U2 to descend onto red carpet at Toronto film fest

Thu Sep 8, 2011 2:07pm EDT
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By John McCrank

TORONTO (Reuters) - Rock 'n' roll icons U2 descend onto the red carpet in Toronto on Thursday for the premier of "From the Sky Down", the first documentary to open the Toronto International Film Festival in its 36-year history.

The festival, a widely-watched event often seen as a starting point in the movie industry's annual Oscar race, features a long list of Hollywood royalty, from Brad Pitt and George Clooney to Keira Knightley and Glenn Close.

But musicians also play a prominent role in the 11-day event known as TIFF.

Rock documentaries about Pearl Jam and Neil Young are getting top billing, and the appearance of U2 members Bono and The Edge has made Thursday's opening night screening the hottest ticket in town.

The U2 film takes a look back at the struggles the Irish super-group had when making their 1991 album "Achtung Baby," which was seen as a daring reinvention of the band following the huge success of 1987's "Joshua Tree" and 1988's somewhat less-well received "Rattle and Hum."

"It was them at their very highest highs and their very lowest lows," director Davis Guggenheim told Reuters.

U2 guitarist The Edge appeared in Guggenheim's 2008 documentary, "It Might Get Loud," alongside Led Zeppelin's Jimmy Page and the White Stripes' Jack White.

That led to Guggenheim being asked to make "From the Sky Down," a film in the mold of the Bruce Springsteen documentary "The Promise" and The Rolling Stones' "Exile in Main Street," which looked back at important albums 20 years later.   Continued...