I came across this video on Peritroxon’s you tube channel and thought you’d love it. I certainly did. I’d never seen this video before, only heard of it. Well, what an epic drive through Paris.
You will be hard-pressed to find a film as steeped in myth as C’était un Rendezvous. Absolutely compulsive – this astonishing, exhilarating and now legendary drive through a beautiful 1970’s Paris, has been enjoyed for many years as an almost Masonic secret among enthusiasts. Whisper the words “Have you seen Rendezvous?” and you’ll receive either a knowing, “No, but I’ve heard it’s unbelievable” or a smug, “It is un-be-lieve-able”.
Filmed in 1976, the revered short film by seminal French director Claude Lelouch is regarded as the ultimate in chase scenes – the connoisseurs’ trump card in response to “Bullitt” or “The French Connection”.
Lack of availability has only fuelled the myths surrounding the film:
• Was Claude Lelouch really arrested when it was first shown?
• Who drove the car?
• Was it Lelouch or a hired Formula One driver?
• What was the car?
• Was it really a Ferrari 275 GTB?
• How (the hell!) did he do it?
What we do know is that there are no special effects, speeding up the film or blocking off the streets. Lelouch simply mounted the camera on the front of the car and takes us on an astonishing, death-defying drive through the streets of a beautifully filmed 1970’s Paris with a glorious soundtrack provided by the engines’ wail, tyres squeal and roar of the exhaust.
Richard Symons, a documentary filmmaker with more than a passing interest in fast cars, managed to acquire a very poor 2nd generation VHS copy. He wasn’t disappointed…
9 minutes of adrenalin that simply leaves you with your jaw on the floor. Lelouch was supposedly arrested the first time he’d shown the film and then it simply dived underground. Over the years, C’était un Rendezvous has come to represent something more than an adrenalin rush. It uniquely captures a time and a spirit that seems a long way away from today. Politically incorrect, anti-establishment and overflowing with a primitive passion – it is everything the bureaucrats hate. Lelouchs’ brilliant ending only adds to this – making a beautiful sense out of the preceding nine minutes. Enjoy.