Steven Soderbergh Makes Obscure Film T-Shirts Now

May 23, 2013 | Marina Galperina

With Steven Soderbergh’s quickly impeding retirement, the director is making new career moves — more producing mostly, but also… T-SHIRTS, T-SHIRTS, come and get your OBSCURE-FILM-REFERENCING T-SHIRTS!

Basically, he’s cleaning out his closet and auctioning off memorabilia, slates, scripts with notes, film festival badges, etc., at Extension 765. But also OBSCURE-FILM-REFERENCING T-SHIRTS! Have you ever seen the ’40s film noir Laura by Otto Preminger? Soderbergh has.

When they were being designed, I would test them out by wearing them to the set to see if people knew the movie references. There was this one Black Pony Scotch shirt. That’s a very, very obscure reference from a famous film noir from the 1940s where there is a five-second pan across a table and you see this bottle of Black Pony Scotch.

Mmmyes, of course, Laura, yes.

Here’s an easier one. KANE. That’s half the title right there.

The designs are pretty unassuming with the usual misc-bro font trimmings and “vintage” insignia, so they’re not aggressively hip or anything. But you can drop some serious cinephile panty with a few of these numbers, like the “18 LU 13” shirt with its rounded, uneven lettering in sleek monochrome. It’s also an edgy reference to the license plate number on the 1971 Lincoln Mk III used to smuggle heroin in The French Connection… Are you hot yet?

Ha-ha, because I totally Googled that.

Even the name of the store/production company — “extension 765” — is a reference to The Conversation. You have fun with that, Steve.