A frustratingly not-terrible action thriller.
Andy Warhol That was too long for Nico. The most beautiful of Warhol's "superstars" was empty and disaffected, a woman who was given great natural gifts but could not enjoy them. "Nico Icon" is a documentary that tells the story of a woman who hated the natural beauty that landed her in French Vogue as a teenager, who was bored by life, love and sex, who spent great portions of her life searching for heroin, and who supported herself as a singer even though she hated singing and couldn't carry a tune. Death, when it came, must have been a relief.
Nico, christened Christa Paffgen, was born in 1939 in Cologne, Germany. By the 1950s she was in Paris, working as a fashion model, and she can be seen, ravishingly beautiful, in Fellini's "La Dolce Vita" (1960), joining Marcello Mastroianni on the Via Veneto and on a wild car ride to a decadent party. Even then her pose was one of ennui.
Bob Dylan introduced her to Andy Warhol in 1960. He used her in some of his movies (notably "Chelsea Girls," where she endlessly snipped at her hair) and used her to draw attention to the Velvet Underground, a band he was promoting. She played tambourine and did vocals with Lou Reed, one of her many lovers.
After the Warhol scene faded, she drifted to Europe and fronted a band; those days are remembered in the film by her former drummer and manager, who says "she was the sun and we were the planets" and their whole world centered on the van they used to drive from gig to gig. Nico, always in search of a fix, would pull knives and throw tantrums, and was "proud of her bad hair, rotted teeth, bad skin, and needle tracks . . . she was a middle-aged junkie." She switched from heroin to methadone in 1986, and died in 1988, of "too much sun," says her son Ari. Uh huh.