This Weird, Blasé French Car Chase Scene Is A Must-See

We know French film director Claude Lelouch as the director of C'était un Rendez-vous, but in 1966 the world knew him for Un homme et une Femme, a romantic drama set partially at the Monte Carlo Rally. Twenty years later, he followed it with this weird chase.

In the 1986 sequel, Un Homme et une Femme, 20 Ans Deja (A Man and a Woman, Twenty Years Later), Anouk Aimée and Jean-Louis Trintignant reprise their roles as, yes, a man and a woman. But the thing we care most about is the strange motoring scene in the beginning. Out of context, it looks like a chase among blasé French intellectuals who disagree over Baudrillard's theory of simulacra and simulation.


But as the scene builds, the increasingly violent clashes between stunt drivers messing around in a Lancia Thema, Audi 100, BMW 528, Mercedes 190E, Peugeot 505, Renault 25, Saab 900 Turbo are engaging, and while Lelouch never takes it over the top — like some famous chase-scene directors (looking at you, Frankenheimer) — he has a real feel for car action.

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Little know fact, but Rendezvous was a practice run for a pivotal scene in his upcoming film, Le Chat et la souris (Cat and Mouse), a rarely seen film. In it a police inspector tries to prove the wife could have gotten across Paris in short period of time to murder her husband and return home. First he tries it with a car (sound familiar?), then a motorcycle (makes the car look tame), and finally a boat down the Seine. I loved this film mostly for these scenes but haven't been able to find a copy for ages. So keep an eye out for it and if you find a copy you'll understand Rendezvous much better. You're welcome!