The inspirations of the 70’s and 80’s will be with us for eternal years. The last two years of Christa Paffgen’s life, the great love of Jim Morrison and Alain Delon, “Nico” of Velvet Underground, habitué of Andy Warhol’s “Factory”, is in theaters with Susanna Nicchiarelli’s’ directing, the award-winning director of Cosmonaut. We are listening to Susanna, on Nico, 1988 and the world behind the iconic women!
You choose to tell the story of a woman behind an icon. Wasn’t that risky?
Yes, but at the same time it gave me the freedom to imagine creatively my own Nico, because I was trying to tell a part of the story that was less known, so I was free to imagine, from the biographical elements I had, from the music and the interviews, who could be the woman behind the image. And of course, Trine Dyrholm helped me a lot in the process of creating and bringing to life our own Nico behind Nico.
Why did you choose to show only the very last years of Nico?
Because I strongly believe and the witnesses have confirmed this that those were the best years of her life: years in which she got free of her drug addiction, she became more aware of her artistic value, she recreated a relationship with her son.
You said “Nico found her identity as an artist, a mother and a woman when she turned 40.” But in the film, everyone seems to be interested only in her past – not the present.
People seem to think that a woman who was famous for her beauty must have been happy only until she was young; people assume that what happens afterwards is not interesting. The great thing is that what happened after the Velvet Underground experience was the most interesting part of Nico’s life especially as an artist, but most people don’t know.
Why did you decide to re-record her songs?
Because I wanted creative freedom: I dodn’t want the actress to be forced to imitate Nico, I didn’t want her to open her mouth and pretend to sing with Nico’s voice. I wanted to do my own songs, rerecord them, sing them live, so that Trine could impersonate Nico more deeply.
What lessons can we take away from Nico the woman?
The courage of artistic freedom; the courage tol ive in the present.
Do you agree that directors are influenced by their hometowns?
Of course but in this case for me this is a very European movie and I was influenced in making it by my European identity.
What stimulates you to create?
Emotions. I think everybody should starts with what moves them and touches them directly. Then of course you need thought and rationality, but emotions, for me, are always the beginning.
Do you know what you’ll shoot next?
No idea, yet…