In the summer of 1992 while attending the University of Arizona in Tucson, this writer was treated to a screening of Rendezvous in a short film class. Our professor showed a variety of short films to inspire and motivate us to be creative in our endeavors, as we were each tasked with making 3 short films.
This was back in the days when 16mm (and 35mm & IMAX) films were still being projected across the USA. In fact, as late as 2003 IMAX films (not digital) were still being projected. Yours truly worked as an IMAX film projectionist (to include 3D!) at Arizona Mills Mall in Tempe, Arizona, as a way to learn about the technology, and to earn some extra money. That was a memorable summer as my car’s air conditioner had stopped working. Driving through the Sonoran Arizona desert in summer without A/C is not recommended. HOT. Upon arriving at the theater however, the cool, dark projection room offered a privileged respite from The Big Heat, and the world outside.
But we digress. Rendezvous. How exciting (and thrilling) it can be when someone turns you on to a film (or a piece of music or art) that significantly impacts your life. Rendezvous was one such film. All it takes is an idea, and then the far more difficult task of making the idea a reality. Clocking in at a brisk (and exhilarating) 8 minutes and 36 seconds, you go on a one-take thrill ride in the annals of sports driving that has never been duplicated or surpassed.
During that summer of 1992 (long before the inter web offered convenience and ease of access), this writer must have screened the film at least a dozen times. The projectionist probably thought this person obsessed. My college girlfriend at the time, Roxanne, also became obsessed with the film, and joined me at several more screenings.
There is a lot of lore and myth online about how the driver and filmmakers actually pulled off this stunt. Make no mistake, this was one hell of a stunt in 1976. It’s difficult to imagine pulling something off like this in today’s world that would rival or surpass Rendezvous. My advice to anyone wanting to see the film is to do so uninterrupted, and on the largest screen you are fortunate to find. Sure, you can watch it on your phone for convenience, but it ain’t gonna be the same (not even close.) Fire up your computer at least, and strap on your cans (headphones.)
Some trolls on-line (typical party poopers) want to explain everything about the film and the car that was used and blah, blah, blah. Who gives a damn. Ignorance is bliss. Go along for the thrill ride. Marvel at the cojones and skill it took to pilot an automobile at high speeds through the streets of Paris (defying all conventions of traffic safety) while hurtling toward a conclusion of pure sweetness.