15 February 2009

Through Paris, Quickly

“Secrets travel fast in Paris.”
- Napoléon Bonaparte, military & political leader of France, later Emporer (1769-1821)

From 1988 to 1995 I went to college at Colorado State and eventually graduated with a bachelor's degree in technical journalism (and a history minor). In one of my various electronic field production classes our professor showed us the above movie (along with The Red Balloon). It impressed the hell out of me, but over time I had forgotten it completely.

Recently a blog I follow posted it, and it brought back a flood of memories. It was great to see it again, because when I originally viewed it back in maybe 1992 or 93, I hadn't been to Paris. Now that I've been four times and recognize some of the scenery it is even cooler.

Here is the background behind the movie, from
Hollywood Elsewhere:
"On an August morning in 1978," the story goes, "French director Claude Lelouch mounted a gyro-stabilized camera to the bumper of a Ferrari 275 GTB and had a friend, a professional Formula 1 racer, drive at breakneck speed through the heart of Paris.

"The film was limited for technical reasons to 10 minutes. The driver barrel-assed all the way from Porte Dauphine (on the city's western edge, adjacent to the Bois de Bologne) to the Basilica Sacre Coeur in Montmartre.

"No streets were closed, for Lelouch was unable to obtain a permit. The driver completed the course in about 9 minutes, reaching nearly 140 mph (or was it kph?) in some stretches. The footage reveals him running real red lights, nearly hitting real pedestrians, and driving the wrong way up several one-way streets.

"Upon showing the film in public for the first time, Lelouch was arrested. He has never revealed the identity of the driver, and the film went underground until a DVD release a few years ago."

That kicks ass.

Tip of the hat to
Cajun Boy, I basically stole his post.

KJT - Seattle (2009)


cae said...

I must admit mixed reactions. My daughter and I thoroughly enjoyed the film but the number of people endangered - for what? I imagine if he'd killed or injured someone there would be a rather different story to tell.

Gads - have I gotten old or what?

Tough call ...

KJT said...

Old? I think the word is compassionate.

And that's a good thing. I too, was a bit terrified for the populace.

a. said...

my dad and I used to rent it from Scarecrow* every 8 months or so...I was stoked finally get it on DVD years later...so rad. Check Lalouch's caper movies for some good chase scenes)

*it was scary: VHS tape with a 500 dollar deposit!