November 18, 2008

Derek Jarman: Pet Shop Boys “Rent”

A week of Jarman vids, continued! Jarman made three videos for the Pet Shop Boys: Rent, It’s a Sin and a set of projections for the band’s live shows. Today I have posted the video for Rent but I encourage you to seek out the others, as they are phenomenal as well.  I love the lyrics of this song, they are so to the point.

Comments (3)

  • Thanks for your comments, Dominic and Tim (I assume). That’s really interesting that the song is about being a kept woman. It definately makes sense. I assumed that it was a hint about rent boys, but perhaps I just see that in my post-Pet-Shop-Boys-out-of-the-closent hindsight.

  • I’d never seen this video before now, but I recall hearing an interview with Neil Tennant in which he explained that, inspired by Noel Coward, he’d wanted to write a song from the perspective of a kept woman; The song which resulted was “Rent.” Of course, Coward was writing songs which would be sung by women — he usually performed them himself later, only after they were well known from their original contexts. While the plot of Jarman’s video doesn’t follow the narrative of the song, it creates the appropriate layers of ambiguity as to who is being ‘kept’ by whom.

  • The Pet Shop Boys made their own contribution to cinema history… A few years ago, the ICA in London commissioned them to compose a new soundtrack to Battleship Potempkin, and they performed it at a live screening one night in 2003? in Trafalgar Square (where political demos traditionally take place). It was one of the best public programs I ever attended.

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