Twenty years ago this November, U2 released their pivotal, band-remaking, career-reviving album Achtung Baby. To coincide with the anniversary - and an elaborately packaged reissue set - is an upcoming documentary, From The Sky Down, that explores the making of the groundbreaking 1991 disc.
The film, which premiered last week at the Toronto Film Festival and will screen on Showtime in the US in early October before being included in the Achtung Baby reissue boxset, was directed by Academy Award-winning helmsman Davis Guggenheim, who spent considerable time with The Edge, along with Jimmy Page and Jack White, a couple of years ago when he directed the acclaimed music spooler It Might Get Loud.
During a press conference before From The Sky Down was unveiled, Bono spoke about U2 in 2011 in comparison to the band they were while making Achtung Baby. "This moment where we're at, to me, feels really close to the edge of irrelevance," he said. "We can be successful, we can play big music in big places, but whether we can play small music, for radio or clubs, remains to be seen. And we have to get to that place again, if we are to survive."
"Twenty years ago and before that, we were crap and we were great. There wasn't much very good and I think that I was reminded of how crap we were, watching the film... When it gets comfortable, it's not as interesting. So there may be more crap coming up."
Speaking about Guggenheim's approach to direction, Bono said, "I felt like I was being mugged, and what really annoyed me was that I didn't know I was being mugged because of the way he carries himself. It was a sleight-of-hand, and I'm used to having a bit of arm wrestling."