×

‘Nico, 1988,’ Biopic of Velvet Underground Singer, to Open Venice Horizons Section

'Nico, 1988' will be sold internationally by Celluloid Dreams

ROME – Italian director Susanna Nicchiarelli’s biopic “Nico, 1988,” about the late German chanteuse who was among Andy Warhol’s muses and sang with the Velvet Underground, has been set as the opening film of the Venice Film Festival’s Horizons section dedicated to cutting-edge fare.

The hotly anticipated film will screen on August 30 in the Lido’s Sala Darsena.

Danish actress, singer and songwriter Trine Dyrholm, who won the 2016 Berlin Silver Bear for her role in Thomas Vinterberg’s “The Commune,” plays the title role in this biopic of sorts, which focuses on the years 1987 and 1988, the last two years of Nico’s life.

In the film Dyrholm brings “the artist-icon Nico back to life” playing the part “with her own voice and transforming herself physically,” according to a Venice statement.

“This is the story of Nico after Nico,” Nicchiarelli said in the statement.

“People usually talk about her only in relation to the men she was with when she was young: Brian Jones, Jim Morrison, Bob Dylan, Alain Delon, Iggy Pop.”

“I read once in an interview that ‘at age 34 Nico was finished.’ That’s not true,” she added. After her experience with the Velvet Underground, Nico became a great musician.” she noted.

“I wanted to tell the story of her journey from a different point of view, focussing on the loss of consensus and the change in her image, both of which gave her back her freedom.”

Nicchiarelli is known on the festival circuit for her standout debut, “Cosmonauta,” which played in Venice in 2009.

Set between Paris, Prague, Nuremberg, Manchester, the Polish country side and the Roman seaside, the biopic in road movie form starts in 1987 with Nico, 48, strung out on heroin but going on tour in Europe as a soloist with a new manager and getting off drugs as the tour progresses. She is with her son Ari, who she claimed was conceived with Alain Delon, though Delon denied paternity. Nico died in 1988 while on vacation with Ari on the Mediterranean island of Ibiza.

Nicchiarelli’s screenplay draws on interviews with Ari and with Alan Wise, Nico’s then-manager.

“Nico, 1988” is produced by Marta Donzelli and Gregorio Paonessa’s Rome-based Vivo Film (“Sworn Virgin”). France’s Celluloid Dreams has taken international sales.

Alexander Payne’s “Downsizing” will open the festival in competition Aug. 30. The full lineup is expected to be announced next week.

The 74th Venice Film Festival runs Aug. 30 to Sept. 9.

More Film

  • sith trooper

    Sith Trooper Revealed From 'Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker'

    “Star Wars: The Rise of Skywalker” revealed a new storm trooper uniform Wednesday at San Diego Comic Con as part of a special exhibit celebrating the evolution of the storm trooper design. Dubbed the Sith trooper, the new uniform sports all-red armor plates with a matching red and black blaster. Also decorating the armor is [...]

  • Dunkirk

    Harry Styles Is the Perfect Prince Eric; Why He'd Rock 'Little Mermaid' Role

    Could Harry Styles be the perfect Prince Eric? One day after the announcement that the One Direction star is “in early negotiations to play the iconic ‘Little Mermaid’ role,” the internet exploded with speculation as to how he would portray the object of Ariel’s affections. “I can see lots of reasons why Harry is perfect,” [...]

  • The Lion King

    Film News Roundup: PETA Sponsors Rescued Lion in Jon Favreau's Name

    In today’s film news roundup, PETA honors Jon Favreau for “The Lion King,” “Tigers Are Not Afraid” gets a theatrical release, a Kirk Franklin biopic is in development and “The Sixth Sense” gets an anniversary showing in Philadelphia. HONOR The People for the Ethical Treatment of Animals is sponsoring a rescued lion to honor director [...]

  • Tokyo Director-in-Focus-at-Japan-Now

    Nobuhiko Obayashi set as Japanese Director in Focus at Tokyo Film Festival

    Indie director, Nobuhiko Obayashi will be feted as the director in focus at the Japan Now section of this year’s Tokyo International Film Festival. The festival will give a world premiere to his “Labyrinth of Cinema.” Supporting his art by shooting commercials, Obayashi is an indie whose dreamy works have influenced numerous other directors in [...]

  • Jimmi Simpson Joins Russell Crowe Movie

    Jimmi Simpson Joins Russell Crowe Thriller 'Unhinged' (EXCLUSIVE)

    Jimmi Simpson will play a key role in “Unhinged,” Variety has learned. He joins an impressive cast that includes Oscar-winner Russell Crowe and Caren Pistorius. Solstice Studios is producing the psychological thriller, which is currently filming in New Orleans. “Unhinged” centers on a woman named Rachel (Pistorius), who leans on her horn at the wrong [...]

  • David Crosby

    David Crosby Says New Documentary 'Remember My Name' Is Like 'Being Naked in Public’

    “It’s not easy. It’s hard being naked in public,” David Crosby, the legendary troubadour of classic rock, reflected at Tuesday night’s New York City premiere of “David Crosby: Remember My Name.” “I don’t know what to do here. There’s no guitars, no drums,” he laughed. Directed by newcomer A.J. Eaton and produced by the legendary [...]

  • Javier Bardem Dune

    Javier Bardem in Talks to Play King Triton in Disney's 'Little Mermaid'

    Javier Bardem is in talks to play King Triton in Disney’s live-action remake of “The Little Mermaid.” Halle Bailey will portray the Ariel, a mermaid princess who dreams of being a human, while Melissa McCarthy is playing her evil aunt Ursula. Harry Styles is also in early talks to play Prince Eric. “The Little Mermaid” [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content