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RENT - Look Pretty and Do As Little as Possible: A Video Essay

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RENT is terrible and I hate it.

Twitter: @thelindsayellis
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Lindsay Ellis
Lindsay Ellis
  • Sema


    15 घंटे पहले

    "I'm Roger"

  • Caitie Regan

    Caitie Regan

    दिन पहले

    How to Survive A Plague fucked me up.

  • Caitie Regan

    Caitie Regan

    दिन पहले

    Yeah, rent is awful and I will always have mixed feelings because of my bisexuality. But AIDS was a plague and as you say, RENT ain't it. Also Spring Awakening was lit when I saw it in 2006.

  • Sergeant Hastagazpacho

    Sergeant Hastagazpacho

    दिन पहले

    I just finished watching the intro and paused to process the immense stupidity and utter disgust of the story you shared.
    Here's hoping the rest of this video will convince me not to start drinking.

  • Andrew Kohler

    Andrew Kohler

    दिन पहले

    One more issue with Rent: this music ain't Puccini. Warning—the following may cause you to melt into a puddle:

  • Andrew Kohler

    Andrew Kohler

    दिन पहले

    I shall leave this here:

  • TheMoonPrincess2


    2 दिन पहले

    This is the first time I heard of Rent tbh

    • Kelly Kobayashi

      Kelly Kobayashi

      2 दिन पहले

      TheMoonPrincess2 I count you lucky. A few of my theater friends took me to see this back when it hit cinemas. Not only had I watched my aunt and grandpa be tortured to death by MS through the 80s and 90s, but my family had also gone through bankruptcy. Illness and poverty were real to me. I feel like RENT might only be palatable to people who've experienced neither. =_=;

  • digapygmy70


    2 दिन पहले

    My roommate walked by as Maureen is singing that horrible song, and she exclaimed, "That's such a great song!!! I love Rent!!!" (She is straight; I'm queer and despise Rent.)

  • Gino Feretti

    Gino Feretti

    3 दिन पहले

    "pose" is soo much superior

  • Utkan Aktaş

    Utkan Aktaş

    4 दिन पहले

    You should made a case for 2019 version of it.

  • Kurt E. Clothier

    Kurt E. Clothier

    8 दिन पहले

    If you ever visit St. Louis, be sure to catch a show at the Fabulous Fox theater! When we were in college, my wife I and would go regularly. They had special deals for kids with college IDs to get any available seats for $20 an hour before the show started. We went pretty to basically every show they had, and Rent was great back then. Now I see it as the garbage it is.

    • Kurt E. Clothier

      Kurt E. Clothier

      8 दिन पहले

      Also, the first time we saw this movie, when Mark and Roger are singing their big "let's get back together" song, and he shows up on the roof after Mark tells the audience he quits his job, my wife lean over and meekly asked "are they going to be gay now, too?" I really had no idea.

  • Justin Taub

    Justin Taub

    8 दिन पहले

    also you forgot the movie "and the band played on" with matthew modine and ian mckellan (and also phil collins playing a gay bath house owner, which is just awesome) as a great example of a movie showing the gritty reality of those cdc doctors who came up with that plan you mentioned was rejected by regan in the beginning of the video. those who dont just say screw the system but fight tooth and nail within it to effect impactful change at a level where they can actually bring good to tons of people.

  • squirrelbuddi


    9 दिन पहले

    44:36 yes

  • squirrelbuddi


    9 दिन पहले

    Every person that burst at the seams about Rent turned me off to ever seeing it. I never even knew what it was about until this video. ty....i'll continue to not see it thx.

  • That Fart Of Doom meant:-

    That Fart Of Doom meant:-

    11 दिन पहले

    Governments don't protect people. They are a means of farming people.
    To change that you have to be the Government.
    But then, if you don't farm people, others will bring you down and farm you, instead. And so it is and has been since humans began to be domesticated by their various masters 10,000 years ago.

    One of the best strategies used by human farmers is to portray themselves and their contrivances as effulgent sources of moral goodness.
    The 'Source of Moral Goodness" sticker grants people the license to kill, control and farm other human beings without severely affecting their consciences whilst simultaneously garnering support from growing armies of naive moral supremacists.
    And so it is and has been since humans began to be domesticated by their various masters 10,000...etc.

