Ray & Liz (2018) - full transcript

Photographer Richard Billingham returns to the squalid council flat outside of Birmingham where he and his brother were raised, in a confrontation and reconciliation with parents Ray and Liz.

Ah. Okay.




Fucking Bible bashers.

...on Radio Four.
It's at six o’clock,

but from me and the entire PM team,
that's all until 5:00 p.m. tomorrow.

Hope you can join us then.
Until then, have a very good evening.

This is BBC Radio Four.

Now at ten to six, the shipping forecast

issued by the Met Office
at 1700 today.

There are warnings of gales in Finisterre.

The general synopsis at 1200...

Dog hairs...

Look at them.

Where's that tea, Ray?

Forgot about the tea.

Still warm though.

Thanks, love.

Oh. It's bitter, that.

Where's that brother of yours, Ray?

The bells. The bells.

The bells made me deaf! Water...

Water... I want some water!

I need a glass of water, Esmerelda!

The bells made me deaf!

Esmerelda, don't look at my ugly face!
The bells!

The bells have made me deaf!

Was that all right, Richard, eh?
Was that all right, Richard, eh? Was it?


- The bells have made me deaf!
- Is that me?

- Esmerelda...
- Is that my voice on there?

Oh, it's good what can be done
nowadays, isn't it?

- They can do all sorts nowadays.
- Yes. Yes, they can.

- Wow.
- Can I have some money, Nan?

I've got to keep a bit for me week.

- Come to Mum's. Come on.
- Don't want to.

Richard, why don't you go
and do a bit of drawing?

Mum says if you don't come,
you're going to get pummelled.

Oh. I don't want to get pummelled.

I say, I don't want to get pummelled.
No, no. Will William be there?

He's at work. Mum says
there's a pork dinner you can have.

Well, maybe I'll just go down quickly.

See Ray, he is me brother.

Well, keep that close.

I will, Mother.

Come on.

- I'm coming.
- Hurry up.

- I say goodbye, Mother. Bye.
- Bye, dear.

Bye, Mother.

- Come on, soft Lawrence.
- Don't call me soft!

Come on, soft Lawrence!

You're a little tinker, you are!

Hello, Elizabeth.

Shut up. Shut up, Sooty.

William's not here, is he?

I say, I say, William's not here,
is he?

- Hello, Elizabeth.
- Will's been out all day.

Are you sure Raymond, Elizabeth,
William's not here, is he?

He's out for the day.

Sooty, basket!

When are you getting these walls papered,

When we get round to it.


Ah. It's a lovely photo, that.
Yes, lovely.

Yes, it is a lovely photo, eh?

Sit your arse down, then.

It's lovely and warm in here, Elizabeth.

I say, it's lovely and warm in here,
isn't it?

Will you stop bloody repeating yourself?
Soon as you come in here you're doing it.

- Sorry, Elizabeth.
- We're going out in a minute.

- Out?
- Huh. You're staying here, mate! Huh.

I want you to look after Jason.

Where you going, Elizabeth?
Can't you take him with you, eh?

He'll put some time into you
when he's older!

You think Will's bad,
wait till he grows up!

- And me!
- Oh, um,

Richard says you have a pork dinner
for me. Is that right, eh?

Here, look at that, mate.

Yes, lovely.
Thank you, Elizabeth.

Put it in the oven with a plate over it.

- So, uh, where are you going to, eh?
- Will you stop fucking saying "eh"?

Sorry, Elizabeth.
Where are you going?

Really gets me back up, that does.

I'm going to get me,
Ray and Richard some new shoes.

So, now you know! Nosy fucker.

Here, there's a load of drink

- hidden in this house.
- No. Shut up, Ray.


- Yeah.
- In this house?

Oh, yeah. Vodka, brandy, you name it!
All paid for!

It's hidden, and hidden good!

I bought it with Ray's redundancy money

and I don't want you touching
a drop of it.

In fact...

if you even think about looking for it...

...you see this?

If he starts looking for that booze,
I'll bloody kill him.

Ah. He's soft, but he's not that soft.

What you doing down there, Jason, eh?

Hello, Jason.

Oh, I do hope he doesn't cause
any trouble. I say,

I do hope he doesn't cause any trouble.

I hope he doesn't cause any trouble, no.

I do hope
he doesn't cause any trouble, no.

It's like the black hole
of Calcutta in here, Lol.

What's the matter, Lol?
You look like you've seen the Gestapo.

They were terrible weren't they,
the Gestapo?

It was terrible what the Germans
did to the Jews,

making lampshades out of skin
and putting razorblades in the soap.


That's prison, Lol.

