A Rendezvous with "C'était un rendez-vous"


Now, I’m no gearhead, but through my recent experiences with Forza 3, I’ve gained a slight appreciation for the sound of a fine engine as it pushes the redline then drops down after a smooth shift. Engines actually sound differently at different revolutions. Who would have thunk?

So when Wired ran a story featuring a short film with Jay Leno taking his new AMG SLS out for a spin on the near-deserted early-morning streets of Los Angeles in homage to a film called C’était un rendez-vous, I was curious:

You’d have to be mad to try to remake Rendezvous, Claude Lelouche’s high-speed dash through the streets of Paris at dawn. Rendezvous is a classic. A one-off. It is best left alone, as that remake The Run showed.

But that’s not to say you can’t riff off it.

So I located the source film thanks to the magical Internet, and while I was disappointed that the engine noises are seemingly dubbed in, unlike the Leno film, I wasn’t disappointed at all in the nine-minute slice of cinéma vérité I found.

(Update: The video was pulled by the rights holder. There’s a short trailer on YouTube posted by the rights holder, but I can’t recommend it, as they place annoying synth-pop over the driving, which is even worse than the dubbed engine noise.)

It’s the little bit of artifice at the very end that makes this film art, rather than a reckless stunt. Without that scene, the literal “date” of the title, this is just a car driving very quickly through Paris.

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