Not This

October 7, 2011 § Leave a comment

About three years ago I was watching Woody Allen’s Vicky, Cristina, Barcelona at a theatre in Montreal.  The film is about various female protagonists embarking on different roads in their romantic lives. Christina, played by Scarlett Johanssen, becomes involved with a sexy Spanish painter who, as it turns out, has a volatile ex-girlfriend he’s still in love with.  The three of them end up shacking up together in a humorous love-triangle-turned-artists’-colony as the film unfolds.

One night Christina wakes up in the middle of night and goes into the kitchen to write in her journal.  While she has been happy with her adventures in Spain, slowly, she’s begun to realize, this just isn’t what she wants.  She’s not disspointed, merely, dissatisfied.  She makes a little espresso in the dim light, sips it quietly.  The next morning she tells her lovers, “I don’t know what I want but I know it’s not this.”

At the time when this film came out, I was deep in the muck of a complicated film production, relationship confusion, financial stresses, and an imprecise gnawing dissatisfaction with the direction my life was taking.   I envied Cristina’s freedom. I, also, longed to wake up in the wee hours of the morning alone, brew a coffee, decide to be or do otherwise, to write in my journal, to leave when I wanted to, to go where I wished to go. Alas, at that point in my life, leaving wasn’t an option. I had a feature film to produce and a long road ahead of me to travel.  Oddly, I felt trapped by the very things I had strived to attain, and this caused me a lot of grief.

Sometimes, we don’t have the luxury of knowing what we want, and yet, simply knowing that it’s “not this” is all the information we need.


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