I like t-shirts. More specifically I really enjoy The Names Brand. A sample:


Yes, that is the cast of The Cosby Show. These shirts are ridiculous, and completely live or die upon easily missed referents to popular media. But even that is a little too obvious for me, so I made a shirt in that style with the names of the five Cahiers filmmakers of the French New wave.  So why do I find it so appealing? What is it about obscuritanism that is so much fun?

This I think is much the essence of things I find interesting today. It’s somehow a holdover from the abject nerdom of my youth, I like things that people don’t know about. In 1997 it was weird Japanese animation and Hong Kong action flicks, today it is art cinema, world music and indie rock. There is certainly some fun in feeling like you are the only person that knows about something exciting, but that also goes against the inherent desire in the mind of the fan, that everyone should love this. I would love it if every new Jia Zhang Ke film were a major media event, even if that will never be the case. But then in a perverse way would that make the films less fun? Is it the mind of the fan for niche works that inherently limits their possible exposure?

So meanwhile I sit here and wait on my New German Cinema director shirt. It’ll be here next week.