- Where's Liz?
- They've just gone out.

You've only just missed them, actually.
Um, they... they'll only be...

They won't be long now.

- Where've they gone?
- To the shoe shop, Elizabeth said.

They all need new shoes.

New shoes.

Hey William, there's a load of drink
in this house.

The big 'un told you that, eh?

Yes. Yes.

Elizabeth says if I touch any drink, then
she's going to pummel me with her fist.

- Do you know what pummelled means?
- Yes.

You know what happened to your mother, eh?


Where you going, William, eh?


He's got gin.

We've got whiskey. Vodka.

Rum. Eh?

Bet you'd like some of this,

- wouldn't you, you cunt?
- Yes.

It makes my mouth water seeing
all that drink together like that.

Oh, there must be some
money's worth there.

Fifty pounds worth, I'll bet!

They wouldn't notice a bit going missing
from each bottle, would they?

No. You know what Elizabeth's like.
She says I have to look after Jason.

You know Liz has got a bit
of Nazi in her, don't you?

Mm. It's where she gets that temper from.

They were the worst, weren't they?
The Nazis.

Killing and torturing folks.

Devils, they were.

Hello, Jason!
You all right, Jason? Yes.

- Let's face it.
- Ah!

There's no way Ray,
or Liz, for that fucking matter,

knows how much is in each one
of these bottles.

Would you remember how much was in here,
if this was yours?

Well, no. You're right, William.
How... How could they?

Put the telly on, Lol.


No, he's all right, William.

He's not gonna hurt me.

Where's the on button? That's it.

...it's about the press restrictions

- imposed by most of the establishments.
- Technicolor, yes.

We've only got a black and white one
at home.

Mother won't let me have a colour set. No.

- It's Air Time.
- I'd just like to say that

everything the people on Air Time
said last week was rubbish.

Their main argument seems to be the DJs
in Birmingham

play what they want to hear
and not what the customers would like.

Well, surely there must
be sufficient people

who like the clubs' type of music
for them to make a profit,

- otherwise they would change the style...
- What's that shit on the telly, Lol?


What's that you say? Shit?

- They only put shit on the telly, yes.
- Fucking telly.

There you are.

We're all right, aren't we?
Me and you, William, eh?

Get that down you.

- That's it.
- Oh, lovely. Oh, it smells like cherries.


Yes, lovely. Beautiful.
Tastes like a sweet.

Don't fuck about, knock it back!

Here, you're not having one, William?


All in a nice row for you there.

- What's this?
- It's vodka.

- Vodka?
- Yeah.

- Pardon me.
- Hmm.

- Now you.
- Thank you.

There you go.

You don't think they'll notice?

Don't be soft.

- Do like a drop of whiskey.
- Yeah.


They do say it's the strongest
of the drinks, don't they? Whiskey.


Cherry brandy, this one. Come on.

Much nicer, I think. Eh?

That's it.

Yes. Thank you.


- Ah?
- Tastes like cherries, yes. Lovely.

Hmm. Cherries, yes. Ha!

- Lovely.
- Fuckin' bird.

I should be more like you, William.

Yes. Yes. I bet you wouldn't let the kids
round here throw bricks

- at your head, would you? No.
- Throw bricks?

Uh, you wanna give them some of this,
when they start.

- Eh?
- Yes.

- Pummel 'em.
- Pummel 'em.

Yes! I will do, one day.
Just you watch, William.

Why, I'm Lawrence Billingham, I am.
I'm Lawrence Billingham of Bearmore Road.

Who do you think
you're messing with, eh? Ha!

- Slowing down a bit, though.
- Yes. Thank you.

- Sit.
- Cheers.


Get them down you.


Eh, see? You can still drink,
you old fucker.

Ah, yes.

- Here you are.
- Thank you.


Oh, thank you.

- Oh, that's it.
- There you are.

What does God think about all this, eh?
I say, what do you think God thinks?

What do you think God thinks
about all this, eh?

Say "fuck God".

- What?
- Say it.

No. I couldn't, William. No.

No, no. 'Cause He'd never forgive me,
and I want to go to heaven when I die.

Say it.

- Scared to swear, are you?
- No. It's not that.

Well, say it then.

Fuck you, God.

fuck you, Elizabeth, and all.

- I don't care if I do die.
- No.

- No.
- Stand up.

- Yeah, all right.
- Yeah, you're all right. Stand up.

Now, look.

That's for you. Eh?

- A knife.
- Yeah, just hold it. Okay? Just hold it.

A... A knife.





What the bloody hell's
been going on?

- Ray?
- Yes, love?

Put this knife in the kitchen, will you,
before I fucking use it on him.

