Tonight Jenny and I attended the North American premiere of Killing Bono at the Seattle International Film Festival, SIFF. It was shown at the Neptune Theatre, one of the University District’s oldest theatres. The movie Killing Bono is based on Neil McCormick’s memoir Killing Bono: I was Bono’s Doppelganger. I liked the book better.
In Killing Bono, Neil McCormick tells the story of his life and how he was always competing, in his mind, with U2. He went to school with Bono, Larry, Adam and Edge and was forming a band at the same time they were. In fact, his brother Ivan was almost in U2 – he was in Larry’s kitchen at that first rehearsal. Neil always wanted to be famous and be in the biggest band in the world, but that happened to Bono not him.
The movie Killing Bono was good. It was well-done, entertaining and funny. I especially liked Robert Sheehan who played Ivan McCormick, Neil’s brother. I liked that the only U2 song that was played was I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For, especially since I’m not hearing it live anymore. The Larry character of course did not do Larry justice, but the Adam’s character late 1970s hair was dead on.
What I did not like was that the movie took some liberties with the truth and added scenes for dramatic purposes that did not happen. One of these scenes was Neil McCormick pointing a gun at Bono deciding if he was going to kill him. I did not like that at all. It really freaked me out. All I kept thinking was ‘Mark Chapman.’ The book Killing Bono had more U2 in it, especially when they were starting out, and continued throughout Neil McCormick’s writing career – past 1987 where the movie ended.
After the showing, director Nick Hamm skyped in and did a Q & A with the audience. He said that U2, with the exception of Larry, viewed Killing Bono in Australia when they were touring there. He said they found themselves amusing, especially Adam’s hair.
I was suprised that the small theatre was only about half full, and that it wasn’t all U2 fans. There were some folks there with U2 shirts on and a few I think I recognized from twitter, but it was mostly film festival fans. I expected it to be in a huge sold out theatre with wall to wall U2 fans. I mean I changed my plans and came into Seattle a day early just so I could see the North American premiere of Killing Bono.