U2 film opens Toronto Film Festival

Davis Guggenheim's film From The Sky Down charts the release of U2's Achtung Baby in 1991

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U2 documentary From the Sky Down became the first documentary to open the Toronto Film Festival on Thursday.

Both Bono and guitarist The Edge were on the red carpet, for the opening night of the annual 11-day event.

This year sees premieres of films by Luc Besson, Francis Ford Coppola and Michael Winterbottom.

British thriller Page Eight, starring Bill Nighy and Rachel Weisz, will close the festival - seen as a key launch-pad for films, ahead of the Oscars.

The Deep Blue Sea, another film starring Weisz, will also be showcased at the event.

'High and lows'

The U2 documentary examines the making of the Irish rock band's 1991 album Achtung Baby in Berlin.

The seminal album, which followed on from their successful 1987 album, Joshua Tree, and the less well-received Rattle and Hum, was credited with reinventing the band.

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

Rachel Weisz Two of Rachel Weisz's films will be shown at the Canadian event

Guggenheim won an Academy Award for the 2006 documentary, An Inconvenient Truth, which explored Al Gore's campaign to make the issue of global warming a recognised problem around the world.

U2 approached him to make a film, after The Edge appeared in his 2008 documentary, It Might Get Loud, about the history of the electric guitar.

"I think it's not a movie about us, per se, it's really about how bands function, or in this case, don't function," said The Edge, on Thursday.

"I don't know why anyone would watch it, I really don't," added Bono.

Close watch

Other films in the Toronto line-up include Nicole Kidman's thriller Trespass, and Killer Elite starring Robert De Niro.

George Clooney will be in town promoting both The Ides of March and The Descendants, while critics will have their eye on Glenn Close's performance in Albert Nobbs, in which she plays a 19th century woman pretending to be a male butler.

Festival attendees will also have a chance to see Terrence Howard's film about Nelson Mandela's former wife Winnie, and Gerard Butler's African missionary tale Machine Gun Preacher.

Last year Toronto's top audience prize went to The King's Speech, which went on to win the Academy Award for best picture.

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