“There is a vogue of late involving filmmakers who use themselves as subjects. These films often don’t make the necessary, transcendent leap to be about something beyond the artist. Im happy to say that Larry Johnson’s wonderful new film Stuff is so resolutely and unflinchingly about himself that he bravely uncovers hard and basic truths that apply to all of us. Johnson is that rare filmmaker who uses the self to reach the Self.”
-Brian Lindstrom (Old Town Diaries, Finding Normal)
“Larry Johnson has made a very personal, touching and often funny film about his unresolved relationship with his dead father and the mysteries uncovered when he inherits box after box of his dads meticulously organized stuff. As we learn about Larry’s father, we begin to see that the film is as much about the filmmaker and his own foibles as it is about dad. A very brave, passionate, and creatively executed memoir that wrings recurrent and universal questions about childhood, family life and the experience of becoming a man from the recollections, emotions and detritus of very specific lives.”
-Jim Blashield (Suspicious Circumstances)
Lawrence Johnson’s beautifully plain-spoken Stuff explores the filmmakers relationship with his recently deceased father through the voluminous amount of ephemera collected by his parents over the decades; fearless about facing questions of mortality, faith and personal failings, the film was made as Johnson was drifting into homelessness.
-Stan Hall, The Oregonian
Larry Johnson’s film Stuff contains subjects, multitudes, so dear to my heart. How can we as unfathered men learn to father ourselves and others? What does being a man mean in a culture of discarded and dying notions of masculinity, with new notions still being born? Stuff asks these and related questions with wit and elegance, fierce transparency and artfulness, raw pain and unguarded heart. Who among you is not touched by the wounds of fathers and sons? We all are. See this film.
-Frederick Marx , filmmaker (Hoop Dreams)
“Astonishing candor… Deeply relatable…”
-Matthew Singer, Willamette Week
Hoarders meets Hamlet as documentarian Lawrence Johnson takes responsibility for his late father’s avalanche of personal effects. Storage facilities are filled to the brim with mysterious mementos, photos and bric-a-brac, just as the movie is packed with themes: memory, faith, misogyny … oh, and the institutionalized impoverishment that has led an entire generation to consider its downward mobility a personal “failure.” Yet the doc doesn’t press any one point too hard, a fine choice for a film that dares to ask how much crap you want to carry around with you. (5 Stars)
– Orlando Weekly