https://movieweb.com/billie… month, young singer-songwriter Billie Eilish released her debut EP, “Self Care.” Released on the heels of her successful single, “7 Years,” it’s already generating buzz for the precocious 17-year-old.
Her inimitable brand of borderline-melodramatic Americana and twangy vocals has wowed reviewers, fans and Internet influencers alike. Unfortunately, she isn’t about to give us much more of a look at her life in short films, starring her parents.
Director Devin Stiner and producer Ray W.Baxter give us only 16 minutes of Billie’s life in “Billie Eilish: The World’s a Little Blurry,” which is available to stream on Netflix. (The release date and title might suggest that this doc is intended to be a sequel of sorts, but Stiner told Variety that the company isn’t building another book to expand upon “Self Care.”)
It’s a solid enough first work, and at least there are a few telling moments. A lullaby her mother sings her to sleep is ostensibly to get her to sleep so she can look forward to watching screen, but it’s heartbreakingly sweet and weirdly “painful” to listen to (especially if you’re mom with difficulty sleeping because of insomnia).
Other shots pick up Billie onstage, visibly nervous (she really is green), but before her performance is even over, she’s starstruck by Queen Elizabeth II.
“I see people all day with this shit,” she says when meeting Sir Paul McCartney. “Why can’t I see someone just like me?” (The good news is that she did get to meet the Beatle.)
Watching footage of her homeschooled family is also a nice surprise, and seeing her performing with the multi-instrumentalist, Tristan Dye, who she gets to meet in person during the doc, really shows her progression as a singer-songwriter. Her performances, including “Movies,” “No Drive for You” and “Easy Way Out,” have won her fans, but it’s hard to get excited about a debut EP that doesn’t really dive into the teenager’s life beyond the stage.
An extended shot with the David Bowie tribute song “Rebel Rebel” is as interesting as it is surreal and definitely helped spark the “7 Years” music video that followed it (Billie performed the Bowie song during a Chicago stop on her “Rebel Rebel” tour).
Billie told Variety she was told to set up interviews with her parents but it’s pretty hard to get them to offer much in the way of valuable insight into her success. We’re told her mom and dad weren’t always “happy” with her career or the music she’s pursuing and that they wouldn’t approve of another collaboration with the band Twin Peaks, who she previously released “7 Years” with. (Billie also denied reports she has sex all the time. — see our previous post for more.)
Her proud parents, though, are present for the release of “Self Care” as well as interviews. And a touching scene at their house/amphitheater during a family singalong of “Let It Go” has ended up being the end-credit sequence.