fbpx Ray & Liz | Gene Siskel Film Center
22nd Annual Chicago European Union Film Festival

Ray & Liz

2018, Richard Billingham, UK, 108 min.

Show Times

  • Fri, Mar 22nd 6:00pm
  • Sat, Mar 23rd 3:45pm

“Stellar debut feature…[Billingham] draws on his childhood to vividly recreate the actions and sensations of dysfunctional life on the margins.”--Mark Peranson, Cinema Scope

After capturing his dysfunctional family in art exhibitions, documentaries, and photo books, acclaimed artist Richard Billingham makes his narrative feature debut with this autobiographical look at life on the dole in Thatcher-era England. Billingham's father Ray gives the film its through line, first glimpsed separated from Billingham's mother Liz and alone in a squalid bedroom, where he spends his days reminiscing and drinking copious amounts of suspicious-looking home brew. From here, RAY & LIZ cuts between Ray's later days in an alcoholic stupor and a pair of vignettes set in the 1980s: one in which Billingham's younger brother Jason is left in the care of a mentally impaired uncle, and another in which Jason disappears for several days without either of his cash-strapped parents noticing. Meticulously recreating his family's abodes and shooting on richly textured 16mm film, Billingham evokes his often-tumultuous upbringing with both unsparingly bleak humor and surprisingly wistful tenderness, crafting an evocation of bygone youth fit to slot alongside the nostalgic visions of Terence Davies. In English. DCP digital. Courtesy of KimStim. (Cameron Worden)

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