A friend of mine sent me an e-mail this morning with a link to a Google Video and I just HAD to share it. The video is a short film by Claude Lelouch entitled C’était un rendez-vous.
The film was shot in 1976 on the streets of Paris. Lelouch mounted a gyro-stabilized camera to the bumper of a Ferrari 275 GTB and had a professional Formula 1 driver race it from Porte Dauphine, past the Louvre to the Basilica of Sacre Coeur. The entire course was completed in about 9 minutes, with the driver reaching 140 miles per hour in some sections. If you watch the film closely, you’ll see him run red lights, nearly hit real pedestrians and going the wrong way up one-way streets. Remember, the streets were NOT closed, because Lelouch was unable to obtain a permit for the filming.
After the first public viewing of the film, Lelouch was promptly arrested. He never released the name of the driver, but according to IMDB the Formula 1 driver and personal friend of Lelouch is Jean-Pierre Beltoise.
Having ridden many of the streets shot in the film, during a month I spent in Paris, I found this film to be absolutly terrifying. Granted, I rode the streets by bicycle, where my top speed was probably 20mph, versus the 120mph in the film. It’s completely dangereous, reckless and stupid – but it’s a lot of fun to watch. 🙂