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Billie Eilish’s Unconventional Pop-Star Documentary


If teen-age pop stars were once saddled with pressure to maintain their perfect images, today they face the equally weighty burden of appearing perfectly imperfect: authentic, flawed, and wholly honest, at all times. In “Billie Eilish: The World’s a Little Blurry,” the new documentary about the ascent of the anti-pop star Billie Eilish, a debate erupts between the musician (then seventeen years old), her mother, and Chelsea Dodson, who is one of the film’s producers. Eilish is wondering whether or not to speak out publicly against drugs, alcohol, and smoking, none of which she partakes in. “My only thought is how, like, you say things, and then maybe you grow up and feel differently,” Dodson says, “And then get dragged for it.” Eilish’s mother interjects, exasperated. “Wait a second. Are you actually not going to let her be authentic to who she is now in case she grows up to do drugs?” she asks. But Eilish understands the great risks associated with saying one thing now and doing another later. “Well, she’s right though,” she tells her mother. These are the sorts of calculations that Eilish, who appears to exercise total control over her creative output, must make from moment to moment. At times, being real seems like such an exhausting endeavor that it’s easy to see why so many stars who’ve come before Eilish have chosen the alternative. Nobody could blame Eilish for the amount of sulking she does throughout the film’s drifty two hours and twenty minutes.
The New Yorker     Mar 03, 2021