Peder, Ghost of a Smile

This was not a song, or an artist I knew anything about. I saw this video, slightly randomly the other morning when I was killing time and it has stuck with me. The slow moving track, that nods to some of the classic ‘crooners’ and the beautiful, contrasting visuals gives the video a fabulously melancholy feeling. To a first time listener you might almost expect a fifties setting, with a love story being played out in under-lit streets when you listen to a track. Instead Peder, who co-directed this video with Simon Bonde, has taken a route that is not dictated by the history of this style of song, but rather created a more disturbing story.
The little boy, left in the car, goes in search of his father. The setting, long industrial corridors, made me first thing of the old chemical defence plant on an airbase I once visited. That same sense of neglect and redundancy is evident, whilst there is also an element of threat.
Bare-knuckle fighting is not something I have much knowledge of, beyond having seen Fight Club a couple of times ages ago, but the masked opponent, the moments when the father (Peder) almost wins, created a great deal of tension. The true abandonment comes at the end, when the boy approaches and he doesn’t move. The boy is left, with the spectators looking on, as the dust begins to settle.
I don’t think I would have found this video so inspiring were it not for the beauty of the cinematography, the use of lighting and the gritty tale.

-NOF

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