THE WINTER LEAGUE
A FILM BY LAWRENCE BECKO & BROKEN PIXEL
A lost film from Broken Pixel and Lawrence Becko, created in 2008 and released by Forest Industries in 2011, with a handmade book of maps and original artworks.
The Winter League is a music and film collaboration created by Lawrence Becko and, film maker Ashley Dean aka Broken Pixel. The project was originally recorded, performed and exhibited between 2008-2011, including at Leeds Metropolitan University and Walsall New Art Gallery. The project combines original music with an ambient documentary film, charting the journey of a group of environmentalists in a future Britain that has been ravaged by climate change. The film is presented as a montage of supposedly rediscovered fragments, invented archive footage and low fidelity clips from the cutting room floor. The jourey takes in windfarms, broken piers, seabirds, urban landfill, boat graveyards, a rusting cruise-liner and abandoned lighthouses. Drawing as before on Lawrence's synaesthesia, the sensory palette, music, scenery and performers' costumes focused on blues, greys, gold and yellow.
Part One: LAND follows the migration of the seagull from its coastal home to the inland urban landfill sites which it now calls home. The fragments of film piece together the final days of The Winter League travelling across a land seemingly abandoned, save for its seabird protagonist, where windfarms turn for no-one and fridge mountains tower on the horizon.
Part Two: SEA pieces together the story of The Winter League's journey to the coast where they hope the Coastal Guard will carry them across the sea to safety. On arrival, they find the shoreline abandoned, littered with boat graveyards and crumbling lighthouses. The film concludes with The Sleeping Forecast - an evocative epilogue in which the abandoned lighthouses seem to come alive again, as if in a dream.
The film was released at a time before climate change was front page news, and echoed and expanded on themes in Lawrence's first album, From the Ground Up, and its follow-up, Trials (collected here as Earth Songs). Rewatching the piece now, what seemed like a dystopian vision of a future without us, has started to feel all too real.
Reproduced with the kind permission of the Winter League Trust.