Not a perfect documentary, but probably the perfect Travis Scott documentary in how it captures his manic style and seemingly limitless energy.
Presumably as a response to the question, “How many times can you watch one dude stage dive?”, today Netflix released their new Original film Travis Scott: Look Mom I Can Fly, a feature-length documentary covering the months surrounding the release of Scott’s Grammy-nominated album Astroworld. It isn’t a perfect documentary film, but like Beyonce’s Homecoming before it, it’s probably the best possible version of a Travis Scott documentary you can imagine.
Combining wild tour footage, home videos and interviews with various people, including fans who made it out of a Travis Scott live performance conscious and intact, Look Mom I Can Fly isn’t trying to showcase much more of its subject than you’ve already seen. It isn’t particularly revelatory, although it includes flashes of his home life, his relationship with his relatives, and the birth of his daughter, Stormi, whose fellow super-celebrity mother Kylie Jenner seems the yin to Scott’s yang. It’s all assembled with the same manic energy that powers Scott’s live performances and his musical arrangements; a grab-bag of styles and influences smushed together in whatever way works, letting the sheer momentum keep it all moving along.
Without a narrative framework, Travis Scott: Look Mom I Can Fly stages frantic live recordings alongside telling home-video footage; Stormi’s birth is nestled right between scenes of her father flinging himself from stages and having his car surrounded by throngs of adoring fans. If Look Mom I Can Fly accomplishes anything, it’s clarifying why Scott’s fans have such a connection to him. In many instances he prevents arena security teams from removing those who’re too boisterous, instead dragging them on stage so they can bask in the energy of the crowd themselves. He demands that his fans have as much fun as he does; his live performances, all something to behold, seem dependant on the crowd’s enthusiasm in a way that many artists’ don’t.
There’s always an air of danger. Unconscious bodies are passed to the front of a crowd on a sea of hands, to be resuscitated by overworked paramedics. Teaming crowds vault barriers and crash into one another, encouraged to rush the stage and climb atop each other for a closer look. It’s easy to imagine how one would leave that experience feeling slightly changed; as though Scott had provided them something they had never before experienced. Look Mom I Can Fly spares much less time for the creative process than it does the artistic output that results from it. It isn’t interested in letting people behind the curtain; what’s happening right out in the open is what counts.
Perfect documentary or not, Travis Scott: Look Mom I Can Fly feels in many ways like a Travis Scott performance. You’ll walk away knowing you’ve experienced it.