Monday, April 27, 2009

Rendezvous in Paris, 1976

Click here to start an amazing video.

My son just skyped me. “Hey, Mom, have you seen Rendezvous in Paris?” with a link to this 10-minute video. Watch it if you have the time!
Incredible footage. From the You Tube site:
On an August morning in 1976, 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 early in the morning . 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.
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.
Upon showing the film in public for the first time, Lelouch was arrested. He has never revealed the identity of the driver, and the film went underground
While watching, I thought “Of course this could only take place in August, when the streets are deserted. And early enough so that most people are still asleep. Probably a Sunday?”
And, on a nostalgic note, Paris has, euh…, changed a bit in 31 years. Look at all those 2 chevaux, for one thing.

Update 2010: apparently this You Tube video has been removed from all sites. Not sure why. So worth watching. Perhaps some copyright issues?

2011: It was 1976, not 1978, and I'm trying to add the video again. Fingers crossed

21 comments:

GoingLikeSixty.com said...

Isn't that just soooo cool? I love it.

Michelle said...

Good grief, I felt travel sick watching that. But, what an adrenalin rush!

Starman said...

I hate videos like that but I love the 2CV.

DW Quilt Art said...

omg, I am one of very little patience, but I decided I needed a 10 minute respite, and boy was this worth it. Awesome! Thanks for sharing it! I must now send the link to my daughter and friends living in Paris!

Starman said...

Okay, I watched the video. That is one lucky driver. He could have killed himself and several others on several occasions during that insane drive. I don't find it exciting, I find it reckless and irresponsible. Lelouch should have been jailed for a few years for his part in that. It's just incredible that someone would do something so stupid and brag about it afterward.

Polly-Vous Francais said...

It is cool. It is dizzying. It is reckless. It is breathtaking. It is dangerous. It is irresponsible.

I guess it's kind of like Being in Love, if you're Claude Lelouch.

Alison said...

I'd seen the beginning of this, but I soon lost interest. I can't remember who linked to it way back when (which means "sometime within the past year" in Internet). Whatever. In any case, I watched it all the way through, and I laughed to myself at the end when I said "Oh, that's the Place du Tertre." In any case I loved the whole thing, especially the ending, so thanks for posting it! I can't believe I didn't watch it all the way through the last time I saw a link to it!

BJ Lantz said...

Merde! I think I've been in that taxi! LOL I doubt you could get around Paris that quickly on the Metro.

But, I have to agree with "starman" above. It was one of the most irresponsible things I've seen somebody do.

Anna said...

Sooo cool, Polly! Thanks for this! I was with him until he went north of the Opéra, and then I got a little lost until he was in Montmartre. Really, really awesome-- I hope I can sit in one of those leetle Ferraris myself someday.

ariane said...

amazing. thanks.

Jay Livingston said...

The French title is C'etait un rendez-vous.
One Website says that it was Lelouch himself driving the Ferrari. But another says that it was a Mercedes 450 with the sound of a Ferrari dubbed in post. Another Website (http://hypertextbook.com/facts/2005/Rendezvous.shtml) computes his speed for the different segments of the trip.
There used to be a mashup of the video with Google maps to trace the route, but it's no longer available. A simple map of the route is here: http://www.immoplaza.fr/maps/cetait-un-rendez-vous. Or just check it out at Wikipedia.

Polly-Vous Francais said...

Thanks, Jay. I was wondering about the route. I like to believe what is said at the beginning of the film, that there was no trucage. And who was driving?

The mystery is part of the allure, perhaps.

Polly-Vous Francais said...

And here's more info

http://www.rendezvousdvd.com/

DW Quilt Art said...

Thanks again, Polly, so interesting. I've really enjoyed coming here, so here is a little award for you...no obligation of course :-) http://dwquiltart.blogspot.com/2009/04/rewards-of-blogging.html

Polly-Vous Francais said...

Thanks, DW. I'll check it out.

And one last thing: the film is from 1976, not 1978 as was stated in the YouTube link and thus in the blog post title.

1976..I was in Paris that summer!

The Duchess said...

I could have done the same course in 8 minutes...lol. Who am I kidding, I rarely braved driving my car from the 3rd to the 7th when I lived there! Does get the old adrenaline running though, that video.

dhbemis said...

There is also a Google Earth layer showing his route:
http://bbs.keyhole.com/ubb/ubbthreads.php?ubb=showthreaded&Number=203925&site_id=1#import

If you have Google Earth on your PC, you can download the kmz file from the above link.

-Dale

Starman said...

Are you still in France?

Jake Dear said...

General comment: This is a great blog -- with comparable comments, too. Why did I just now discover it? Better late than never. PS: Re "all those 2 chevaux" -- you can find five nice ones at the bottom of our little blog: http://parisandbeyondinfrance.blogspot.com/

-- Jake

Daniel Kovacic said...

The mashup is here:

http://bhendrix.com/wall/Gmaps_GVideo_Mashup_Rendezvous.html

I have seen this many times, but tracking it on google maps is quite cool. I was a bit surprised that the route taken was not the most direct ...

Georges said...

In this interview, Lelouch actually says he drove the car himself! Check this making of (in French):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AHn5Q15kaIA

-g

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