It’s somehow fitting that a film about the frustration about not being Bono be named by Bono. The story goes, according to director Nick Hamm, that a production assistant on Across The Universe asked Bono what he thought about the film adaptation of Neil McCormick’s memoir I Was Bono’s Doppelgänger, and Bono said it should be called Killing Bono.
And so it was done. The Irish film tells the story of Neil McCormick, a schoolmate of Bono’s who formed a rock band alongside U2. Except McCormick failed and U2 is one of the biggest bands in the world. The entire film is marred by failure in the wake of almost mythical success and the fierce indignation of wanting to do something on your own.
Hamm is quick to remind you that Killing Bono is not your typical rock movie. It doesn’t culminate in a “sold-out crowd at Madison Square Garden” but instead focuses on the relationship of brothers Neil and Ivan McCormick and their borderline need to be famous rockstars.
The film showed last night at Chelsea’s Clearview Cinema and was followed by a Q&A with the director. The film took five years to get made and was a passion project for Hamm. In case you were curious: U2’s agent acted as a producer on the film, and the band loves the film. If anything, see Killing Bono for Martin McCann’s hilarious take on a teenaged Bono.
All photos by Charlotte Wimberle.