CC Cinema: “The Cars In Your Life” (1960) – Starting To Have Mixed Feelings About Them

Len Peters (Canucknucklehead) sent me the link to this video, pointing out that there’s an interview with famed stylist Raymond Lowey. That was interesting, but not the most interesting part, at least to me. The scene of an aggressive used car salesman in action (2:30) was pretty amazing, as were the high-speed footage of traffic cops directing traffic in a sea of cars and trucks. And just what was their life expectancy?

The interview with New York’s “Super Planner” Robert Moses was a bit scary (” why not build freeways that run right through buildings, like the Empire State Building?”) but the one that follows, by an architect and planner for Washington D.C. was my favorite. He was clearly ahead of his time, pointing out that building more freeways and more lanes invariably has the effect of increasing the number of trips and just creating new congestion. It’s been proven that it’s impossible to stay ahead of that inevitability, and many cities have throttled back freeway building for that reason. And this guy (I couldn’t catch his name properly) was pointing it out very clearly in 1960.

Starting about 1958 or so, there was a growing backlash against the headlong rush to endlessly larger, lower, wider cars as well as the endless paving over of neighborhoods and rural areas. Of course it didn’t stop things, but this film clearly represents a growing unease of the impact of the car. And the environmental impact is hardly even touched upon.

If nothing else, you’ll like the traffic shots.