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Review: What do Lil Peep and Terrence Malick have in common?

Rapper Lil Peep (a.k.a. Gustav Åhr) performing, from the documentary ‘Everybody’s Everything’
Rapper Lil Peep (a.k.a. Gustav Åhr) performing, from the documentary “Everybody’s Everything.”
(Rayn Richardson / Gunpowder & Sky)

Terrence Malick’s executive producer credit on a documentary about a face-tattoo-bearing indie emo rapper might feel incongruous. But a closer look at both “Everybody’s Everything” and its subject, Lil Peep, reveals a deeper connection between the filmmaker’s body of work and the movie his name is attached to. Directed by Sebastian Jones (Malick’s editor on “A Hidden Life”) and Ramez Silyan, the documentary is a lyrical exploration of the existential, reflecting an artist’s music and his personal struggles before his death at age 21.

With Lil Peep’s mother, Liza Womack, also credited as an executive producer, “Everybody’s Everything” offers intimate access to the open-hearted musician, particularly through home videos of him as the child born Gustav Elijah Åhr. Artful edits incorporate more recent archival footage of him onstage and off as well as interviews with his family, friends and collaborators. Measured narration from his grandfather contrasts with the wild, emotive energy of his music, serving as a ballast for those who might feel tossed about by Lil Peep’s innovative, genre-mashing style.

Jones and Silyan share a picture of an artist who pushed boundaries in both the industry and music itself, resonating with his young, rabid fans, as he struggled with depression and drugs. Devotees will appreciate a different look at their fallen idol, while those who aren’t familiar with his music might find the film a bit long at nearly two hours but will see what the appeal was to those who loved him.

‘Everybody’s Everything’
Not rated

Running time: 1 hour, 56 minutes

Playing: Starts Nov. 15, Laemmle Music Hall, Beverly Hills


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