C'etait un Rendez-Vous is a 8 minute
French film from 1976.
It shows a manic drive through Paris in the early hours of
the morning, accompanied by sounds of a high-revving engine, gear
changes and squealing tires. Nothing was staged, it was an actual
drive, and after the film was released, the director was supposedly
arrested. Pedestrians and pigeons are passed and nearly ran over,
red lights are ignored, one-way streets are driven up the wrong way.
It is just beautiful high-speed lunatic driving. The film was shot
in a single take by the director and driver, Claude Lelouch. He used
a gyro-stabilized camera mounted on the bumper of his 6.9 liter
Mercedes-Benz 450SEL. The sound effects, which include gear changes
up to 5th gear, as well as heel-and-toe down-shifting were actually
taken from Lelouch's Ferrari 275GTB. Lelouch claims he got up to 140
mph during the run, although people who have tried to calculate the
speed have come up with different results. Some say he never topped
85 mph, while others estimate the car peaked at 135 mph. Either way,
it is a fantastic film.