  • Hannah Lynn

    Hannah Lynn

    12 दिन पहले

    It's not perfect. The way I see it, Jonathan Larson lived it. This was his vision. He lost a lot of people due to aids. Maybe he didn't want to focus on the political aspects and just the artist community he was surrounded by.

  • Corwin Rainier

    Corwin Rainier

    12 दिन पहले

    This is why I felt so unsatisfied RENT. This video provided a lot of necessary clarification. Thanks, Lindsay!

  • Miss


    13 दिन पहले

    Cringiest lines from Rent:
    “I have to finish my own film; I quit!”
    “I didn’t recognise you, without the handcuffs”
    “They say that I have the best ass, below 14th Street. Is it true?”
    “Every single day I walk down the street, I hear people say “babbbyyyyy!” so sweet!” (Or is it “babbbbbyyy, so sweet!”? Like I don’t know if these people passing by are saying “baby, so sweet” or she’s saying “so sweet” in response? Cringey af either way 😂)
    “Has she ever poured her lips, and called you, “Pookie””?
    “From now on, I shoot without a script”
    “I’m writing one great song, before I die” (not really the line itself but just the way he says/sings it cracks me up/makes me cringe 😂 and the fact it's so hard for him to write a single song when this is what he's supposed to be doing instead of working. 😂)
    Any other suggestions?

    • Miss


      2 दिन पहले

      Haha oh really I don't mind it/ find it quite cute, especially when Angel goes "boys like me" but that's just me 😂 I can understand where you're coming from though Also I never saw Angel as a transexual, but a drag queen, I think, I don't know a lot about that stuff though so it's not really my place to say Oh by the way, I do actually like Rent (not so much the film but yeah), but I can't half bloody see what's wrong with and it makes me cringe like hell at times 😂

    • Steven Roth

      Steven Roth

      3 दिन पहले

      Umm... "I like boys" (delivered in the pervyest tone possible) pretty much kinda needs to be at the top of that list, and not just for the fact that the line was directed at a trans *woman*.

  • September Maeve

    September Maeve

    13 दिन पहले

    It’s not stealing because you’re an artist and the rules don’t apply to you

  • Kirintal


    16 दिन पहले

    In short Taye Diggs is the only good thing about RENT.

  • Smashproplaya !

    Smashproplaya !

    17 दिन पहले

    Even with all these fair criticisms, I still love the musical, but the movie isn’t a good adaptation

    Great vid Lindsay, keep it up!!!

  • Bryan Eyers

    Bryan Eyers

    19 दिन पहले

    Loved this. But Mark's arc might be developing sensitivity. After being chided by the homeless woman, he does put the camera down at the AIDS support meeting.

  • Christian England

    Christian England

    20 दिन पहले

    you are an artist, and you work so hard to create the content that you are well deserved to be monetized for. thank you.

  • aussieevonne


    21 दिन पहले

    3:21 Health care is a right.

  • The Neon Chimp Channel

    The Neon Chimp Channel

    21 दिन पहले

    The problem with "not selling out" is that there is a big difference between actually selling out and just doing something to put food on the table while you try to build whatever career you really want. I don't think any big name film director or musician or artist of any kind has suddenly gone from nothing to making a living from their art (unless they won a competition, in which case they're probably back where they started a year later). I used to think that it'd be selling out to put my music on iTunes because I don't personally use iTunes, but that's a stupid way to look at it. If someone wants to give you money for doing what you love, it shouldn't matter how the transaction goes down. The guy turning down a high paying job in his chosen profession is even stupider. If he took the job, he could still do his own art after hours and he'd have more of a budget for it. If I'd put my music on iTunes 10 years ago, maybe I'd be slightly better off financially than I am. So now I'm playing catch up. But there is very much that sentiment in the artistic community and people have often been too quick to jump on an artist for "selling out". Against Me's own fans slashed the tyres on the band's tour bus when they signed to a major label. Even though the music they made was still true to who they were. Now if they'd suddenly sounded like Britney Spears or Ricky Martin, that'd be selling out. So maybe the me of a decade ago might have had some sympathy for the character, but the 36 year old me just sees the foolishness of a man who could have had it all but was too stubborn to let it happen.

  • Karen Page

    Karen Page

    22 दिन पहले

    19:14 I think he was coming back from JFK.

