So: Bono and the Edge attended last night’s Toronto premiere of “From the Sky Down,” the Davis Guggenheim film about the band U2. The film will run on Showtime. After the screening, I asked Bono why so many songs on the radio — like the new Coldplay and recent Linkin Park–sounded so much like U2. He didn’t respond about specific records–no feuds, please–but did say: “I think Edge has created a sound of ‘ecstatic music’ that you do here more. It’s his patented sound. But people respond to it.”
That was so diplomatic! Bono and Edge were joined by their astute manager Paul McGuiness.But conspicuously absent were Larry Mullen and Adam Clayton. The given reason was that they were spending time with their families. But Guggenheim’s actress wife Elisabeth Shue was there to be supportive, and so were the present rockers’ wives.
And what of the film? The group let Guggenheim have unprecedented access into their creative process. The result is that–especially in the second half–we get to see how they wrote two classics, “One,” and “Mysterious Way.” We also learn a lot about how they almost split in 1991 while making the album “Achtung Baby.” U2 has now been in business for a shocking 36 years. “From the Sky Down” gives an unusual glimpse into why they’ve managed to make it so long.