The renowned photographer Richard Billingham made his feature-film debut with this intricate family portrait, inspired by his own memories of growing up in the West Midlands in the late 70's and early 80's, and then of his father and mother in the late 90's. Billingham revisits the figures of his earlier photographs - his alcoholic father Ray (Justin Salinger / Patrick Romer); his mother Liz (Ella Smith); and his younger brother Jason - with a series of family vignettes where life, lived on the margins of society and societal taboos, can spiral out of control.
- Ray and Liz review by Alphaville
This so-called “film” displays everything that is wrong with modern British cinema. The fact that it’s developed from a 5-minute video artwork piece tells you all you need to know about it. If you’re nevertheless intrigued, just watch the equally abysmal trailer. Based on the artist’s background, it’s a 1980s slice-of-soap set in a Birmingham council flat and worse than any soap you’ll ever see on TV. Sample dialogue: “Pass a fag, Ray”. The “artist” hasn’t a clue about how to make a film. In case he makes another, remember the name: Richard Billingham. Avoid like the plague.