20 January 2008
'In the audience at a U2 show'
'U23D' premiered at the Sundance Film Festival last night, with Larry, Edge, Adam and Bono joined by an audience of 1200 and special guests including Robert Redford and Al Gore.
'Watching it gives a real perspective of being in the audience at a U2 show,' Edge told reporters ahead of the screening. 'So many concert films reduce the band. This one brings scale and grandeur.'
Judging by the response of those inside the Eccles Theater, Edge was spot on - with people moving to the music throughout, shining their mobile phones (along with the 70,000 South American fans at the 'actual' show) and roaring their appreciation after each of the fourteen tracks.
As one blogger has already put it, 'It was hard, visually, to tell where the movie ended and the people watching the movie began.'
The close of the ninety minute film brought a standing ovation, with everyone on their feet to applaud. Early responses from those lucky ones with a premiere ticket suggest the 3D execution gives a completely different experience to conventional film. 'Amazing show! The 3D effects were unlike anything I have seen before. At times it seemed like I was on stage with the band, and at times it seemed like I was in the audience. There were some cool 3D graphic effects as well, where it seemed like words and shapes were raining down on the audience....'
At a Q&A session afterwards Bono described the film, shot on location at seven Vertigo shows in South America, as 'a love song to Latin America'. 'We love playing for the people there. I really hope it communicates.'
And there's more going on in this movie, he added, than a cutting edge digital 3D movie of a live set. 'Underneath there is a narrative operating, and I think it runs through social activism ... it moves through the ideas that fired up our engines over the years, taking some of those ideas about non-violence and human rights.'
We'll be bringing you more news and photos from Sundance, keep checking in.