Getaway in Paris - The legend of C’etait un Rendez-vous

No dialogue, no chase, no hero car or driver in sight. Yet Claude Lelouch’s hypnotic, electrifying C’était un Rendez-vous is one of the best car films of all time.

 For years, its creation was shrouded in mystery. At the dawn of an August day in 1976, the French director Claude Lelouch grappled with one of the craziest and most controversial "shorts" of motoring cinema. Title: "C'etait un rendez-vous" ("It was an appointment"). It is the story of a man who runs to his woman. An 8 and a half minute sequence plan, 10 kilometers of city streets - those of Paris - traveled at very high speed.

"The film was made without any tricks and is not speeded up," reads the initial warning. Never a stop, never a respected traffic light up to the "Sacred Heart" staircase. There emerges a girl, blonde, the only face of the whole film. The man gets out of the car and a still image freezes their embrace. The "short" was shot with a camera mounted on a Mercedes "450 SEL 6.9".

A second lap with Lelouch's Ferrari "275 GTB" served to record the audio, then superimposed on the original. The content - out of any respect for traffic rules - has compromised its diffusion. Then You Tube arrived and in 2003 a DVD. Lelouch was said to have hired an F1 driver.

"I was at the wheel - the director confessed. - It was my film and I took on the risks and responsibilities. After the first screening I was summoned by the prefect. He read me a list of infringements and asked me for the documents. He looked at them for a moment, then with a smile gave them back to me. 'I guaranteed that I would have withdrawn my license - he said - but I have not specified how long. My children love your film' ".

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