' ' Cinema Romantico: Let The Mystery Be

Friday, June 24, 2011

Let The Mystery Be

By now you have seen this photo dozens of times. A young guy and girl in the midst of the Vancouver post-Stanley Cup riots sharing a kiss. What did you think the first time you saw it? I was entranced. I must have stared at it with astonished awe for at least a couple minutes. A sensationally private but altogether beautiful moment with the most publicly frightening backdrop imaginable. Many people probably instantly assumed it was photoshopped or some such thing. But I'm an earnest mo-fo and so that never crossed my mind. I believed in it from the get-go.
Who were they? What brought them there in that moment? Was he a Canuck fan and she a Bruin fan or vice versa? Or were they both Canuck fans? Both Bruin fans? If the former, were they morbidly depressed in defeat? If the latter, were they drunk on victory? Did they not like hockey and go anyway just to say they were there? Did they not attend the game and merely get caught up in the melee afterwards? Did they even know each other? Did they just meet that night? Did they sit across the aisle from one another, share a glance and think "He/She's the one for me"? Was this a passionate "Brief Encounter" set against the backdrop of hockey fan rioting? Did they fatefully run into one another in the midst of the riot? Was this just a sudden eruption of infatuation in the middle of ridiculous chaos? If so, would they spend the night together? Would they get married the next morning? Or in a couple years? Would they have a loving union and wonderful kids? Would they spiral into a rageful divorce? Or would they never speak again? Would they dream of one another for the rest of eternity? Would they see footage of the riots 25 years from now and remember that kiss? You could go on and on for days and days. And the best part?
The best part was I didn't know. I'd never know. It was a glorious mystery that would be left unsolved to the ages. A snapshot of a magnificent moment in time that only its participants would ever truly understand. The rest of us, to paraphrase Julie Delpy in "Before Sunrise", could invent the best and worst for them.
Except I knew none of that was true. I knew within 48 hours we'd have the whole damn story. What, you think modern media can leave anything alone? Ha! WE.HAVE.TO.KNOW.

Scott Jones is from Perth, Australia and Alex Thomas, his girlfriend of six months, is from Vancouver, British Columbia. They were trying to escape from the mass turbulence. Riot police swarmed them. She went down. He went back for her. He kissed her to calm her down. Which is both a little frightening and, admittedly, a little romantic. I'm glad they're both okay and I'm glad it sounds as if they are nobly going to refrain from cashing in on this situation (on the next season of "Amazing Race", Scott Jones & Alex Thomas!) and I don't want to make light of what happened to them but, damn it, this is all so boring now.

How much longer would this have lasted if we had not known their names and we had not known their situations and if they had just slipped into the ether, two real-life lip-locked Easter Island statues, a timeless, perfect photograph left for generations to view as they smiled and wondered?

1 comment:

Castor said...

Yes, it's a wonderful picture that should have been left basking in its mystery forever ;)