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The Canadian Press - ONLINE EDITION


Davis Guggenheim U2 documentary

to open 


upcoming Toronto film festival


By: Cassandra Szklarski, The Canadian Press

Posted: 07/26/2011 9:38 AM


TORONTO - Davis Guggenheim's "From the Sky Down" — a look at Irish supergroup U2 — will kick off the upcoming Toronto International Film Festival, the first time a documentary has landed the coveted opening night slot.

The festival, which runs Sept. 8 to 18, will also feature Brad Pitt's new baseball flick "Moneyball" and the George Clooney political thriller "The Ides of March."

Two high-profile Canadian films will also unspool at the annual movie extravaganza: Sarah Polley's "Take This Waltz" and David Cronenberg's "A Dangerous Method."

"Moneyball" features Pitt as unconventional Oakland A's general manager Billy Beane, while the "The Ides of March" — co-starring Paul Giamatti, Ryan Gosling and Philip Seymour Hoffman — takes place in the days before a tight Ohio presidential primary. It's one of two Clooney films scheduled for Toronto's 36th annual film fest, along with the Hawaii-set dramedy "The Descendants," from "Sideways" director Alexander Payne.

Last year, festival co-director Cameron Bailey broke with tradition and chose a non-Canadian film for opening night. This year, he went a step further by selecting the documentary by Guggenheim, who won an Oscar in 2007 for "An Inconvenient Truth." The filmmaker is no stranger to Toronto, having appeared at the fest for 2008's guitar doc "It Might Get Loud" (which featured U2 guitarist the Edge) and 2010's look at the U.S. education system "Waiting For Superman."

Toronto audiences are also set to get a glimpse of the Tilda Swinton vehicle "We Need to Talk About Kevin," which is based on an acclaimed book by Lionel Shriver and earned raves at the Cannes Film Festival earlier this year.

Also scheduled for the fest is the world premiere of Bruce Beresford's "Peace, Love, & Misunderstanding," starring Jane Fonda and Catherine Keener in the story of an uptight lawyer who takes her two teens to visit their hippie grandmother.

Music fans, meanwhile, will be primed for Cameron Crowe's new doc "Pearl Jam Twenty," which looks at the seminal band's formation, rise to stardom and step back from the spotlight. Pearl Jam is scheduled to give a concert at the Air Canada Centre during the festival.

Other world premieres announced by organizers include: "50/50," starring Seth Rogen, Anna Kendrick, Bryce Dallas Howard and Anjelica Huston; Derick Martini's "Hick," featuring Chloe Moretz and Blake Lively; and the Susan Sarandon/Judy Greer offering "Jeff, Who Lives at Home." "Killer Joe," with "Into the Wild" star Emile Hirsch, will make its North American premiere.

The festival, known for its audience-friendly atmosphere, is often a harbinger for future Oscar winners.

Last year, "The King's Speech" was the fan favourite in Toronto and went on to claim the best picture Academy Award.

In 2008, festival audiences made "Slumdog Millionaire" their pick and it, too, ultimately nabbed the top Oscar prize.









Will check out cost for tickets.. but I wanna go!


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Helen how can we get tickets to this, first time ever a documentory opens the toronto film  festival, will they play it again during the festival?? Since the first one is a private viewing.  Dam!

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Helen how can we get tickets to this, first time ever a documentory opens the toronto film  festival, will they play it again during the festival?? Since the first one is a private viewing.  Dam!

In the coming weeks leading up to the Festival - the screenings and locations will be announced - we can purchase tickets at that time... We can finalize plans as we move closer to September. Should organize a bunch of Zootops.

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[quote name=



wait how long is the doc? Like a real movie? And is this tthe one atu2 reported awhile ago?

Redhead.. have you ever seen "It Might Get Loud"



I suspect this new documentary will be about 90 to 120 minutes in length...


I don't know what @U2 reported... but I suspect it is the same story... a celebration of Achtung Baby's 20th birthday.

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U2 will be film festival’s opening 


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Jul 26, 2011

TIFF aims to shake, rattle ’n’ roll its annual film fest by opening with a documentary for the first time in its 36 years: From the Sky Down, Davis Guggenheim’s hot doc on Irish rock superstars U2.

“I think everyone is ready for a change,†said Piers Handling, the CEO and co-director of the Toronto International Film Festival.

“They’re ready for us to enliven it, just to do something different.â€

Expect the entire band to show up for the Sept. 8 world premiere at Roy Thomson Hall, one of many celebrity draws at this year’s movie feast, which runs through Sept. 18.

