So the 11-day film soiree commenced last night with the gala screening of the U2 documentary From the Sky Down. Band members Bono and The Edge strutted the red carpet outside Roy Thomson Hall, fielding questions with their usual aplomb.
That said, CBC arts reporter Jelena Adzic gave them pause when she mooted that the film, which is ostensibly about the recording of their 1991 album Achtung Baby¸ was actually something of a love story about four guys in a band. Bono was tickled by the notion, suggesting it was an interesting “feminine perspective.”
Bono also copped to some discomfort in watching the film. “I find it very uncomfortable, actually. I find it quite awkward, uh, looking at us. And you know it’s that type of thing about sausage making. You know, if people saw what went into it, they wouldn’t eat it. So this is bangers and mash.”
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Typically, the very first day of TIFF is filled with plenty of pomp but few actual films. It’s not until the Friday that we get into the meat of the festival.
Today’s megawatt offerings include Moneyball, the latest Brad Pitt vehicle, which relates the real-life story of former Oakland A’s manager Billy Beane, who in the face of a money- and talent-depleted team took a flyer on a bizarre scouting system and ended up revolutionizing baseball. There’s also We Need to Talk About Kevin, Lynne Ramsay’s adaptation of Lionel Shriver’s searing novel about a Columbine-type shooting.
Always-fascinating director Michael Winterbottom — who seems to churn out one or two films every year — returns to TIFF with Trishna¸ an Indian retelling of Thomas Hardy’s classic novel Tess of the D’Urbervilles starring the luminous Freida Pinto (Slumdog Millionaire). Meanwhile, George Clooney returns to our midst as the director and star of The Ides of March, an absorbing political thriller in which he plays a Democratic presidential candidate given to some nasty backroom trickery.