New animated Music Video

Uncle Plaster announces the release of a new animated music video featuring Buzz Holland, Dan Eccles and Rose Esposito. Buzz, writer and performer, longs to see “through a butterfly’s eyes.” And we can see how through a brief life of impermanence, of perpetual metamorphosis, the butterfly lives fully and beautifully. We humans are always trying to keep things the same, and in that process we tend to squelch the very things that make life worth living – the joys and experiences that that grow out of what changes, not what stays the same. Enjoy!

Butterfly with Buzz Holland, created by Uncle Plaster.

Native Wisdom film up for Best Documentary

We’re excited that our film Native Wisdom: The Peoples of Eastern Oregon has been nominated for best documentary at the 45th Annual American Indian Film Festival. Congratulations to the Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indians and the Confederated Tribes of Warm Springs. We worked closely the Tribes to develop these programs. We hope this film reflects the reality of the affects of climate on Native culture through the First Foods – salmon, game, roots and berries.

Elder Cecelia Bearchum digging roots, Confederated Tribes of the Umatilla Indians.

Thanks to co-producer Kunu Bearchum and co-director Tim Keenan Burgess for their great work.

Tim in Foreground shoots and Kunu talks to an interview subject in Pendleton.

Watch for the Blu-ray DVD which should be out soon.

Native Wisdom Docs to Show on OPB Plus

We’re pleased to announce that OPB Plus will be showing two documentaries I made with Executive Producer Rose High Bear of Wisdom of the Elders. Co-produced and co-directed by myself, Kunu Bearchum and Tim Keenan Burgess, the films show how Oregon Tribes are confronting climate change as it affects their culture. One of the films was featured at the Bend Film Festival and is up for Best Documentary at the American Indian Film Festival.

Lawrence Johnson and Rose High Bear shooting the Native Wisdom series on the Oregon coast.

The dates are:

Native Wisdom: The Peoples of Eastern Oregon — November 18 – 7pm and November 19 – 4 am

Native Wisdom: The Peoples of Western Oregon — November 25th – 7pm and November 26th – 4am

Skyline Territory

I’m happy to announce that we’ve released my new animated film celebrating the Skyline Tavern Project. Produced by Scott Ray Becker and Meg Thibodeaux, and directed by yours truly, the five and 1/2 minute piece celebrates the wild and wooly biology—both human and non-human—of the Skyline Tavern. Five months in the making, the film features my hand drawn animation, and the music of The Black Dogs of Skyline, led by Kris Stuart.

Skyline Territory

Sparrow’s Sayings

Sparrow X. Carter – Aphorist, essayist and prophet.

If you’ve spent any time on this site, you may have noticed in the sidebar to the right a feature called “Sparrow’s Proverbs.” I found out about this prophet of the modern world several decades ago. His musings still get me going. Aphorisms such as “You must open your eyes to cry” or “One noodle, long enough, is a meal”  or “The economy has no manners,” delight through their brevity, humor and truth. I located his contacts on Twitter and Facebook. He’s written some books, such as How to Survive the Coming Collapse of Civilization (and Other Helpful Hints) and Goodbye, Patriarchy.

His bio, characteristically brief,  reads: SPARROW plays flutophone in the underrated pop group Foamola, whose latest song is “I Seem to Have Lost My Can Opener.” He lives in the Catskill Mountains.

So watch for new proverbs now and again. Hopefully we’ll get through most of them before civilization finally does collapse.

Here’s his twitter info. @Sparrow14 and Facebook.

Sparrow: I hope its ok for me to publish your aphorisms.

Native Wisdom Premiere

On May 18, 2019, Wisdom of the Elders held the first public screening of two new one-hour films about Native Oregonians and climate change. Hosted by the Portland Art Museum/NW Film Center, over 200 people attended the screenings and stayed for energetic Q&As with the filmmakers. Here’s a trailer for the screening.  You can get dvd copies of the series from Wisdom of the Elders, Inc. Here’s a trailer:

Native Wisdom at OMSI

Getting excited about the upcoming showing of two films I directed for Wisdom of the Elders about Oregon Native People and how climate change is affecting traditional foods, Monday October 13th, 7-9pm at OMSI, 1945 SE Water Ave, Portland, Oregon 97214.

Coos and Coquille boatman try out a traditional canoe, Sunset Bay, Oregon.

Come on out and enjoy a look at Oregon’s Coastal and Interior Tribes and some of the great things their doing in habitat and species restoration to benefit all of us.  Here’s a link to the Facebook event.

Unveiling Uncle Plaster

Uncle Plaster.

We’ve started a new company called Uncle Plaster, specializing in Larry’s particular brand of 2D animation. Our latest is a segment of the web series My American Waistline, from Smash the Hive Productions.  The series comments on America’s obsession with weight and body image. The latest, called “Slings and Arrows #1”, takes a look at body shaming over coffee.

Larry drew the cartoon entirely with a Bic ball point pen, as though someone were sitting in a coffee shop sketching in a composition book.  “Every cartoon has to start with a concept, a visual approach that is appropriate to the story,” Larry says. “Without that you’re just doodling in the dark.

“Slings and Arrows #1” was drawn entirely with Bic ball point pens.

Research and drawings of the Hydra in “Slings and Arrows #1”.

Here’s a look at the final product.  Let us know what you think!  More at Uncle Plaster!

Native Film Festival

Climate and Native Wisdom

Larry w camera Barrow, AK

Lawrence Johnson on the Arctic Ocean

On Saturday, April 15th, Wisdom of the Elders, Inc. teamed up with Portland Art Museum/NW Film Center to present an afternoon of films tracking climate change and how it is affecting Native First Foods.  Lawrence Johnson has been working on these films since 2012. Wisdom’s executive director Rose High Bear and I traveled to Barrow and Anchorage, Alaska, to record elders and wisdom keepers about whaling, hunting and gathering practices. On Alaska’s coastline, villages are literally being washed into the sea because the shore-ice that normally protects the coast from erosion due to fall storms arrives later in the season.  We made two 30-minute films: Alaskan Native Wisdom: The People of the Whale and The People of the Caribou.

(l to r) Linda Nicholas-figueroa, Emily Wilson (Inupiat), Rose High Bear (Athabascan)

Linda Nicholas-Figueroa (Coordinator) and Rose High Bear (Executive Director) with Emily Wilson (Inupiat Elder)

We also premiered the two just-completed films we made about Oregon: Native Wisdom: The People pf the Oregon Coast and The People of Oregon’s Interior.  The films will be used to educate in schools and at community listening sessions around the Pacific Northwest. Find out more at Wisdom of the Elders, Inc.

Tom Younker (Coquille) interviewed by Rose Highbear

Coquille Elder Tom Younker interviewed by Rose High Bear overlooking South Slough, near Charleston, Oregon.

Out of the Shadows

Here’s a look at my new 13 minute video about mentoring prisoners in transition. America puts more people in prison than any other nation.  One out of every 100 U.S. citizens are behind bars.  When those folks get out, are they ready to be successful, or will they wind up back in prison because they are not prepared?  Mentors help prisoners adjust to life on the outside by acting as guides, as advisors, as friends. the film is sponsored by Mercy Corps Northwest and produced in a workshop by my organization HARRP (Highland Access, Reentry and Recovery Program).  Check it out!