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Ray & Liz

Das Kino Ray & Liz


Thursday 20th June
8pm screening **NO ADS OR TRAILERS**
The Old Baths Cafe,
80 Eastway, E9 5JH 

The intensely autobiographical debut feature by Turner prize-nominated artist Richard Billingham, offers an extraordinarily vivid snapshot of working-class life in the Midlands under Thatcher. Composed of three intimate, interconnected vignettes, the film sees the writer-director contemplate his family’s slide towards poverty over the course of the 1980s, his parents’ deteriorating relationship and his father’s subsequent withdrawal from society.
The project is to some degree an extension of Billingham’s 1996 photo series Ray’s a Laugh, which featured unflinching, and often unflattering, portraits of his gaunt, alcoholic father Ray, his heavily-tattooed, chain-smoking mother Liz, and their ornately decorated but squalid living environment. But whereas the photos were interpreted by some as provocative poverty porn, the film gradually elicits compassion for characters that, at first glance, seem fundamentally unsympathetic.
Billingham’s background as a photographer is evident in his acutely observational shooting style, but his screenplay’s elegant triptych structure and tersely poetic dialogue demonstrate an artistry that goes far beyond visual flair.