  • Brittni Chenelle

    Brittni Chenelle

    23 दिन पहले

    Detailed, thoughtful, well written, well researched, impactful, entertaining. What can you even say about this channel? It's impressive.

  • Sailor PlanetMars

    Sailor PlanetMars

    24 दिन पहले

    The thing that made Rent (more so the show than the movie) work for me was that ultimately... all the art they made with all this “suffering” was just bad. Roger’s song was flaccid, Mark’s documentary was boring and Maureen’s performance art was... whatever it was. So it kind of felt like a bit of an unreliable narrator setup, because even the reward for the main characters for their self-inflicted suffering was nothing (well, Roger got Mimi but aside from that). So it’s a bit like a story played on the wrong stage. All the actual story happens elsewhere, and they throw glimpses of that at you, like with the homeless woman and debatably even Angel, but we’re stuck looking at these disgustingly palatable middle-class self-inserts that even the story doesn’t seem to like. I know this likely wasn’t the intention (but also - this is Broadway. Butts in seats above all else), but Rent as a self-parody, almost Brechtian in nature, actually becomes quite an excoriating look at cis, straight, white entitlement against a backdrop of abject horror that is substantially ignored.
    Again I know this isn’t really what they were after in all likelihood - they just sanitised the AIDS crisis so they could repackage it to Reagan voters (but the economy!) without actually making them uncomfortable. But the sanitisation is so shallow and poorly done that it actually shoots the moon for me and comes down on the other side as biting self-parody.

  • Joseph Magliocca

    Joseph Magliocca

    27 दिन पहले

    36:01 except for the dog thing

  • kawaii kate

    kawaii kate

    29 दिन पहले

    "PLAGUE! We are in the middle of a f@#$ing PLAGUE and you behave like this!" I laughed out loud. That was so perfect! He just interrupts their song like WTF people! I might be a horrible person, but it was just so sudden and I wasn't expecting it, it made me laugh! But then I liked how she framed the rest of the song with the entire speech. That was a profound way to end the video.

  • monica carranco

    monica carranco

    महीने पहले

    In cyberland we only drink ...... DiEt cOkE

  • Miss


    महीने पहले

    Also it’s a bit of a petty criticism but Roger sings about Mimi looking like his ex girlfriend when there are clips of April and they literally couldn’t look more different 😂

  • Miss


    महीने पहले

    Yeah I always wondered how Mimi became a heroin addicted stripper if she had a loving mother ringing her back home. I don’t know cos I don’t have any experience of that situation myself, but I would have thought surely a girl that young would have been living that lifestyle cos they have no other choice?
    But yeah the whole hating they’re parents things really nagged me with this. They were very lucky to have parents who cared about them; they’re are some seriously abusive and neglectful parents out there and people who would probably do anything to have a mother ring up and see how they are.

  • Miss


    महीने पहले

    Rent to me is the “Valley of the Dolls” of the theatre world, I can see what’s wrong with it and I think it’s awful half the time I’m watching yet I still love it. Definitely a guilty pleasure.
    (The film adaption is bad though)

  • ShanteYouStay


    महीने पहले

    I love her POV. There are songs I really enjoy but Dammit the people all seem like such entitled snowflakes who can’t just get jobs. I know people love it. I just don’t think having loving parents is a reason why you want to go live in the gutter. I also think La Boheme made more sense in place of the "starving artists" we are presented with. There only the dancer and lawyer who seem to keep jobs. Maybe Colins for some of the show.

  • Wintergreen_Medley


    महीने पहले

    hotwiring an atm is illegal but not necessarily immoral.
    (also obv mimi is a bad person. but isn't that the point in a way that it isn't for say, mark who is supposed to be sympathetic and frankly isn't?)

  • Kate Friend

    Kate Friend

    महीने पहले

    In 2001 Napster was still A Thing, and I downloaded "La Vie Boheme" without having seen the show or knowing anything about it. I had to guess what was going on based on the bit of dialogue in the beginning... I envisioned some kind of co-op restaurant owned/run by the bohemians which was being threatened by a capitalist who'd raised the rent. That was what I thought the show was. I wasn't super curious, didn't have access to Broadway shows, and there was no movie yet... It was years before I heard the whole score and figured out my misunderstanding. I'm amazed that something this bad got so big.

