Stuff is an experimental short film (cc. 12 minutes) recorded at John’s old house sometime late in 1992, by actor Johnny Depp and Butthole Surfers’ frontman Gibson “Gibby” Haines. It is Depp’s debut behind the camera.
In this short shuffle through a home of a musician that’d recently withdrawn from the public eye, camera is wandering around, capturing odd graffiti written in red on the walls, such as “Kill pigs by letting them become shits peanuts” or “My eye hurts”, finished and half-finished paintings and painting equipment, guitars and amps, blood stains in the bathroom, scattered bottles and pieces of writing on the living room floor. The 1960s’ drug advocate Timothy Leary is sitting in the same room as the protagonist who’s starring at the light from the outside, and then, lying down on the couch, is reciting a poem over Untitled #2.
The film was once shown on Dutch TV channel Vpro,right after an interview Bram Van Spluteren conduced with John in 1994 (formerly known as Vpro1994, now a part of the acclaimed documentary A Dutch Connection), and John himself is actually announcing the film. This is also the reason that the version found online has Dutch subtitles. The film was also used as a part of the promotional kit for Niandra LaDes And Usually Just A T-Shirt and it was given out on a VHS.
The rest of credits can be seen at the film’s end.
Running Away Into You
Untitled #2 [with a poem spoken over it] Untitled #3
Hallelujah (John Cale version, otherwise written and commonly performed by Leonard Cohen)
Well, Gibby’s been my friend for a while and he brought Johnny Depp over here one night when I was still in a period of intense concentration on painting and he made the mistake of sitting down next to me and he told me that this jar of paint I had was dead because the upper layer of it had hardened. So when he said, “This paint is dead,” I took a big gob of paint in my hand and threw it at him. But even though I was bothered by him like that, the whole thing was taken in good humour. And even though I knew he was in my house, he actually sat beside me for a half hour without me realizing it. And no one can sit next to me when I paint, but his vibe wasn’t getting in my way, so I realized he was a very cool person. And the three of us stayed up all night listening to my music and they really liked it. They sort of forced me to put the music out.
But they were really tripped out by the way my house looked, because it had paint everywhere. So they wanted to film it. And unlike most people who have ideas in the middle of an all night session, they actually came back three days later with a camera crew and they filmed it and edited it. And it turned out to be a cool little film. But me and my girlfriend are going to make films of our own to go with the music, something for MTV and for release on videotape.
John, about the film in 1995 [source]
(looking for a reliable HTML5 player – soon)