Rich? Rich, do me a favour, love.
Take Jason upstairs, will you?

Up you get.


Leave him to sober up a bit.

What's happening?

I've just come back from market,
and Jason's running around

with a fucking carving knife,
looking like a pygmy.

Fuck me. Look at how much he's drunk.

- I could've had that.
- Yeah?

Half a bottle of brandy, a whole bottle
of whiskey and all my fucking vodka.

Might be able to fix that arm.

There's no way of fixing that now.
He's snapped the wood right through.

Are you gonna stand for this, Liz?

- I fucking ain't.
- I know.

Would your mother have it? Eh?

- What? No fucking way!
- Bang him one.

Yeah, well he won't fucking feel it,
though, will he?

Just wait till he wakes up.

Well, bang him one now
for starters. Look, I'll hold his head up.

He might not feel it, but...

Yeah, good idea.
Put the kettle on, Ray.

All right.

Here, watch you don't get any sick on you.

I won't.

Make him clean that up, and all later.

And he can buy me a new fucking settee,

- as well.
- Yeah.

In fact, Ray...

- Yeah?
- Check his pockets, will you?

- Nothing.
- I could fucking kill him.

Ray's at the pub already.

Right. Mind out, Jason.

Here you are.


- Oh. I know you always pay eventually.
- Oh, I had to look at that earlier.

I think the stitching... It's getting
a bit big in the letters, like.

- Here, I'll show you.
- All right.

Here. You see what I mean? Look.

If he was stood against a pole
or something and there was a nail, right,

like that, it would catch
on the threading.

- Yeah.
- You see?

You see with mine, you did, look,
smaller stitching on the letters and that.

- Oh.
- Yeah?

- I'll double them, perhaps.
- Yeah.

Hope you bloody wear this one, Rich.

Is he staying there all night?

Not for much longer, don't worry.

- Runners then.
- See you, Will.

Get out the way, you two.

- What are you going to do?
- Watch out, Rich.

Drunken... fucking... bastard.

Huh? Oh, awake now, are we?

I come back here to find that you've drunk
half our spirits...

...and Jason's covered in boot polish
and he's holding a fucking carving knife!

You will never step foot
in this house again!

- Why can't he feel it?
- He will.

Here, see if you feel this.

Now get out of my house.

Make sure he's gone, Rich.

You ready to take Jason up in a minute?


Hello, Jason! Hello, Jason!
Yes. Hello, Jason.

Let's face it.

There's no way Ray,
or Liz, for that fucking matter,

knows how much is in each one
of these bottles.

Would you remember how much was in here,
if this was yours?

Well, no.
You're right William.

How... How could they?

We're all right aren't we,
me and you, William? Eh?

Get that down you.

Oh, thank you.

Yes. Lovely.
Beautiful, tastes like a sweet.

Don't fuck about, knock it back!


All in a nice row for you there.

What's this?

But that's mine.

I'll give you another one
to play with tomorrow.

Go on to bed, you two!

I said bed.

Yes. Lovely.
Beautiful, tastes like a sweet.

Don't fuck about, knock it back.

They wouldn't notice a bit going missing
from each bottle, would they?

Oh, no.

You know what Elizabeth's like.
She says I have to look after Jason.

You know
Liz's got a bit of Nazi in her, don't you?

Yeah. It's where she gets
that temper from.

Oi! Oi! Up here!

I'll be over Thursday morning, Ray.

- What about later?
- I'm going the doctors.

- Doctors?
- Yeah. Me back's playing up again.

- What about after?
- I said Thursday morning, Ray.

What day is it?

- Tuesday!
- Okay.

- Fucking flies.
- Oh!

Ah, I didn't know
you were there.

Must be a nest of them in here.

I remember once...

down the old house...

going back ages.

There was a fly’s nest down the back
of the sofa. This is nothing.

Wouldn't like them in my flat.

I bet they're fruit flies.
It'll be the beer.

They're after the carbon dioxide.

They're nothing like these fuckers.


Spiders, I don't like.

Jason put one in a matchbox once
when he was little.

I opened the box to light a fag,
nearly jumped out of me skin.

You can do without that for a minute,
can't you?


Well, everything's gotta live.

Except the blacks, of course.

- If the CSA is unable...
- Anyway,

you'll have money this week.

- Yeah.
- Paid the water. Your electric.

And the community charge or the poll tax
or whatever the fuck they want to call it.

- Twelve pound eighty left.
- Uh.

Don't spend it all at once.

spend it all at once!


I could go out on that.

Give it to the big 'un, more like.

No. She might have a shock this time.

