Magazine article Screen International

Susanna Nicchiarelli on Venice Orizzonti Opener 'Nico, 1988'

Magazine article Screen International

Susanna Nicchiarelli on Venice Orizzonti Opener 'Nico, 1988'

Article excerpt

Italian-Belgian biopic set to premiere at the 74th Venice Film Festival.

‘Nico, 1988’

Susanna Nicchiarelli’s third feature is Nico, 1988, a biographical picture about the singer Christa Päffgen, better known for her stage name Nico and her famous collaboration with the Velvet Underground.

The Italian-Belgian film opens the Orizzonti section at the 74th Venice Film Festival (30 Aug - 9 Sept) and is produced by Vivo Film with international sales handled by Celluloid Dreams.

It is set during the late years of the singer, when she was touring Eastern Europe on both sides of the Iron Curtain. Shot mainly in English with some German and Italian dialogue, the movie tells the story of how a woman approaching 50 with a famous past managed to rebalance her life.

In the film, director Susanna Nicchiarelli, whose previous works include Cosmonaut and Discovery At Dawn, is once again fascinated with the portrait of a complex woman. Screen spoke to her ahead of the film’s Venice Film Festival premiere.

Why did you choose to show only the very last years of Nico?

Because the way her life ended goes against all stereotypes. She was this almost 50-year-old woman who destroyed the myth of her beauty. She wasn’t trying to stay young. She dyed her famous blonde hair to black and didn’t even shower! She didn’t regret her New York years, she just wanted to be what she wanted to be. …

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