Other bold faces expected are George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Madonna and Ryan Gosling, plus Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph of Bridesmaids fame, along with many others.

From the Sky Down has an Academy Award-winning director in Guggenheim, who took the 2006 Best Feature Documentary Oscar for An Inconvenient Truth.

The film also appealed to TIFF programmers for the way it addresses the challenges of the creative process, Handling told the Star.

“It’s about a band trying to wrestle with the next step: What should they be moving, changing so they’re not stale as a group? It’s everything we can identify with personally and individually but also institutionally. I think that’s what we responded to.â€

The members of Pearl Jam are also the subject of a TIFF rockumentary premiere: Cameron Crowe’s Pearl Jam Twenty, which puts the spotlight on one of the enduring bands of the 1990s grunge explosion out of Seattle.

There’s another musical connection for TIFF ’11 in Madonna’s W.E., the pop star’s dramatic “romantic exploration†of desire across the ages. It stars Abbie Cornish, James D’Arcy and Andrea Riseborough.

Many people had speculated the fest would open with Sarah Polley’s new Toronto-filmed barbed romance Take This Waltz, starring Michelle Williams, Seth Rogen and Luke Kirby. Until recently, it was tradition for a Canadian film to open TIFF.

The U2 doc prevailed, but Take This Waltz still gets a top berth, as one of the 10 blue-chip Gala films announced Tuesday, along with 42 Special Presentations selections, many of them world premieres.

“I could not be more thrilled with where we are in the festival,†said Polley, who was at Tuesday’s TIFF announcement at the Hyatt Regency Hotel.

“I’m pretty happy. It was always my ideal outcome for the film, to be a Gala at Toronto, so I couldn’t be happier. I think that being anywhere as a Gala at a festival is a huge honour.â€

Another noteworthy Canadian film is TIFF-bound, immediately following its Venice Film Festival world premiere: David Cronenberg’s A Dangerous Method, starring Michael Fassbender, Viggo Mortensen and Keira Knightley in a psychosexual triangle hewed from the real-life stories of psychiatrists Sigmund Freud and Carl Jung.

Polley and Cronenberg will be busy, but George Clooney will be even busier. He’s in two TIFF-bound films: the political thriller The Ides of March, which Clooney both acted in and directed, and Alexander Payne’s comedy-drama The Descendants.

Brad Pitt, Clooney’s friend and Ocean’s Eleven co-star, is also expected in town, to promote Moneyball, his true-life baseball saga.

Other stars anticipated at TIFF ’11 are Ryan Gosling (Drive), Kristen Wiig and Maya Rudolph (Friends With Kids), Rachel Weisz (The Deep Blue Sea), Ralph Fiennes (Coriolanus), Juliette Binoche (Elles), Geoffrey Rush (The Eye of the Storm), Michael Fassbender (Shame), and many more.

Six announced films premiered in competition at Cannes in May: Nicolas Winding Refn’s Drive, Michel Hazanavicius’s The Artist, Nanni Moretti’s Habemus Papam, Pedro Almodovar’s The Skin I Live In, Lynne Ramsay’s We Need to Talk About Kevin and Lars von Trier’s Melancholia.

Melancholia had been a question mark, since von Trier’s outspoken pro-Hitler remarks at Cannes had him officially declared persona non grata at that festival, although lead star Kirsten Dunst won an acting award. The apocalyptic sci-fi film has also already had a North American release; it’s currently playing in Los Angeles, normally a festival no-no.

TIFF co-director Cameron Bailey said many people want to see Melancholia, so the fest is showing it. Von Trier never leaves Europe, so he’s definitely not coming to TIFF.

“We hope people will see the film for the film, and see the (Hitler) comments for the idiotic comments that they were,†Bailey said. “Keep them separate, really. They have nothing to do with the film.â€

This year’s festival marks the 10th anniversary of the 9/11 terror attacks, which occurred midway through 2001’s fest.

Piers Handling said a specially commissioned short film to solemnly observe the anniversary will be screened.

Details are to be announced later, but the single-director film will “honour the broader community touched by this event,†Handling said.

Prior to the 10 a.m. announcement Tuesday, the Twitter-savvy Bailey tweeted the titles of three world premieres, as a teaser of the bounty to come. They are all representative of the fest’s vast reach, which is again very much in evidence this year:

 â€¢ Huh Jong-ho’s Countdown, with Korea’s Jeon Do-yeon

 â€¢ Luc Besson’s The Lady, with Michelle Yeoh and David Thewlis

 â€¢ Michael Winterbottom’s Trishna, with Freida Pinto and Riz Ahmed

For a complete list of TIFF’s announced titles click on tiff.net.


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