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When Davis Guggenheim was 17 years old, his brother brought home the first album Davis ever loved - 'Boy', by U2. He had always listened to music - the way people do - but 'Boy' connected with him in a way no record had before. He felt a kinship with the music, a sense of ownership of it. 30 years later, he had to temper that teenage fandom when U2 became the subject of his new documentary, 'From The Sky Down', which premiered at the Toronto International Film Festival. It's an inside look at the recording of U2's 1991 record, 'Achtung Baby', the album that radically re-invented the band's sound and, according to Bono & co., saved them from imploding.
Davis - who has directed television shows like 'NYPD Blue', 'ER', and 'Deadwood' - is no stranger to docs. 'It Might Get Loud' was his ode to the electric guitar, lensed through Jimmy Page, the Edge and Jack White. He turned a slide show speech about climate change into 'An Inconvenient Truth', the Oscar-winning documentary that helped lionize Al Gore and provoked heated discussions about global warming. And more recently, his film 'Waiting for "Superman"' changed the conversation about how to fix public schools in the U.S., asking: are teachers to blame?
Making work with social relevance drives him, and you can understand why he keeps an eye on the future; Davis has three children with his wife, actress Elizabeth Shue. But for someone so forward-looking, Davis would be the first to tell you his next chapter has yet to be plotted...