Wednesday In The Car With Claude


Now the story can be told. It's interesting how long it takes stuff to bubble across the Internet. A recent spate of blog discussion of Claude Lelouch's 1976 cult short film, C'etait un Rendezvous was prompted by the film's mention in GQ this month. Similar waves of discovery and amazement accompanied, in reverse chronological order, the pairing up of Rendezvous with a follow-along Google Map, and a couple of years back, the film's triumphal re-emergence on DVD after lingering for decades in bootleg-VHS obscurity.

But in the spring [Mercredi 24 Mai 2006, precisement], Lelouch took some French TV dude along to re-travel the route and talk about the making of the film. The result: answers for a lot of the rumors, questions, and legends that accumulated around the film. Too bad no one bothered to ask Lelouch before now. [But then again, my point is, I'm kind of bummed that I'm only finding this out now, four months after it was shot.]

1) Lelouch was driving
2) his Mercedes 6.9 [which he still has, which is one of my alltime favorite cars]
3) because the pneumatic suspension would produce a much smoother image.
4) The Ferrari audiotrack was dubbed in afterward.
5) The woman at the end is his wife.
6) The whole thing was done on a whim, after shooting something else with a car-mounted camera, and using a leftover magazine of film.

My favorite line of the whole interview: "Yes, I was scared. I was scared of running out of film."

C'etait un Rendezvous The Making Of
{youtube via jalopnik]
French discussion and transcript from April []

Since 2001 here at, I've been blogging about the creative process—my own and those of people who interest me. That mostly involves filmmaking, art, writing, research, and the making thereof.

Many thanks to the Creative Capital | Warhol Foundation Arts Writers Program for supporting that time.

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first published: September 9, 2006.

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