Ray & Liz
Money (lack of) and alcohol, that's what life is all about for Ray and Liz, the parents of photographer and filmmaker Richard Billingham. In 1996 Billingham broke through with Ray's a Laugh, a photography book portraying his alcoholic father Ray and his mother Liz, a large woman with arms covered in tattoos — a book filled with pictures of a desolate life in an equally desolate Cradley Heath, a town west of Birmingham. With Ray & Liz, his first feature, Billingham has captured the memories of his childhood and upbringing in moving images, a story of loneliness, but also warmth, told in three episodes.
In Billingham's own words: "It's about my family. My father Raymond is a chronic alcoholic. He doesn't like going outside and mostly drinks homebrew. My mother Elizabeth hardly drinks but she does smoke a lot. She likes pets and things that are decorative. They married in 1970 and I was born soon after."