Generally cheap, comfortable, and disposable, the humble T-shirt has been a part of American life since World War I, when doughboys brought them back from France. For decades, they were strictly undergarments, rarely worn exposed in public. But, according to Jane and Michael Stern’s The Encyclopedia Of Bad Taste, T-shirts came out of hiding during the 1960s and became a common medium of personal expression, thanks to the ascendance of both pop art and in-your-face social activism. Suddenly, T-shirts with funny slogans, eye-catching designs, and advertising messages were everywhere. And thank goodness for that. Otherwise, the world would have been denied some of the most awesome (and awesomely tacky) T-shirts in movie history. Back in 2013, Brett Roberts and Travis Greenwood curated a five-minute supercut of cinema’s greatest tees. Now, Roberts and Greenwood have teamed with Robert Jones to create a four-minute sequel, this time set to “Disco Inferno” by The Trammps. The song, like the shirt, is perfect for the hot weather months.
A complete listing of the shirts showcased in this video can be found here. Greenwood’s description of the video promises that it contains “a messy multitude of shared and overlapping thematic threads.” One such thread this time around is a shirt bearing the image of Japanese baseball star Kaoru Betto. This legendary garment has been worn by Jeff Bridges in at least three films so far: Cold Feet, The Fisher King, and The Big Lebowski. Another important motif in the new supercut is the screen career of Michael Cera. Wherever Cera goes, from Juno to Superbad to Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, T-shirts are sure to follow. But Cera is not the only screen star showcased here. Robert Downey Jr., Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jeff Goldblum, and others are all shown wearing their sleeve-free finest. Sometimes, that makes for poignant moments. Bill Murray is shown wearing a Willie Nelson shirt in 1979’s Meatballs. This cuts to a shot of Murray in a Team Zissou shirt in 2004’s The Life Aquatic. A quarter of a century has passed in the blink of an eye, and T-shirts were there for it all.
[via Laughing Squid]