NYC-Arts visits the Museum of Modern Art’s exhibition, “Automania,” which takes its name from a 1963 Oscar-nominated animated film called “Automania 2000.” The film sets the tone for the exhibition as not simply a love letter to these rolling sculptures, but as an exploration of how the car has shaped our society for better or for worse.

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> GOOD EVENING, AND WELCOME TO 'NYC ARTS.'

I'M PAULA ZAHN.

ON TONIGHT'S PROGRAM WE'LL LOOK AT SOME LARGE-SCALE WORKS OF ART THAT YOU WON'T TYPICALLY FIND IN A MUSEUM.

CARS.

NOT JUST ANY CARS, BUT SOME OF THE MOST INFLUENTIAL AND INNOVATIVE MOTOR VEHICLES OF THE 20th CENTURY.

THAT'S THE HOOK FOR MOMA'S NEW EXHIBITION, AUTOMANIA.

THE SHOW TAKES ITS NAME FROM AUTOMANIA 2000, AN OSCAR-NOMINATED ANIMATED FILM FROM 1963.

THE FILM SETS THE TONE FOR THE EXHIBITION, AS NOT SIMPLY A LOVE LETTER TO THESE ROLLING SCULPTURES, BUT AS AN EXPLORATION OF HOW THE CAR HAS SHAPED OUR SOCIETY FOR BETTER OR WORSE.

DON'T WAIT TOO LONG TO VISIT, ALTHOUGH YOU CAN ENJOY THE EXHIBITION INTO THE NEW YEAR, THIS SELECTION OF CARS IN MOMA'S SCULPTURE GARDEN WILL ONLY BE ON VIEW THROUGH OCTOBER 10th.

WHAT MAKES AN AUTOMOBILE A WORK OF ART?

THIS IS A QUESTION THAT WAS POSED IN 1951, AND THE FIRST CAR EXHIBITION AT AN ART MUSEUM WHICH WAS HERE AT MOMA, AN EXHIBITION CALLED EIGHT AUTOMOBILES, WHICH LOOKED AS CARS AS ESSENTIALLY SCULPTURAL FORMS.

THE CURATOR OF THE SHOW REFERRED TO THEM AS HOLLOW ROLLING SCULPTURE.

SO THE MUSEUM HAS LONG HAD A HISTORY OF TRYING TO ENGAGE MODERN DESIGN AND THE PUBLIC IN A VERY KIND OF CRITICAL, THOUGHT-PROVOKING MANNER.

FOR CARS IT'S THE GREATEST EXAMPLE OF THAT.

IT'S A SCULPTURE, IT'S INDUSTRY, IT'S ENGINEERING, ALL OF THESE THINGS WRAPPED INTO ONE.

THE EXHIBITION TAKES ITS NAME FROM A 1963 BRITISH ANIMATED FILM CALLED 'AUTOMANIA 2000.'

AND IT USES SATIRE TO EXAMINE CONSUMER CULTURE, MASS PRODUCTION AND CAR FANATICS.

THE FILM CENTERS AROUND A SCIENTIST FIGURE WHO CAN SOLVE EVERY PROBLEM, MEET EVERY MARKETING NEED AND LOSES CONTROL OF HIS CREATION AND PRETTY SOON YOU SEE CARS BURYING THE WORLD, COVERING THE EMPIRE STATE BUILDING AND U.S. CAPITOL.

THERE'S EVEN DRONE DELIVERY OF FOOD.

AND THE END OF THE WORLD IS DESTROYED BY CARS.

I THINK YOU CAN'T REALLY SUSTAIN A GOOD CRITIQUE OF CAR CULTURE UNLESS YOU FIRST REALLY SHOW US WHY CARS ARE SO SEDUCTIVE.

THEY HAVE A MAGNETIC POWER.

AND I THINK GREAT ART DOES THAT.

THE JAGUAR E-TYPE FROM 1963 IS OFTEN WHAT HOOKS PEOPLE WHEN THEY COME INTO THIS GALLERY.

IT'S A CONVERTIBLE.

IT'S INCREDIBLE DEEP PURPLE COLOR AND AN UNDENIABLY SEXY CAR.

