Rivette's claim to the status of a key innovator in contemporary cinema began with this film; it marks the beginning of his distrust of the mechanisms of fiction. A theatre director (Kalfon) mounts a production of Racine's Andromache starring his wife (Ogier), under the mechanical eyes of a TV documentary unit. Wife cracks under the strain and withdraws; director's former mistress takes the part. The field is thus cleared for confrontations betwen husband and wife, between theatre and TV, between ordered passion and mad love. All confrontations duly occur (plus a clash between 16mm filmstock for the theatre scenes and 35mm for the rest), at a length that exceeds all obvious expectation - and thus begins to reach areas that conventional movies don't touch. Finally, even the pretentious title is justified by the shattering, improvised ending, which sees Kalfon and Ogier demolish each other and their apartment.