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July, 26

U2 feature at Toronto Film Festival

U2 feature at Toronto Film Festival

One of the world's top film showcases is starting on a musical note as a documentary portrait of the rock band U2 opens the Toronto International Film Festival.

Organisers say the Canadian festival will launch September 8 with From the Sky Down, a chronicle of the Irish band led by singer Bono.

The film was made by An Inconvenient Truth director Davis Guggenheim and marks the first time in its 36-year history that the Toronto festival has opened with a documentary.

Guggenheim said the film explores why "this band has endured and thrived". The four-member band formed in 1978 and has been turning out hit albums since the early 1980s, including War, The Joshua Tree, Achtung Baby and Zooropa.

"In the terrain of rock bands, implosion or explosion is seemingly inevitable. U2 has defied the gravitational pull toward destruction," said Guggenheim, an Oscar winner for An Inconvenient Truth who also made the 2008 musical documentary It Might Get Loud, featuring U2 guitarist The Edge, Jimmy Page and Jack White.

Director Cameron Crowe (Almost Famous) ventures into musical documentary with another Toronto premiere, Pearl Jam Twenty, tracing the band's formation and how its members pulled back from the spotlight to cope after its rise to stardom.

Singer Madonna also is headed to the Toronto festival, as director of W.E, a film that intercuts between the romance of a modern woman (Abbie Cornish) and the relationship of American socialite Wallis Simpson and Britain's King Edward VIII, who abdicated the throne for love in the 1930s.

Toronto is among the world's largest film festivals, a spot where Hollywood studios and international filmmakers debut many prospects that will be in the running for next February's Oscars.

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