  • JohnEnigma


    महीने पहले

    It's kind of ironic that the biggest musical right now is about revolution but only people with money can see it.

  • RobTunes


    महीने पहले

    Lindsay, the intercutting between Rent and the AIDS crisis at the end was chilling - truly masterful work. Thank you so much for what you do.

  • Fabiano Backup

    Fabiano Backup

    महीने पहले

    Wow! That was powerful down to the last minute.

    By the way, I sincerely hope Ronald Reagan is burning in Hell for eternity.

  • Matthew Fodell

    Matthew Fodell

    महीने पहले

    Very interesting that a Brazilian theorist created the term “Theater of the Oppressed.” This reflects another brilliant Brazilian radical theorist, liberation theologist Paulo Freire, who wrote a very famous book on education (specifically his theory of critical pedagogy) which he called Pedagogy of the Oppressed. I wonder if Freire inspired Boal’s term or vice versa. Certainly Freire was extremely influential (and that book is very much worth reading— I couldn’t agree more with his argument and conclusions)... He was influential to the point that Brazil’s various past and present fascist governments saw him as quite a threat and criminalized his work.

    • Matthew Fodell

      Matthew Fodell

      महीने पहले

      Also, for the record, nobody should have to pay rent.

  • zaria Ironstand

    zaria Ironstand

    महीने पहले

    I love ‘take me or leave me’, it’s such a goooood song, but damn Maureen seems so toxic in it, she makes valid points but she’s also being hella immature and acts like it’s ridiculous and impossible for her to not flirt with everyone right in front of her girlfriend, also she mocks her and calls her names :(

    idina is still hella hot during it tho lmao

  • Samuel Lowery

    Samuel Lowery

    महीने पहले

    You deserve an award for your videos, but THIS is my favorite video you have ever done. Bless you, Granny Ellis. Shake that walker, girl.

  • Abhishek Mondal

    Abhishek Mondal

    महीने पहले the film is the most accurate depiction of artists ever...entitled idiots...

  • Jaden Phillips

    Jaden Phillips

    महीने पहले

    i'm a couple years late to this video but an actual good piece of theatre that is about the aids crisis is 'falsettos'. has amazing lgbt representation (both gay men/lesbian relationships are present), was written decades before rent, and is overall better in terms of characters/story flow/oh you know the gay men actually being mad that no one's doing anything. recently had a broadway revival. it's amazing!

  • isis odonis

    isis odonis

    महीने पहले

    Sure your in your twenties 🤣😂🤣😂😂

    • Fire Fire

      Fire Fire

      16 दिन पहले

      honey what?

  • Sara Bellin

    Sara Bellin

    महीने पहले

    I watched this movie all the time when I was 12 and you tearing into Mark was like you tearing into the embarrassingly pretentious teenager I grew into and I loved every minute of it. I saw no faults in any of these characters when I was younger and it's hilarious to me now. Great work!

  • Daniel Andrade

    Daniel Andrade

    महीने पहले

    But do they pay rent at the end or not?

  • darkexcalibur42


    महीने पहले

    Sounds like White Privilege the Musical, using minorities or the disenfranchised and their stories and struggles to highlight the "heroism" of middle-class white people whose only financial problems are self-inflicted for their own fun....

  • B P

    B P

    महीने पहले

    Hmm...I’ve never seen Rent (i’m glad). It sounds a like an “dark and gritty™️” version of Friends.

  • Sarah Jane

    Sarah Jane

    महीने पहले

    I wish I could do this with Ad Astra. All 45 minutes and 53 seconds of this rocks.

  • SwagHags69


    महीने पहले

    I've watched countless video essays from many different people and I would absolutely say this is the best one I've ever seen. I love how well you analyse movies and give the broader context as well as being an entertaining personality. No other critic matches your quality.

  • Harpia


    महीने पहले

    i don't even know why im watching this episode, i hate musicals!!

  • peter burczyk

    peter burczyk

    महीने पहले

    After watching the actual play and loving it, this movie is a complete and utter piece of shit that has no business calling itself rent

  • Ozzy King

    Ozzy King

    महीने पहले

    I’m a closeted not rent fan at my school that did it my freshman year of high school

  • Meme Thief

    Meme Thief

    महीने पहले

    14:35 is that Holden Ford?

