C'était un Rendezvous

C'était un Rendezvous:
On an August morning in 1978, French filmmaker Claude Lelouch mounted a gyro-stabilized camera to the bumper of a Ferrari 275 GTB and had a friend, a professional Formula 1 racer, drive at breakneck speed through the heart of Paris. The film was limited for technical reasons to 10 minutes; the course was from Porte Dauphine, through the Louvre, to the Basilica of Sacre Coeur.

No streets were closed, for Lelouch was unable to obtain a permit.

The driver completed the course in about 9 minutes, reaching nearly 140 MPH in some stretches. The footage reveals him running real red lights, nearly hitting real pedestrians, and driving the wrong way up real one-way streets.

It has just been remastered and released on DVD.

Quicktime here. It's absolutely terrifying, despite looking a lot like a video game. "Red light! Red light! Red light! GARBAGE TRUCK!!!" The only thing it's missing is a woman pushing a baby carriage, and a couple of guys carrying a plate-glass window.

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50 Responses:

  1. That video is wild as hell. I've seen some similar motorcycle videos out of Greece and Paris, and they are insane. I always have this desire to go buy a PS2 racing game after seeing these, but then I realize it just won't be the same. What I really want is one of those arcade games where you can at least sit on a real faux crotch rocket.

    • jsbowden says:

      I've got one of those as an AVI file archived somewhere. I'll have to dig it out and post a link.

      • The one I remembered was from Greece, and during the entire time you just keep thinking someone has to open a car door as this guy flies by and just send him sailing ass-over-applecart.

        Sadly, no big payoff. But boy, does this guy drive like a complete dick for well over 10 minutes.

    • drbrain says:

      GTA3 will give you the closest experience to this, but pedestrians will sometimes dive in front of your car. For extra fun, get the cops on your tail before you try this.

  2. nerak_g says:

    The buses, the BUSES!!!

    ~much enjoyed, though~

  3. spikenheimer says:

    those pigeons are good at avoiding the cars...

  4. jerronimo says:

    ho. ly. crap.


  5. Don't forget the cart full of watermelons. Ya need a cart full of watermelons in the road, too. (thanks to Wayne's World)

  6. cow says:

    So, apparently, all vehicles in Paris are buses, garbage trucks, or VW hippie vans.

    (Then again, it was 1978.)

  7. ioerror says:

    And now you never have to go to Paris. Win win.

  8. This inspired many similar films. Search for the "Getaway in Stockholm" series, there are at least three of them that I've seen.

    It's a shame I sold the NSX as I used to give rides like this to friends (140 mid day through Cupertino, the 20 minute drive from SF to San Jose chasing a Lamborghini, the 20 minute drive from San Leandro to San Jose, averaging 70MPH one night going up 9, catching air on the way back down, etc.). This is why I'm not allowed to get a Lotus Elise.

    • ioerror says:

      How many felony charges can one person rack up while driving just for speeding?

      • Sounds like a question only a field test can answer!

      • The thing about speeding is that it's a lot like parking tickets, but with a slightly more complicated dance. Pay the fine, plead not guilty, show up in court. If necessary, file summary appeal (using a lawyer). I've only ever been unable to talk down to a no-points offense once, but I was given three citations, of which two went away and one was severely reduced (to like 10 over or something).

    • down8 says:

      The Getaway series is awesome.

      I've seen 2, and I believe there are 4 total. One was a Porsche, and one was an NSX and a Corvette. I love my 'Vettes, so it was awesome to see one full-bore in a city. Of course, I don't condone street racing.


  9. jebuss christ. Try searching for "gumball" on video.google.com. The homemade clips from the gumball rally are what you want.

  10. cavorite says:

    I am pretty sure this was the inspiration for the inner-city chase scene in the movie Ronin, which was pretty insane and a feat of filmmaking in and of itself, even with a closed set.

  11. tongodeon says:

    just been remastered and released on DVD

    Just released? I bought my copy 2 years ago.

  12. no_brakes23 says:

    Thanks, I have been trying to find this for 3 years.

  13. nightrider says:

    Muchas gracias for the car-porn.

    Now I have to change my pants.


    I, too, used to love doing the 20-minute commute down 280, but alas... my baby has gone and left me.

    • gytterberg says:

      Those are a lot more entertaining than the Ferarri in Paris one, I think, if not as terrifying. The one where they ride around on the frozen Charles is hilarious. I hope it happens again this year.

      I've seen Lucas Brunelle at Critical Mass in Boston a few times. (He's pretty hard to miss - rides a jet-back carbon bike with "Lamborghini" painted on the downtube) He's a great guy.

    • marc_lacoste says:

      i alway wanted to do this. I think I could prefer short sprints.

  14. If memory serves, there's a sequel, with two cars, made much more recently... in Nice? maybe. Regrettably, the front-end cam on one of the two gets nailed by a pebble early on. That one's been out on DVD for a while. Mysteriously, I've yet to acquire either, which will be rectified soon.

  15. korgmeister says:

    Wow, it's like a hi-poly version of a 'Burnout' game :D

    • ubiquity75 says:

      Fuck, the video just says, "le film que vous allez voir a ètè fait sans aucun trucage ni accelerè."

      Except then it doesn't show me anything. :(
      Putain con, etc.

      • skygliderman says:

        Putain, for sure..
        while I'm driving on Belgian highway, cops always find in somehow amusing to send me the bill for driving at 95MPH. no pedestrians, nor waste-trucks or buses..
        But then again.. it was recorded in 1978...

  16. The only thing it's missing is a woman pushing a baby carriage, and a couple of guys carrying a plate-glass window.

    quicktime not there anymore. wahhh. :(

    i wanted to see a fruit cart get knocked over.

  17. fantasygoat says:

    God I love that sound. The downshifting especially.

    I'm surprised no one has done the obligitory quote:

    "It is so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up."

    • cje says:

      I'm surprised no one has done the obligitory quote:
      "It is so choice. If you have the means, I highly recommend picking one up."

      I just choked on my coffee. Thanks for the great obligatory quote and a good laugh.

  18. doktorzee says:

    The requested URL /public/rendezvous20_04.mov was not found on this server.

  19. What ever the truth about this short film. It's a cracker, that's for sure. I have to have a 'fix' every now and then.

  20. dare_ga says:

    sorry can't see any evidence for 140mph 70-80 yes but no faster. the cars that are passed arn't going by at a high enough rate.the sound dubing has one or two mistakes in it as well if you listen to it.where are the infamous french horn and other car noises eg noise from the diffent surface changes and building proximity?nice but not real.