A new music video for Leonard Cohen’s “Puppets,” which originally appeared on the artist’s 2019 posthumous studio album Thanks For The Dance. This music video was directed by Daniel Askill, who also created the visual for “Happens to the Heart.” According to a press release, Askill worked closely with Cohen’s son Adam Cohen for the project.
“Puppets” is a simple, yet visually stunning video, as a young boy wearing a vintage suit and old fashioned hat from the 1940s walks down an alleyway, his face obscured by shadows up until he steps into the light. This presentation fits the song’s lyrical matter, as Cohen compares humanity to puppets, recalling events such as the Holocaust. At the end of the video, the child self-immolates, recalling the infamous photo of a Buddhist monk set ablaze in Saigon.
“This video for Puppets has been born out of a wonderful ongoing dialogue with Adam Cohen,” Askill explained in a press release. “It is in some ways a darker counter point to the first film we made for ‘Happens to the Heart.’ Shot on location in New York, this film follows the symbolic journey of a single figure through darkness towards a transcendence. In many ways, it is visually pointing to the idea that Leonard often beautifully evokes in different ways — that the darkness and the light of our experience is deeply entangled — and maybe at a fundamental level they are in fact one and the same.”
Numerous musicians have covered the legendary singer-songwriter in recent years, with Nathaniel Rateliff and Aimee Mann hosting renditions of his classics in recent years. Pink Floyd’s David Gilmour covered “Bird On A Wire” and “So Long Marianne” last spring.