Why should I keep giving her all my money,
in the hope she'll come back?

You do it every week, Ray.

Well, I'm not gonna keep bastard doing it.

Sod her this time.

I don't know why she left though.
Sod... Sod me, I don't.

You've done nothing but moan ever since
I've known you.

Always saying that you want to live
on your own.

Wonder what her flat's like over there.

I bet it's all been decorated
by the council.


That's it.

I can't hate her for it, see.

- I can't hate her.
- Look at you, you little bugger.

Look at you.

Go on. Out you go.

They've been fucking about down there
for three fucking months.

Useless bastards. And everywhere
there's piles of fucking dirt and mud.


When I look at Jason up there...

I keep thinking
that's what he looks like now.

You know, three or a four-year-old.

But that picture was taken years...
Bastard years ago. Yeah.

Oi! Bastard!

- What you doing?
- Go and see what that is.



- Get fucking off!
- Oh, God. Bastard!

What the fuck are you hitting me for?
Fuck off!

Out! Fuck off, out.


- Ray?
- My bastard mouth's burning here.

- Well, put the kettle on, will you?
- I’ll have a cup too.

- No school today, Rich?
- No.

- It's a study period.
- Study period!

- How did you do on the maths test?
- I got a hundred.

Oh, I only got ten,
and I still cheated.

You're not gonna get very far then.

- Not the consequences.
- Oh, yeah.

See ya.

Hey, Jay.

We're having a bonfire at mine tonight,
you should come.

- Come on.
- Come on.

See you tonight!

Come on, chap. There you go.

On the side.

On the side.

...so I stopped
having them since last year.

I told them to piss off.
I scared them.

Gypsy Rose on the side.

Hold on the side,
Gypsy Rose. We hear you, love.

Did you hear about the couple
who won the pools?

Nearly half a million. Over.

I heard something about it

- up in Sunderland or Newcastle way...
- The pools,

- that's what we...
- Shh.


Six months
and they'd blown the blinking lot. Over.

Like my redundancy money.

Half a million quid
in six months?

- Huh?
- That's disgusting...

That's why we're living like this now.

What on earth
would they have spent that on? Over.

God knows.


You know what they say,
money don't buy you happiness. Over.

- Told you.
- You got a spare ciggy, Liz?

I tell you what, mate,
half a million would make me happy. Over.

Just what's in the jar.

Oh, fuck it,
it'd make me happy and all. Over.

Here you are.

I went up there
last year.

It rained right. Don't bother. Over.

Fuck me.

Do you know anyone going...

- Cor, look at that one.
- Yeah, I know.

There's an inch of white left
on some of them.

You found all of these
under the subway?


Can't believe what some people chuck away
these days.


I'm gonna have
to put the heating on again. Over.

Oh, it's not January
yet, is it? Over.

On the side, love.

Give us a bit of your home brew.

I haven't got much left.

Here... Give it here.

What couldn't you do
with that, eh?

We weren't the only ones
who thought Isaac was weird.

One day Joseph told us
he was running away.

That he couldn't take it anymore.
He was pretty scared.

Good day at school, Jay?


Anybody'd think they didn't feed you
at school.


Just like the dog.

Bloody hell!

Yeah, I told you
the power would go out tonight, didn't I?

Have you got any change left
for the meter?

No. Not if you want me
to phone Boris after.

That bastard!

Phone him instead, get some money off him.

I'm off down Lol's now.

Will I see you tomorrow?

Yeah, probably.

- Hello?
- Hi, hello. It's Elizabeth calling.

Oh. Not you again. He's not here.

Oh, oh.

- When will he be back, love?
- I've no idea. But I've told you before,

I don't know anything
about your money or your problems.

You always phone up when you're broke,
don't you?

All I know is I need to get
the kids bathed and into bed.


- Uh, sorry. I... I... I just wondered if...
- I just told you,

I don't know. Now stop bothering me
or I'll call the police.

What did Boris say then?

He wasn't in.

He's never in.

That's what she says, anyway.

I'll try him again tomorrow.

Did you ask her about the money?

She doesn't have anything to do
with it.

She must know something.
She's his... She's his wife.

Well, why don't you go
and bastard phone then?



You don't know
how to use a bloody phone, do you?

- Let me tell it.
- Go on then.

There was this guy, he was like,
he used to dig up people from the graves.

One day his foot got chopped off.

Then his foot ran away
and started kicking people.

- Yeah.
- Seriously?

Do you want some toast, Jay?


Cahill, bath, pyjamas, bed.

Cahill, come on.

Look, come here.

Time for bed.

Cheers, then.

See you, Jay, watch how you go.


Thanks, love.

