La Biennale di Venezia

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Cinema

Susanna Nicchiarelli - Nico, 1988

Orizzonti – Competition



Italy, Belgium / 93’
language English, German, Czech
cast Trine Dyrholm, John Gordon Sinclair, Anamaria Marinca, Sandor Funtek, Thomas Trabacchi, Karina Fernandez, Calvin Demba
screenplay Susanna Nicchiarelli
cinematographer Crystel Fournier
editor Stefano Cravero
production designer Alessandro Vannucci, Igor Gabriel
costume designers Francesca and Roberta Vecchi
music Gatto Ciliegia contro il Grande Freddo
sound Adriano Di Lorenzo, Marc Bastien, Franco Piscopo
special effects Chromatica and Digimax

Synopsis

Approaching 50, singer-songwriter Nico leads a solitary low-key existence in Manchester, far from her 60s glam days as a Warhol superstar and celebrated vocalist for cult band The Velvet Underground. She doesn’t care much anymore about her looks nor her career, performing thanks to her new manager Richard who gives Nico some needed drive to hit the road again to tour Europe. Struggling with her demons and the consequences of a muddled life, she longs to rebuild a relationship with her son, whose custody she lost long ago. A brave and uncompromising musician, Nico’s story is the story of a rebirth: of an artist, of a mother, of the woman behind the icon.

Director’s Statement

I fell in love with Nico for her wit and irony, and I have tried to tell her story with the necessary distance and the absence of dramatic sentimentalism, in a way I think, or hope, she herself would have told it. The music Nico made was by far one of the most interesting productions of the period, and the contrast between her songs and the absurd situations of a badly organized tour gave me the possibility to show how Nico’s story, like everybody’s, was in constant movement between drama and farce. Through her music, words and actions, I reinvented the woman I imagined must have been behind the fallen star.

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