On screen, they are larger than life.
Hollywood stars seduce us with their glamor. They become the vehicles of our dreams and desires. We rarely imagine them as ordinary people. And so, when we see a Hollywood star posing with family members—mortals like you and me—it comes as something of a shock.
But after a short pause, we realign our thoughts and experience a new tenderness towards the shadow on the screen. We delight in learning that those in whom we have invested so much of ourselves have ordinary mothers, just like us. Which makes identification with beloved Hollywood stars even more meaningful. It’s a delicious paradox: They are just like us — but not really. Thus, perhaps we can be just like them.
America has long had a love affair with the automobile. Cars are the ultimate expression of form, function, fashion—and speed.
But most of all the car represents freedom.
Try and remember when you were a teenager yearning for your driver’s license so you could hop into daddy’s car and go, go, go. It didn’t matter where, you just wanted to burn rubber and escape into the far horizon.
The brilliant, exhilirating and touching American Grafitti, 1973, is the ultimate expression of American car culture. Almost every single scene takes place in a car.
Los Angeles was the first America city built to accomodate the automobile. And the movie stars of Hollywood’s Golden Age, most born dirt-poor, expressed delight in their sudden prosperity and fame by purchasing and posing with their dream machines.