What's the point?

There’s such a freestyle feel to the proceedings that one wonders what the point is:

- French girls are neurotic and promiscuous?
- British artists are wussies?
- Those who live by the gun will die by the gun?
- No matter how much a person tries to escape to focus on fulfilling his/her art (whatever that might be), the corruption of the world will come knocking on your door and might even share your bed?
- That even a finely cultured man will resort to his primordial nature if backed into a corner? (which is reminiscent of the later "Straw Dogs").

The film obviously has its partisans, who deem it a masterpiece (for instance, Jack Nicholson cited it as his favorite movie). There are some interesting technical things going on, like the 7.5 minute scene on the beach, which was one of the longest continuous sequences in cinema up to that point. But the characters are oddball and unlikable while the story is meandering and dramatically dull. Yet the locations, the cast and the themes are to die for, not to mention the eccentricities.