The character played by Jacques Renard was based on Eustache's friend Jean-Jacques Schuhl. Eustache called it a very hostile film, and it mostly consisted of dialogues and monologues about sex.
Eustache says that the character Alexandre is "destroying [the three lead characters], but he is looking for it all along.
My subject is the way in which important actions situate themselves in a continuum of innocuous ones.
It could be the narrative of entirely different acts, in other places.
What happens, the places where the action unfolds, have no importance...
The film had no musical score and only used natural sounds and occasionally music played by the characters on phonographs, such as Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Edith Piaf, Marlene Dietrich and Deep Purple.
Eustache described the film as a "narrative of certain seemingly innocuous acts.
Yes, I’d heard that it was a classic of French cinema, but I wasn’t exactly thrilled at catching an early-morning screening of a three-hour-and-thirty-five-minute black-and-white foreign-language film that reportedly consisted of little more than people sitting around and talking.
Frankly, I was a lot more excited about seeing Scream 2 that evening.
He told a reporter from Le Nouvel Observateur "If I knew what it was that I wanted, I wouldn't wake up in the morning to make films.
I'd do nothing, I'd try to live without doing or producing anything." Soon afterwards he got a new idea for a film to make with his friends Jean-Pierre Léaud and Bernadette Lafont; he also brought in his ex-lover Françoise Lebrun who at that time was a literature student and had never acted before.
The film focuses less on plot or narrative than on the confused and ambivalent lifestyles of these three young people in post-May '68 Paris.
In 1972 Eustache had begun to doubt his career in films and contemplated quitting the business.
After his voyage into madness and depression, he ends up alone.