Discussion in 'Random Chat' started by Anthony., Oct 20, 2005.

  1. #1

    Anthony. .Orestes LPA Super VIP

    Aug 25, 2003
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    C'était un Rendezvous
    Is that a red light? That’s a red light isn’t it?
    Yes, it is red. They all are. The nerve-ripping realisation is that the driver doesn’t seem to notice. Doesn’t care. Not even a flicker of hesitation in that glorious Ferrari engine note.
    Claude Lelouche’s ‘C'était un Rendezvous' is a frantic, unrepeatable ride through Paris, beginning early one August morning in Porte Dauphine, and blasting through the heart of the city. Easily an hour’s journey in rush (and on the other side of the law), we arrive shaken outside le Sacre Coeur in Montmartre, around nine minutes later. According to Boffins here, Lelouch’s Ferrari hits over 136mph along one of Paris’ main streets. In 1976.
    ‘C'était un Rendezvous' has been hailed as the greatest car chase ever filmed. “Makes Bullitt look like a cartoon”, brays Jeremy Clarkson. Is it the best? Best is a tough one. If best means the most raw, the most dangerous, the most captivating (watching it, I leaned in to every corner, stomping an imaginary brake pedal to no avail). If it means the most ‘real’, then yes, this is the best. So good, it’s frightening.

    The sleeve note story, drawn from hearsay and legend, goes something like this. Celebrated Director makes money from films. Buys Ferrari. Has idea. Straps a camera to front of Ferrari, a mic next to the engine. Persuades snake-hipped racing driver, glimpsed only from behind during the ultra-cool closing sequence, to pilot Ferrari through Paris at dawn as if the world was on fire. Give driver strict time limit (the camera had a ten-minute film capacity). Screens the resulting one-take masterpiece to an awe struck crowd. Gets arrested. To this day Lelouch has refused to confirm the identity of the driver.
    The film was shown only a few times before being lost to legend. During the eighties and nineties rough VHS copies circulated between enthusiasts and geeks. Then a bloke called Richard Symons, a documentary film-maker and car nut got hold of a copy. He had an idea too. He contacted Lelouch, dusted down the original 35mm negative and got to work restoring and re-mastering the film, bringing it back to life and back in front of gobsmacked audiences.


    The beauty of this film is its simplicity. A single POV shot, no cuts and that howling engine soundtrack. It is so evocative. Evocative of a simpler time, of free-spirit and bravado. Anti-everything and a complete pleasure because of it. A glorious piece


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