U2: From the Sky Down
- Genre: Documentary
- Director: Davis Guggenheim
- Stars: Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton
- Rate: ** 1/2
Davis Guggenheim’s TIFF-opening doc is not strictly a history of this legendary Irish rock band, although much is packed into 90 minutes.
The film instead concentrates on lessons learned during the difficult Berlin studio birth of 1991’s Achtung Baby, U2’s seventh album, made when group members Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton and Larry Mullen, Jr. thought it might prove to be their last.
Disillusioned with stadium tours that had paradoxically diminished their music, and disgusted with the rock idols they’d become — “We’d become the enemy,” Bono ruefully recalls — they were uncertain how to step into the 1990s, a time when pop was splintering into factions of rap, dance and metal (and grunge was about to hit).
Guggenheim shows us the band’s turnaround through the writing of Mysterious Ways. Using digital tapes recovered from the original sessions, supplemented with archival footage, From the Sky Down reveals how U2 not only pulled that song out of thin air, but another tune as well: One, which became a monster hit.
These discoveries provided the spark the band was looking for as it looked to find its place in the new decade.
Extras include includes bonus studio footage of Love Is Blindness, So Cruel and The Fly.