422nd original piece, the only one of the season. The bunhead world might seem ripe for high camp dripping with deceit and schadenfreude, but Lipes forgoes a sensationalistic accounting for a quieter celebration of skill and hard work. Not that the film is without drama—even the audience will feel Peck’s opening-night jitters.
Dior and I
It’s easy to forget that before his first couture collection at Dior, in 2012, was universally praised by critics, Raf Simons was a dark horse for the job that John Galliano was forced to abdicate. Using archival footage and the recorded voice of Christian Dior, Frederic Tcheng’s behind-the-scenes documentary gives historical context to the making of Simons’ first collection and captures the designer laboring against the unbelievably high stakes that come with following in Dior’s footsteps.
The photographer and video artist Stan Douglas usually travels back to the past via the period’s cinema, literature, or music—he’s turned the filming of a monumental jam session into a six-hour epic on jazz and its origin politics and poetics—but he is taking a more direct route this time. With Circa 1948, which is part of TFF’s experimental Storyscapes section, the Canadian artist has made an app that recreates a bygone Vancouver. Yes, the details are meticulously researched, and the 3-D architecture is historically faithful, but Douglas understands that history lies inert without a savvy tour guide. Which is why you’re led down each vanished street by the voices of the people who walked them a thousand times: the era’s vagrants, gamblers, prostitutes, and even cops.