- Can you hear us?
- Stand up, stand up.

- Oh gosh, he's so cold.
- Okay, mate.

- He's freezing.
- Get him warm, get him warm.

Are you okay?

Can you hear us?
Mate, are you all right?

He's freezing.

Can you hear us?

- Hey. He was at our bonfire last night.
- Do you know him?

- He was in the shed all night.
- In there?

- Yeah. He's... He's freezing.
- Yeah. Stone cold.

Pass him. Pass him...
Pass him over here.

- Come.
- Okay.

- Oh.
- You okay?

Oh. Oh, oh, I've got you.
I've got you.


Tony, Salah,
get down here now!

Okay, little boy, sit you on here.

Turn that kettle off, somebody!

Okay... Oh, God.

Oh, God.

I'll be all right in a minute.

You're okay.

Okay... Oh... God.

Come on, let's warm you up.


You are okay.

Oh, thanks, Tony.

Why didn't you tell me
you were still out there last night?

Thought you went home, Jay.

- I forgot my way home.
- Can Jason stay tonight?

Of course...
As long as he asks his mother first.

And you don't have to sleep
in no shed this time.

- You'll share Tony's room. Right, Tony?
- Yeah, Jay.


...what are the best?
Toast with butter on. Amazing.

Yeah, it tastes good.

- It's freezing, isn't it?
- Yeah, it's freezing.

- My mum said it was gonna snow.
- Snow? Blooming heck.

- Y... You wait there, okay?
- Okay.

- Did you ask her?
- Yeah, it's all fine.

- Sure?
- Don't worry.


See, you've got him. Keep going.

That way. That way.

- Oh, that's defeated me. Great.
- Try again.

- You can keep it if you want, Jay.
- Seriously?

Yeah, we got Pong anyway.


Lights out, now.

Bed time, boys!

- That was really fun, wasn't it?
- Yeah.

- Do you wanna play it tomorrow?
- Yeah.

You're not gonna get me.
You're not gonna get me.

There he is. New clothes?

- Where have you been?
- Just staying at a friend's house.

Huh? Coppers have been out
looking for you.

- The police?
- Aye.

I've got a chicken dinner
being cooked for me, I'll be back after.

Well, make sure you do.
You've school tomorrow.


No. Put that up a bit.

Got you. You're it.

Anyway, tag.

Do you realise you could have frozen
to death?

Sleeping rough all night in a shed?

Weren't you scared?

What have you got to say for yourself, eh?

When you leave school today,
I'm gonna take you to a new home.

A home with foster parents,
who are gonna look after you.

They're gonna give you nice clean clothes.

You're gonna get all your meals
that you need,

and they're gonna make sure
you can come to school on time.

It's only temporary.
How do you feel about that?

- Yeah, it's all fine.
- Good.

We can’t have children
Jason's age sleeping rough.

He's only a short bus ride away,
up at Cherry Orchard.

Just make sure you phone Jan and Dave,
his foster parents, first.

Just to make sure they're in.

I thought you'd come
to get us some more money.

I've looked at your benefits,
and at the moment,

you're getting the correct amount of money
for the number of dependents you've got.

But when Jason leaves, you'll lose
25 pound a week.


I suppose
you heard all that, then?

Could... Can I be put up
with foster parents too?

No, it's Jason we're
most concerned with at the moment, so...

You're nearly an adult,
you'll be getting out of here soon,

so you focus on that. Okay?


What about all those kids
on the telly...

from Ethiopia with nothing to eat?

Pass me a fag, Ray.

Thanks, love.

Pissed again?
You drunken, fucking bastard!

Go on. Up on your feet, if you can.

You're gonna kill yourself
if you keep this up.

You know that, don't you, Ray?

It's half nine in the morning
and you're fucking pissed already.

It's your fault I'm like this... Drinking
to excess. I never used to do it.

Anyway... I might not be in that flat
for much longer.

- Eh?
- If I can't pay the bills.

Gas is being cut off next week.

- Where will they put you?
- Fuck knows.

How much do you need?
I don't need money anyway.

Because you don't eat anything.
You never go outside this block.

In fact, you don't even go
outside this room.

I'm surprised you even go to the toilet.

What sort of a life's that, Ray?

As long as Sid... cashes my dole
down that post office,

pays my bills and brings me
this strong home brew,

I'm happy as... a pig in shit.

Oh yeah, I've got more than 12 quid
in my pocket.

Twelve quid more than what you've got,
I'll bet! Not that much of a fool!

Lend me some money, then, Ray.

I'm asking you a fucking question,
bollock brain!

Here... Have the bloody money!

I don't need it... not really.