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Billie Eilish: The World’s a Little Blurry (2021) | Review

by Julie Toft Carlsen

An open and honest look at the years leading up to Billie Eilish’s multi-Grammy-winning debut album, WHEN WE ALL FALL ASLEEP, WHERE DO WE GO?, this documentary serves as a fascinating time capsule for the newest generation of teen pop idols.

It’s a tale as old as time: a young singer skyrockets to fame, goes from small venues to sold-out stadiums within a year, and is thrust into ruthless public scrutiny while they’re still forming their own identity. Eilish belongs to a generation that grew up with social media, and not only owes her popularity to the internet, but is also undeniably affected by the direct access critics have to her, even in her most vulnerable moments.

At just 14, Billie Eilish and her brother (and co-producer) Finneas posted their song Ocean Eyes on Soundcloud in 2015.It quickly went viral and Eilish signed a record deal with Interscope Records, with whom she released a range of singles and an EP ahead of her debut album.

photo courtesy of imdb

Her image was carefully curated by a team of publicists with the aim of making her fans feel like they knew Eilish like a friend, through her deeply personal songs and consistent presence on social media and streaming services.

In The World’s a Little Blurry, Eilish speaks about her mental health with an honesty that sets her apart from popstars that came before her. Gone are the days of artists shyly referring to the pressure they’re under; Eilish shares her personal journal with the camera and talks openly about self-harm and suicidal thoughts. This might be seen as teenage rebellion intended to shock those around her, but her emotional intelligence shows a level of maturity for the young singer. The respect shown to her by the adults in her life as she explores her identity is inspiring; her ability to articulate what she’s feeling and her willingness to share this with the audience adds an emotional depth and a different understanding to the songs featured in the documentary.

Cutting between the candid amateur footage and professionally shot performances, seasoned documentarist R.J. Miller has created a film full of empathy, brutal honesty, and history-making music that is sure to impress seasoned fans and newcomers alike.

Billie Eilish: The World’s a Little Blurry is available to watch on Apple TV+.


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