Friday, August 6, 2010

C'était un Rendez-vous

So I was having a bit of trouble sleeping the other night and I randomly recalled an amazing video that I had seen a few years ago. This has been around for a while so forgive me if you’ve already seen this, but for those of you who haven’t, you have to check out Claude Lelouch’s 1976 short film, “C'était un Rendez-vous.” This is perhaps the greatest driving sequence I have ever seen on film, probably because it’s completely real. Basically, the director strapped a special camera on a Ferrari 275 GTB and had a professional Formula 1 racer tear through the streets of Paris at 140 MPH. The scary thing is that this is all done without closing the streets, giving anyone an advance warning, or hiring any stunt drivers. This is shot in one breathtaking sequence with no cuts and features the driver roaring through the streets of Paris early in the morning, plowing through every red light, going down one way streets the wrong way, screeching tires at every turn, and even forcing pedestrians to scramble off the road.

Claude Lelouch couldn’t obtain a permit to close the streets, so he just went ahead and had his racer friend go ahead with it anyways. Lelouch was actually arrested the first time the film was shown in public, but he refused to give the identity of the driver.

Even if you’ve seen it, check it out again. It left my heart pounding even after having watched it several times a few years ago. In retrospect, given the fact that I was having trouble sleeping, watching this unbelievably exhilarating video was a terrible idea.

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