I saw this back when it was released in Paris. In those days I had only begun to watch films seriously so I didn't have much experience concerning when to leave or when I was allowed to get bored. I stayed through the whole thing - all three hours plus - and came out genuinely perplexed. It was a talkathon, no question about that, and at times it seemed to me that the actors were just making things up as they went along, just treading dramatic water as it were. Although not much of anything happened or was even said, the characters discussed the nothingness to the point of madness, I thought. It seemed at the time to be a huge joke on the audience. The director did in fact make a commercially viable film years late with "Celine et Julie...", still quite long - to the point of undermining itself - but not as obnoxiously obsessed with its "meaning" or "significance". There are in fact many good French films out there that aren't endurance contests as I subsequently found out.
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