La Vie Boheme

Over Thanksgiving I saw the movie version of Rent. I havent seen the play so this was my first exposure to the story.

During the singing of the song La Vie Boheme I found myself stirring in my seat a little bit. Some thoughts developed after the movie finished and have been circling in my head off and on for days now. So I figured I would share them with you.

The Bohemian lifestyle was portrayed in the movie and heralded through song as something to aspire towards. It seems on a larger overview of the movie that despite living penniless and sickly in the lowest dregs of NYC, love, freedom and integrity can exist. Not only that, but there is glamorous and humerous rebellion against society.

The issue I have with this is that the Bohemian lifestyle may merit moments of glamorous and humerous rebellion, but who are they rebelling against? Society that is overwhelmingly populated by people that work to survive?

Working people want the bohemian lifestyle too. They work night and day to get perhaps 2 days a week of the bohemian life. Others on the poorer scale, work to earn a week or two of, as bohemian as they can afford, vacation.
And then of course there is the issue that the bohemian life is the source of their pain. f*cking whomever of whatever sex they want, whenever they want earned them AIDS. Not heeding warnings of the pitfalls of drug use caused them to get... AIDS. Partying is also very constructive as well as quitting a job that supposedly sucks out your creative soul.

Bohemians' reckless abandon is only making the people slaving and struggling for a few scraps of the good life harder. Who do they think pays for their AZT? Who do they turn to when they get something more serious than the flu? Who pays for and buries them when they succomb to the sickness? When they dont pay their rent, they may be sticking it to a supposed slum lord, but they are contributing to the decline of their environment and hurting all the working people that the slum lord employs.

I am a struggling artist myself. I dont find my creativity evaporating by holding a job. To put it in this light, perhaps all the time they spend screwing, drinking and shooting up, is the same time I spend working. Which conversly means that the leftover time they spend searching for their one song, film, or philosophy, is the same time I spend working towards my artistic visions rather than waiting for them to come to me.

I think the larger issue you're overlooking is that Rent sucks big hairy balls.

Podunk wrote:

I think the larger issue you're overlooking is that Rent sucks big hairy balls.

Remarks of such hilarity shall not be tolerated. I inhaled day old donut due to that one.

It seems on a larger overview of the movie that despite living penniless and sickly in the lowest dregs of NYC, love, freedom and integrity can exist.

I don't know that I have a problem with that idea. Aspiring to things like love and personal integrity are respectable in any level of society, but to contine to do so when you're nearly hitting bottom, to avoid the whole self-centered survivalist mode and dicking people over for yourself... I think is very commendable.

Now, living there for the express purpose of living there and being a part of a lifestyle... now that's kinda stupid. Your job doesn't define who you are... your money might, in how having it affects you, but your money is not who you are.

And, I have to agree with Podunk, the only reason I listened to this stupid crap more than once was because my ex was obsessed with it... but she was a big fan of the musical it was based off of I guess? The only song I liked at all was "Light My Candle," but maybe that's just cuz it was about a chick who performs with a pole and some handcuffs.

We ought to keep in mind that the "Bohemian life" is a romanticized ideal: the noble artist, sacrificing his life and well-being for his art. It's appealing exactly because it's a complete fantasy. In the real world, only those artists make it who realize how to reconcile their desire for art with their need for bread.

Rent is great fun, it's romanticized, rebellious, redemptive - but definitely unreal.

Still, I feel it worked better as a musical ten years ago, when the cast was in their early twenties; at least that made the story more sensible, in the "youth is wasted on the young" kind of a sense.

Oh Don't Get My Dad Started On This.
For some reason, Russians really love to go hard on Bohemians. No wait, throw in any kind of Liberal.

Podunk wrote:

I think the larger issue you're overlooking is that Rent sucks big hairy balls.

Amen. What did the movie close as 8th on opening weekend? Ha ha!

Smials wrote:

For some reason, Russians really love to go hard on Bohemians.

What have Russians got against Czechs? I mean, other than being jealous of their Western Slavic brothers' successes...

Amen. What did the movie close as 8th on opening weekend? Ha ha!

Needed more Rosario Dawson.

Ulairi wrote:
Amen. What did the movie close as 8th on opening weekend? Ha ha!

Needed more Rosario Dawson.

And by more, we mean it needed more of her body shown, not necessarily more time on screen.

I liked the movie, but some of my issues with it had to do with them changing somewhat key factors.

Roger is supposed to be more of an asshole in the beginning. That whole scene when he is with his girlfriend when she gets her HIV test back? Nope. His girlfriend was supposed to slit her wrists and leave him a note that told him "We've got AIDS." Although the leaving the note part probably happened first... anyway, Onward!

Some of the most important things I felt they left out of the movie had to do with how AIDS, or any terminal illness for that matter, doesn't just affect those who have it. I believe twice in the musical, it is pointed out that Marc is having to deal with the fact that he has to watch all his closest friends die. Survivor's Guilt has a rather heady scent.

There are other smaller things they left out, which really took some depth away from the characters, but I won't get into that.

I do highly recommend the musical.