IT KIND OF BELIES, IT'S VERY MATHEMATICAL AND ANALYTICAL ORIGINS.

THE LEAD CREATOR DID COUNTLESS CALCULATIONS TO MAKE A CAR THAT WAS STABLE FROM FRONT WINDS, CROSS WINDS AND VARIABLE VOER 'TISES THAT GO WHEN THE CAR IS GOING FAST.

SO IT'S TO BRING THAT TECHNOLOGY TO EVERYDAY PEOPLE.

ONE THING THAT SETS JAGUAR APART IS COMPARATIVELY SPEAKING, IT WAS ACTUALLY MUCH MORE AFFORDABLE THAN A COMPARABLE CAR FROM PORSCHE OR MASERATI.

STILL AN EXPENSIVE CAR, IT WAS DEFINITELY NOT CHEAP, BUT IT WAS ONE THAT CAPTURED THE IMAGINATION OF PARTICULARLY THE AMERICAN PUBLIC AND THE PUBLIC IN THE UK.

THE FERRARI FORMULA 1 CAR IS ONE OF THE MOST EXCITING VEHICLES WE HAVE IN THE COLLECTION.

IT'S THE MODEL 641 FROM 1990.

IT'S HIGHLY RARE.

THERE WAS ONLY SEVEN MADE THAT YEAR.

THE CAR IS A STUNNING EXAMPLE OF THE REDUCTION OF A CAR DOWN TO ITS MOST PURE ELEMENTS.

THE LEAD DESIGNER WAS JOHN BAR NARD.

HE RETHOUGHT THE SHAPE OF A FORMULA ONE CAR AND HIS DESIGN PROVED TO BE REALLY DURABLE.

IT WAS NOT MODIFIED ALL THAT HEAVILY FOR SEVERAL YEARS.

ENZO FERRARI AND THE COMPANY HE CREATED LOOMS LARGELY IN RACING HISTORY.

THE MODEL 641 REPRESENTS ONE OF THE PINNACLES OF THEIR ACHIEVEMENT.

CITRON IS MAKING ITS DEBUT.

IT WAS A RELATIVELY RECENT ACQUISITION.

IT'S AN INCREDIBLY BEAUTIFUL CAR, ESPECIALLY WHEN COMPARED TO WHAT WAS MORE COMMON IN THE 1950s, THESE GIGANTIC AMERICAN CADILLACS.

IT LOOKS LIKE A CAR FROM THE FUTURE, AND IN ONE PARIS AUTO SHOW IT WAS SHOWN STANDING UP LIKE A ROCKET SHIP TAKING OFF.

THE DESIGNER OF IT ACTUALLY HAD A BACKGROUND IN SCULPTURE, SO I THINK THAT COMES ACROSS VERY STRONGLY IN THE BODY.

ONE OF THE THINGS THAT MAKES IT SO INCREDIBLE IS ITS SUSPENSION SYSTEM THAT'S SELF-LEVELING.

SO YOU CAN BE DRIVING ALONG THE HIGHWAY AND HAVE A BLOWOUT OF A TIRE AND IT KEEPS ITSELF LEVEL.

IN THE 1960s FRANCE WAS RACKED BY INTERNAL CONFLICT AND THERE WAS AN ASSASSINATION ATTEMPT ON CHARLES DE GALLE.

I THINK TWO OF THE TIRES WERE SHOT OUT AND STILL THE CAR WAS ABLE TO ESCAPE.

WHEN VIEWERS COME TO THE EXHIBITION, THERE'S A LOT TO DELIGHT IN.

BUT ALSO WE HOPE THAT PEOPLE KIND OF RETHINK THESE THINGS.

THE TITLE 'AUTOMANIA' IMPLIES CARS MAKE US CRAZY.

AND THAT'S FUN, AND WE ALL LOVE BEING IN A CAR AND BEING A LITTLE BIT CRAZY, BUT THAT AND WE HOPE PEOPLE WILL LEAVE THINKING ABOUT WHAT THAT PRICE MEANS AND IS IT WORTH IT.