  • bee pot

    bee pot

    महीने पहले

    The ending really punched me in the heart.

  • Raenee


    महीने पहले

    I still love Rent 🤷🏾‍♀️

  • Heather Gillen

    Heather Gillen

    महीने पहले

    You are adorable.

  • 2013 Chevy Volt

    2013 Chevy Volt

    महीने पहले

    that intro is one of the reasons I start fuming when people say "You can survive trump, you survived Reagan." no. we didnt.

  • Daniel TheDannyDanMan

    Daniel TheDannyDanMan

    महीने पहले

    Mot only just a black man, A black man who got ahead from being in poverty. I agree, fuck capitalism. But when you steal, you steal from Walmart not the bodega down the street. You hurt the poor people and their family, not corporate people making all of our lives hell.

    I love Rent tho

  • theodore salmon

    theodore salmon

    महीने पहले

    oh my gawd...does suck?...good songs tho

  • Bryan Joon

    Bryan Joon

    महीने पहले

    Looking back I think part of the problem with RENT is that it was through the eyes of Jonathan Larson (RIP). He was friends with folks who died of the plague but as a cis white straight male with parents who had a decent income, he wasn't actually being affected by the devastation within himself. So the musical tries to paint itself as sociological when it's really somewhat an anthropologist looking in. Basically, Larson was Mark, so therein lies the flaw(s).

  • Paula Stiles

    Paula Stiles

    महीने पहले

    Eh...I think Jesus Christ Superstar and Godspell were actual classics. Stuff like The Mod Squad? Hasn't aged nearly as well.

  • Skol Rooster

    Skol Rooster

    महीने पहले

    I have a new hatred for RENT

  • ItchySnazzy


    महीने पहले

    The Trail of Tears, Japanese internment camps, and the HIV crisis are just some of the many horrific crimes our imperialist government committed. If these can happen then in America they can certainly happen now in one form or another.

    • Matthias Thulman

      Matthias Thulman

      18 दिन पहले

      You know there are Muslims in concentration camps in China right now and an open air slave market in Libya... Maybe focus on fixing what we can in the present instead of whining about the past. Ps. What the fuck does aids have to do with imperialism? Seems like you don't really know what the fuck you're talking about and just using buzzwords you've heard on the internet.

  • TheOtioseFanatic


    महीने पहले

    Thank you for making this video. The movie of rent came out while I was still in highschool and ohh boy did all my friends love it and for the life of me I could not put my finger on why. I went along with it though because as an LGBTQ+ person I felt I just had to, even though I found the gay and bi characters in the show are like... the worst fucking people. I didnt even think about how bad the camera guy was till now fuck this whole thing is just awful.

  • Jason V.

    Jason V.

    महीने पहले

    "Is he about to sell me a really manly truck?" made me spit soda out of my nose. Thanks for that.

  • Texmex386


    महीने पहले

    I know someone who adores this stageshow/movie and it explains so much.

  • Vixx Celacea

    Vixx Celacea

    महीने पहले

    You perfectly encapsulated why I hate the movie and could never feel much for the characters. It also insists upon itself. Having these ballads that pull on your heartstrings ("Measure in love") that tell you how you should feel, but then I didn't.
    These are all dumpster fire people who don't even have the courtesy to be used as heat for the actual starving and destitute on the street.
    It also says something super unsettling if the good guy/trans woman who killed a dog for cold hard cash is the most sympathetic protagonist.
    There is nothing of value to find in suffering. The only value is reflecting on how terrible it is and what we can do to stop it. Not musing about how there is beauty in the darkest times. Sometimes, those times just were dark. No one turned on the light because they were too busy pretending that they could see a silver lining somewhere, which lead and leads millions to die in silence, alone and cold, in that same dark.
    And when we finally do shed light on it, we just see it littered with bodies of those whom desperately needed for there to be an actual light turned on, not people saying that think they saw a little glimmer in order to console themselves with how horrific pitch black actually is.

    Protesting, taking a stand and trying to do what you can to change a system, not buck against it is turning on that light. Education is one of many candles in the dark. But sure, continue to insist that you see a light in the dark never ending tunnel because "This will work out" or worse "Life isn't fair" excuses.