Cinematic: C’était un Rendez-vous (“It was a date”) 1976 by Claude Lelouch (8 min. Short Film)

cétait-un-rendez-vous

Paris is my second home after New York City. During my first trip there in 2003, it was love at first sight. Real talk. I grew up in the hood and Europe or the concept of it was, no pun intended, so foreign. But then we met, and all I wanted to do was lay French kisses all over it – now I get to see him at least 1-2 times a year. As I get ready to fly to my second home on March 2nd to March 10th for Paris Fashion Week and Supreme’s highly anticipated store opening, I wanted to share a little French goody to debut my new weekly post titled “Cinematic”. On this post I will share all the film gems that I love and suggest that you watch.

C’était un Rendez-vous (“It was a date”) is a short film (8 minutes) made in August 1976 by Claude Lelouch, depicting a high speed (140km per hour) drive through Paris at 5:30am and is revered as the first, and one of the most influential viral car videos of all time. The film is quite fascinating for several reasons. For one, driving at such an insane speed at Paris’s most dangerous intersections is a sight. Not only that, but the position of the camera make it feel like virtual reality…as if you are driving.

The concept of this is quite dangerous, as it was shot in one take and as an example of cinéma-vérité (“it combines improvisation with the use of the camera to unveil truth or highlight subjects hidden behind crude reality”.)

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It starts in a tunnel of the Paris Périphérique at Porte Dauphine, with an on-board view from an unseen car exiting up on a ramp (and from there following this route) to Avenue Foch. Well-known landmarks such as the Arc de Triomphe, Opéra Garnier, and Place de la Concorde with its obelisk are passed, as well as the Champs-Élysées.


This video goes in and discusses the films rumors and actual facts!

As legend goes, his first assistant, who was posted with a walkie-talkie close to the Louvre palace, meaning to assist the driver at the only blind junction (archway); however, Lelouch has revealed that the radios failed, and if the assistant had tried to warn him of a pedestrian the message would not have been received. Yikes! Also, the car being driven is a Mercedes 6.9 and the sound overlaid was one from a Ferrari, both own by Lelouch. IN the end, the drive is worth it…as he is reunited with his love and actual girlfriend in real life, Gunilla Friden,

Lelouch

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