Ferrari hired French director Claude Lelouch to reshoot his infamous short film C’était un rendez-vous on the streets of Monte Carlo, with F1 driver Charles Leclerc as the wheelman. Shot on the street circuit in the early hours of a Sunday morning Le Grand Rendez-vous ups the octane with a Ferrari SF90 Stradale driving at speeds of up to 150 mph.
The original 1976 movie was, notoriously, filmed illegally in Paris while the roads were open to the public. For this tribute Ferrari closed the streets to allow Leclerc to stretch the prancing horse’s legs. Good job, as the hybrid hypercar can sprint to 60 mph in less than 2.5 seconds.
The storyline involves a pretty florist (Lelouch’s grand-daughter), Prince Albert of Monaco and Leclerc completing a couple of laps of the world’s most famous Grand Prix circuit. There’s plenty of high-speed bumper-cam footage like the original, but there are snapshots of the car and Leclerc, too. It was the first filming to be done in France post-lockdown so there are a lot of face masks and uncomfortable elbow bumps. The film also seems to suggest you can maintain a safe social distance inside a Ferrari SF90.
It’s not the only recent tribute to Lelouch’s legend. Geneva-based classic car specialist Simon Kidston took advantage of the lockdown in Europe to film his own race across Rome. C’était un urgence was filmed in one take, just like the film to which it pays homage. It may not have a famous director or the production values of Ferrari’s film, but it has that edge-of-your-seat authenticity of the original.
So which rendez-vous would be your choix?