In 1976 an underground short film was released that would have been the equivalent of a Ken Block special, if the internet existed back then. It was called C’était un rendez-vous. This past weekend a modern remake was filmed called Le Grand Rendez-Vous.

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Cult classic

The original (which you can watch at the bottom of this post) was a cult classic shot by French filmmaker Claude Lelouch. It was a one-take, one-shot movie that depicts a high-speed run through the streets of Paris at daybreak. During the eight and and half minutes of mesmerising footage the mystery camera car zooms by famous landmarks in the City of Love including the Arc de Triomphe, the Place de la Concorde, the Opéra Garnier and the Champs-Élysées.

C’était un rendez-vous translated into English means, “It was a date,” and Lelouch had a purpose: to meet a woman, his then-girlfriend Gunilla Friden. “What’s great about cinema is when you can tell a story,” Lelouch said. “A guy who is going to meet a girl can take unnecessary risks because he doesn’t want to make her wait.” How typically French…

Ferrari and Formula One

For many years it was rumoured that the hero car was a Ferrari 275 GTB driven by an unnamed Formula One driver, whom many believed to be Jacques Lafitte. Later it was revealed that the camera was mounted on Lelouch’s own Mercedes-Benz 450SEL 6,9 and driven by him. He dubbed a racier engine note, gearshifts and squealing tyres over his original footage. The Mercedes was chosen for its forgiving suspension’s ability to deal with the bumpy streets of Paris. Besides running through several red lights, Lelouch said he got up to 240 km/h at some points.

Modern remake

This past weekend would have been the Monaco F1 Grand Prix. Ferrari took the opportunity to shoot a modern remake of the original that it calls Le Grand Rendez-Vous, which will be released on June 13.

Lelouch was called in to shoot the reboot in the Principality of Monaco at dawn on May 24. This time an actual Ferrari driven by an F1 driver are the stars. A 736 kW Ferrari SF90 Stradale, is the feature car and it was driven by Charles Leclerc. The French director’s cameras accompanied the SF90 Stradale as it completed a lap of the Formula 1 street circuit en route to the mystery “big date” of the title.

Watch the original C’était un rendez-vous below.