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Old 06-03-2014, 09:29 AM   #2
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I had this on a VCR tape before the days of YouTube.
Nigel Roebuck wrote a piece about this about 12 years ago in Autosport.
I couldn't find an orginal link, below is a cut and paste.

"Over the years there has been endless speculation about the identity of the driver in 'Rendezvous'. At one time the widely held belief was that it was Johnny Servoz-Gavin, the extremely talented Frenchman - and world-class playboy - who drove for Matra, and then for Ken Tyrrell, in the late '60s. However, the received wisdom now is that it genuinely was Claude Lelouch himself who did the driving, and all I can say that he missed his true calling: he should have been in Formula 1!

The movie has only recently become available in the UK, on both video and DVD, and although it lasts only nine minutes, and is devoid of speech, I would recommend it highly. For many years it has been something of a cult film for car buffs, particularly in America, where I bought my copy of the video.

It was Lelouch, a prominent French movie director, who hit on the idea of 'Rendezvous' in 1966. The plan was simple: to mount a camera on the nose of his Ferrari 275GTB, and then to drive flat out through the streets of Paris at dawn. This he - or someone! - duly did.

You cannot believe this movie is in 'real time'. Before the start, a message appears on the screen: 'The film you are about to see was produced without photographic tricks or changes in camera speed', but one or two friends who saw my video reckoned that impossible.

In the end, I gave the tape to a pal in the movie business, and he pronounced it completely genuine. "What you have to study," he said, "is the speed at which everything else around the Ferrari is moving - if it's too fast, then you know the whole thing is speeded up. But everything is normal speed - the pedestrians, the pigeons, the flashing lights, the other traffic..."

Ah yes, the other traffic. Given that it's dawn, there isn't that much around, fortunately, but such as there is causes you frequently to catch your breath. As the Ferrari hurtles down a dark side street, for example, a white Mini drifts across at an intersection, and one must rejoice that it did not stall. That said, it wouldn't surprise me if the driver has been in a darkened room ever since.

At one point, in a narrow street, you come upon a parked garbage truck, and momentarily assume there is no alternative but to stop and wait. Not a bit of it: the Ferrari goes down a couple of gears, momentarily mounts the high kerb with a jolt you can positively feel, and continues on its way.

The route, based on my reasonable, rather than detailed, knowledge of Paris, begins with a blast up the Avenue de la Grande Armee to the Arc de Triomphe (for which you think the Ferrari is never going to back off), and carries on flat out down the Champs Elysees. It is at this point that you realise there is to be no backing off, for red traffic lights or anything else; it takes a little getting used to.

Round the Place de la Concorde, and then left on to the Quai des Tuileries, alongside the Seine, past the Louvre. After avoiding a tardy bus, Lelouch then goes left, and finds his way quickly back to the Place de l'Opera, then the Place de la Madeleine, before heading out through the suburbs to Montmartre, finishing up at the foot of Sacre-Coeur. He parks, gets out, and embraces a beautiful girl. Fin .

Car and Driver reckoned 'Rendezvous' perhaps the best 'car movie' ever made. Let me quote from part of the magazine's review of it, reprinted on the sleeve of the video:

"The streets weren't blocked off, the truck drivers and street sweepers having the bejeezus scared out of them are real Parisians, and the guy driving the car isn't a stunt man. Lelouch runs lights, uses pedestrians as apexes, and generally has a wonderful time. The sound of the screaming engine is stirring enough, but the sight of Paris rushing by as Lelouch tops out the car on the Champs Elysees makes this a must-see piece of auto cinema."

I showed the film to a colleague, Christopher Hilton - who immediately bought a tape of his own, which he then showed to Brian Hart - who at once ordered copies for himself, and some of his employees, who were given them as Christmas presents. 'Rendezvous' has that effect on people.

Irresponsible? Undeniably. Irresistible? Absolutely. If you've seen it yourself, you'll know what I mean." - Nigel Roebuck Autopsort
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