Transparency – that is the only word to describe Billie Eilish: The World’s A Little Blurry, now streaming on Apple TV+.
In most cases, indulging in the documentary of a star only aids fans’ reasoning for putting them on a pedestal. Occasionally, the insight is damning or makes the star seem even more mythical and out of reach. For Billie Eilish, her documentary renders to a reality that makes her seem even more approachable than ever before.
Setting the Doc’s Stage: The Global Live Premiere Event
Just hours before her documentary dropped, Eilish drove up the side of a mountain for a special premiere event. In her now infamous matte black Dodge Challenger, the star coasted up the road against a beautiful sunset backdrop.
Except it wasn’t a backdrop, it was the Los Angeles skyline from what looked like the top of the world. It’s an appropriate setting for someone who is truly holding the world right in her hands. (Long, artistically designed acrylic nails and all.)
Apple TV+ has released Billie Eilish: The World’s A Little Blurry today, February 26. The documentary was years in the making and her global live premiere touched upon that.
Hosted by Apple Music’s Zane Lowe, the mid-pandemic premiere was an intimate conversation regarding the documentary. It started with Eilish getting out of her beloved car just to sit down for an intimate performance.
The Music Found Within “Billie Eilish: The World’s A Little Blurry”
Alongside her brother, Finneas, she performed a stripped-down version of “ilomilo,” which is featured in the film. It was originally off of her debut album, the Grammy-winning, critically acclaimed When We All Fall Asleep, Where Do We Go?. A live recording of the track was also released ahead of the film on the eve of its release.. This only adds to the full circle moment that is the making and release of Billie Eilish: The World’s A Little Blurry.
(The documentary also starts and ends with Eilish singing “ocean eyes,” her very first song. 13-year-old, childhood bedroom Billie kicks it off, while 18-year-old, world tour Billie brings it to a close.)
Kicking off the premiere with a song sets the stage, literally and figuratively, for the musical aspect of the film. Obviously Eilish is a global musical sensation, but the movie tackles her unconventional popstar lifestyle. One minute she’s jumping around on stage in Milan to “bad guy,” the next she’s back in her childhood home.
There’s a wonderful, exploratory balance between the success of her songs and the way they came to be. Close-knit family moments, open conversations about mental health, and world travels intersect charmingly.
While recording “bury a friend,” a dark, achingly beautiful, melancholy track, Billie and Finneas’ mom stops them. She asks if the lyrics her daughter is singing are true, appropriate, and resonating. “Would you really jump off the roof?” the matriarch asks. With all her 16-year-old wisdom, Billie Eilish earnestly replies that she’s not going to. Although, it’s only because she instead has this song to express herself.
Music is the most honest form of expression and Eilish’s ability to recognize that from a young age shaped her. The innovative and contemplative star unknowingly scripted and scored the soundtrack to her own life.
“This is my life. None of it is a lie,” she explained in regard to the movie and her music at the premiere. Her fans, her family, the world, and even herself are extremely thankful for that.
Knee Deep In Everything Eilish
This documentary captures so much more than beginnings of stardom. It showcases the vulnerability of fame. The ups-and-downs of growing up are heavily documentented. From wearing Invisalign to getting a permit, Eilish’s teenage years were seen and heard. Never so in depth or so purely, though. With just a little help from R.J. Cutler, Billie Eilish: The World’s A Little Blurry is the star’s own story to tell. Now, three years later, it’s time for it to be shared.
As we found out during the global life premiere, Billie Eilish told R.J. Cutler after watching the documentary that she felt seen. For the first time in her life, there was something of hers that was wholly and truly representative of who she is.
There is an essence of youth that is beyond what people expect, as well. Sure, the roller coaster emotions of young love is touched upon. And, of course, there’s the personal insecurities and expectations that teens put on themselves. The documentary is, at its core, a coming-of-age story more than anything else.
Nobody – not Eilish, nor Cutler – saw what was in the “No Time To Die” singer’s future. When the filming for this documentary started, Eilish was only “on-the-rise,” recording what would become a Grammy-winning record.
The Truth About Growing Up During the Filming of Billie Eilish: The World’s A Little Blurry
One of the most important topics in the movie, and discussed in the premiere Q and A, was the timing of the film. The director, R.J. Cutler, began working with Bille and her family over three years ago to prepare for this documentary. Billie was newly 16 and an indie pop star. Now, she is 19-years-old, a musical icon, and a household name.
Almost all of Billie Eilish’s career thus far has been in or around the idea of her youth. She came of age in the spotlight and released music that reflected that. While the songs always included some insight into her life, this documentary set the stage for so much more.
Cutler’s part in the live premiere set the tone for the movie’s release into the world. He noted that, “truth and empathy are the fundamental themes of this film, of Billie, and of this moment.” You can see that and feel it wholeheartedly, too.
There’s a level of intimacy and transparency in this that few films portray with such care and elegance. Viewers will without-a-doubt walk away from streaming Billie Eilish: The World’s A Little Blurry feeling akin to the star.
It sounds ridiculous, being able to see yourself – your normal, everyday self – in the shoes of a megastar. But, as seen here, it is possible. Billie Eilish is as emotive, curious, humble, and real as every one of these viewers and every one of her fans. (Or “friends,” as she loves to call them.)