Wednesday 19 February 2014

Claude Lelouch: C'était un rendez-vous (1976)

Claude Lelouch - C'était un rendez-vous YouTube 8:35
Published May 1/2017 by Daniel Thompson
Le film que vous allez voir a été réalisé sans aucun trucage ni accéléré
(The film you are about to see was made without special effects and was not speeded up.)

Wikipedia: C'était un rendez-vous
C'était un Rendez-vous ("It was a date") is a short film (under 10 minutes) made in 1976 by Claude Lelouch, showing a high speed drive through Paris.

The film shows an eight-minute drive through Paris in the early hours of the morning (05:30hrs) in August 1976, accompanied by sounds of a high-revving engine, gear changes and squealing tires. It starts in a tunnel of the Paris Périphérique at Porte Dauphine, with an on-board view from an unseen car exiting up on a ramp to Avenue Foch. Well-known landmarks such as the Arc de Triomphe, Opéra Garnier, and Place de la Concorde with its obelisk are passed, as well as the Champs-Élysées. Pedestrians are passed, pigeons sitting on the streets are scattered, red lights are ignored, one-way streets are driven up the wrong way, center lines are crossed, the car drives on the sidewalk to avoid a rubbish truck. The car is never seen as the camera seems to be attached below the front bumper (judging from the relative positions of other cars, the visible headlight beam and the final shot when the car is parked in front of a curb on Montmartre, with the famous Sacré Cœur Basilica behind, and out of shot). Here, the driver gets out and embraces a young blonde woman as bells ring in the background, with the famous backdrop of Paris.

A making-of-the-rendezvous documentary indicates that Lelouch himself was the driver, that the car driven was the Mercedes, although the sound track is from a Ferrari. On the chosen track there were two people who knew about Lelouch arrival. First there was Elie Chouraqui, his first assistant, who was posted with a walkie-talkie close to the Louvre palace, meaning to assist the driver at the only blind junction (archway); however, Lelouch has revealed that the radios failed, and if Elie had tried to warn him of a pedestrian the message would not have been received. The other person who knew about his arrival was Lelouch's girlfriend Gunilla Friden. He'd told her he'd arrive within ten minutes at the Sacre Coeur and asked her to appear upon his arrival.

Wikipedia: Claude Lelouch
Claude Barruck Joseph Lelouch (born 30 October 1937) is a French film director, writer, cinematographer, actor and producer.

Personal Note I lived in Paris for part of 1980 boarding with a French family while I went to school. I saw this film in a movie theatre on the Champs-Élysées when it was presented as the short before the main attraction. I don't remember the main film but I never forgot this short. Some say it surpasses the car chase from Bullitt and let's add that Bullitt was a staged car chase while this was real.

During my stay, I visited all of the places shown in the film and I have been back a few times since. In writing this article, it was the first time I had seen the film since 1980 so it brought back a lot of memories. I have walked through the archway at the Louvre Palace and believe me, driving through there at high speed considering the risk of pedestrians is just plain nuts. Ce gars était tout à fait cinglé! I apologise. I could not find a copy of this "making off" video either dubbed or with sub-titles. It's in French, malheureusement, but I thought to include it anyway just to be comprehensive. This is your chance to learn to parler un peu.

Uploaded on Aug 26, 2006 by Evaristo Babé
Rendez Vous - Making off
Lelouche interviewé pendant qu'ils conduisaient la route de son célèbré tour de Paris il-y-a 30 ans avant ce film, à la même heure du matin 05h45. Il-y-avait 3 dans la voiture «attachées comme des malades». Dolphin's Gate to Mountmars, C'Était un Rendez-vous est célèbré et même bien aimé partout le monde entier. Alors, on-y-va...? :)

Other "Rendezvous" related videos
Other people have payed homage to Monsieur Lelouch but I'm not sure anyone has attempted to go all out like he did. Fortunately, Paris was quiet at 5:30am but let's not forget, Paris is a huge city and is always active so M. Lelouch's success was based on a great deal of good luck. Do not try this at home, kids. Fast and furious? How about fast and crazy?

YouTube: Jay Leno LA Rendezvous Film in Mercedes SLS AMG
You'd have to be mad to try to remake Rendezvous, Claude Lelouche's high-speed dash through the streets of Paris at dawn. Rendezvous is a classic. A one-off. It is best left alone, as that remake The Run showed.

YouTube: Making Of Jay Leno LA Rendezvous in Mercedes SLS AMG

YouTube: C'était un rendez-vous (2007 style) in Citroen C4 diesel
30 years ago, Claude Lelouch famously used his last 10 minutes of film to create C'était un rendez-vous. I spent my first ever 30 min of LHD motoring retracing his steps. It took Lelouch 8 mins to cross Paris. It took me 21:40 in the rain, and abiding to traffic lights. Ironically, my video camera died just after I reached the Sacre Coeur. My only deviation from Lelouch's route was near the Louvre, to avoid a one way road. An awesome experience.

YouTube: C'était un Rendezvous (Toronto)
Ha, ha. Shot when Rob Ford wasn't mayor!

Wikipedia: Getaway in Stockholm
Getaway in Stockholm is a Swedish film series about illegal street racing filmed using mainly car mounted cameras along with some cameramen alongside the route. The videos are all shot in the streets of Stockholm, Sweden and have developed a worldwide underground cult reputation in the street racing scene.

YouTube: Porsche 911 Turbo Police Chase
A Porsche 911 Turbo chase in Stockholm.


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1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Since watching this, I hear the Ferrari engine sounds whenever I drive my cute Honda. Makes me feel like a badass!