Billy Eilish, an ultramodern pop star who is both colorfully gothic and establishment friendly, has a fascinating subject: vividly creative, outrageously weak, barely-visible self-conscious. And also, a teenager. “Billy Eilish: The World’s A Little Blurry,” the new documentary about his rise, shapes the global aesthetic while distinguished him in a close-knit family, and treats both situations with equal contingency. In this film, all of Illish’s dialogues are human scale or small.
“Blurry” – directed with the informality set by RJ Cutler (“The War Room,” “The September Issue”) – does not tell a story about Eilish, so that he sits back and assumes that someone will come out. Which, of course, it does. His 2019 debut album, “When We All Fall So, We Do We Go ?,” is the product of countless home bedroom recording sessions with his brother, Finace, who produces all of his music. This album earns him five grams. There were cameras.
And yet “Blurry” is not victorious, strictly speaking. Instead, it relies on the accretive power of the mundane. It proceeds without narration, and sometimes without narrative rhythms – often making it seem almost observable like a film of nature. The abundance of footage, and given it room to breathe – the film is almost two and a half hours long – captures the restless loneliness of superstardom.
Eilish’s approach to that fame is both sports and shrinkage. Her songwriting is clear and often dark: she shows the magazine in which she draws flamboyant scenes and writes poems that can all become songs in the cap, including “I WANA END ME”. Even when the film shows fans for Eilish, it remains steadfast in keeping her focused. In footage drawn from various concerts around the world, the sound focuses tightly on her vocals, even as the arena shows in destinations of outrageous intimacy.
At times, “Blurry” suggests more and more friction just out of sight, gradually exposing the tug-of-war between Eilish and the expectations between him. At the conclusion of completing the album, Finless said, “I feel like I was asked to write a hit, just like I was, but I’m told not to tell Billy that we have to write a hit. . ” Later, when Eilish and Phineas are recording their song for the James Bond film “No Time to Die”, she tells of the drama that is needed: “I think when I do that The internet makes fun of me “
Towards the end of the film, as she is touring her album around the world, fizzers appear. Her ankle eventually kicks out at a show in Milan, and in New York, she whistles during a show-circling photo ops with Hanger-On, and then was rude when someone posted it online. At Coachella, a creepy, eye-bound Orlando Bloom (Katy Perry’s tradition) delivers Huggs backstage, and Illish also strangely meets Justin Bieber, his childhood idol. Bieber is a recurring character here, as an abstract deity, then a benevolent ally, and also as a symbolic foil, a reminder of when teenage stardom is realized.
Eilish is unlikely to be exposed to cameras. The stars are now being filmed continuously somehow – the gap between social media video and the actual film is shrinking with each passing iPhone camera revamp. That advertising material has expanded into the realm of documentary film that is no longer a novel.
So on the one hand, it is notable that a rising star like Eilish gave access to a filmmaker long before he completed his debut album. It is a delicate time in which there is no guarantee of success, so that it can be captured for later.
And yet when Eilish is cornered or bedridden, this footage never contains anything other than a sense of security. The boilerplate language that appears at the end of the film’s credits reminds why: “Interscope Records is the author of this cinematographic or audiovisual work.”
Billy Illish: The World’s A Little Blurry
Rated r. Running Time: Running Time: 2 hours 20 minutes. In theaters and On Apple TV +. Please consult guidelines Outlined by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention before watching the film inside theaters.