Citroën’s DS 5LS R Concept Video – It Was a Disappointment

The latest effort from Citroën marketing is a video clip that pays homage to the 1976 short film by Claude Lelouch entitled “C’etait un Rendez-Vous”, (It Was An Appointment).   In the original film, Lelouch gives French film buffs a gripping single perspective viewpoint from what is supposed to be a Ferrari 275 GTB blasting through the streets of Paris from Porte Dauphine to the top of the hill of Montmartre, without worrying about traffic or road safety.

In Citroën’s version, the DS 5LS R Concept sedan, developed for China, is shown in a 1 minute and 50-second clip that starts off looking more like the video the company produced to launch their Numero 9 Concept back in 2013.   There are shots of the route but few are from the vehicle’s point of view and it’s all intercut with a suave male approaching then driving the car while a chic woman preps for the encounter by beginning in the shower, dressing and then strolling through Paris to their meeting destination at the square of the Sacred Heart.  The visual impact of the original film’s continuous single shot drama is lost, as is the plot that reveals the woman only at the end.  In its place we have fast-paced, quick-edited piece that attempts to exude excitement by looking like any other contemporary video of the same genre.

The audio bests the video as it allows us to appreciate the sound of the 1.6 litre THP delivering 300 bhp through the six-speed transmission.

You be judge.  View it here:

Then compare the original “C’etait un Rendez-Vous” by Claude Lelouch.  (View it in our Video Archive – Members Section – Archive Documents menu. )

The original film was shot not from a Ferrari, but with a Mercedes 450SEL 6.9 (chosen for its hydro-pneumatic suspension – presumably a DS wasn’t up to the speed) that Lelouch himself drove.  To maintain the authenticity of his audio,  Lelouch chose not to overdub the sound in a studio but to redo the course across Paris in a Ferrari 275 GTB to re-record a riveting sound to the single 8-minute camera view.

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