• Aug 15th 2006 at 4:25PM
  • 4
French filmmaker Claude Lelouch's (in)famous 9-minute short, "C'etait un Rendez-Vous," consisting entirely of bumper-mounted camera footage of a high speed dawn run through the streets of Paris in 1976, languished in obscurity for years until liberated on the internet and DVD. (See our previous post here.) Now, thanks to the coding efforts of blogger Brian Hendrix, those of us unfamiliar with the streets of Paris (OK, I recognized the Arc de Triomphe, but that's about it) can follow Lelouche's drive in an animated Google Earth map, synchronized with the video!
The animation is here. Syncing the video to the map animation may take a bit of fiddling - I found the video got ahead of the map a couple of times - but pausing the video for a moment fixed it.

With Hendrix' brilliant mashup making the rounds of automotive blogs at the moment (Thanks for the tip, Alberto!), a post on Le Blog Auto took us to another post that dispels the myths around the making of the film. (Did Lelouch drive, or did he enlist a Grand Prix driver? Was it a Ferrari? A Mercedes? Was it staged?) Well, it turns out it was Lelouche himself, driving his Mercedes 300 (with two passengers!), on the open streets of Paris. The film was made in one take (that's all the film they had). Oh, and the Ferrari rumor? The soundtrack is pure Ferrari, dubbed in after filming.

But wait, there's more! Here's a video made earlier this year, on the 30th anniversary of the original drive, in which Claude Lelouche returns to the scene and describes how the film was made (in French).

[Sources: bhendrix.com, leblogauto, memoiresdestands]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 9 Years Ago
      I saw this on a bootleg VHS when I was 6 years old. Thanks for reminding me why I love the sounds of cars.
      • 9 Years Ago
      In his comments in the video about the making of the original film, Lelouch emphasizes the importance of the ending where he meets the girl on the steps in front of Sacré Coeur. He says that this ending makes the film into a story and that without it, the film would be meaningless.
      • 9 Years Ago
      I live in a lie for all this years...

      I swear.
      • 9 Years Ago
      You don't need to check out how fast he was going, he says it in the film. 160-200km/h on the straights, in a Merc 300 sedan with 2 other people in the car. The film maker, Claude Lelouche, was driving and he re-drove the same circuit with a Ferrari and the sound was re-dub'd on to the film. The reason for using the Merc was the smoother suspension.

      The whole thing was decided the night before and filmed in one take. They almost ran out of film before the end as he had to take a detour to avoid a truck blocking the designated route (where he starts to take a turn, then decides to continue straight towards the end).