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Director: Richard Billingham

Screenwriter: Richard Billingham

Producer: Jacqui Davies

Editor: Tracy Granger

Cast: Ella Smith, Justin Salinger, Patrick Romer, Deirdre Kelly, Tony Way, Sam Gittins, Joshua Millard-Lloyd

Cinamatographer: Daniel Landin

 

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Ray & Liz

Wisconsin Premiere • narrative • UK • 2018 • DCP • 108 MIN

section: New International Cinema

This superb memory piece renders three vignettes from a working-class English family's life with such vivid attention to detail, it feels as though you’ve entered a photo album. In a run-down public housing flat in Thatcher-era Birmingham, alcoholic Ray and layabout Liz leave their two young sons to their own devices, to an almost surreal degree. Etched in tactile 16mm by Under the Skin cinematographer Daniel Landin, Richard Billingham's family portrait exudes a raw tenderness that imbues even its starkest tableaux with a twinge of reminiscence. Expanding upon his signature autobiographical collection Ray's a Laugh, the Turner-nominated photographer combines two key modes of British cinema, threading the kitchen-sink squalor of Ken Loach with the preserved-in-amber childhood evocations found in the early films of Terence Davies and Lynne Ramsay. "By turns sad, funny, and humanist, Billingham's film is a successful example of a visual artist grasping the unique language of cinema and its power to convey both time's passing and its jolting immediacy. While each of the characters is exquisitely sketched and superbly acted, the film accrues power by the strength of its indelible details" (Cinema Scope). (MK)
 

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