EDWARD GUTHMANN, San Francisco Chronicle
In her remarkable documentary, NICO - ICON (opening today at the Castro and the Shattuck in Berkeley), German film maker Susanne Ofteringer explores all the facets of the woman who was born Christa Paffgen in 1938 in Cologne, Germany, and carved a self-destructive path through the snake pits of high fashion, underground film and rock and roll. It ended with her death in 1988 of a cerebral hemorrhage brought on by bicycle accident on the Spanish island of Ibiza.
"Nico-Icon," a scrupulous, tough-minded film that sympathizes with Nico but never idealizes her or offers facile sentiment.
Director Susanne Ofteringer maintains a balance between the appeal and the absurdity of this “death angel” icon, weaving together elements in an imaginative package that often apes ’60s pop aesthetics. TV ads, feature and music-promo clips, experimental shorts, Warhol movies and concert footage attest to the subject’s lasting “pure” beauty.
Los Angeles Times
KENNETH TURAN JAN. 12, 1996
TIMES FILM CRITIC
“The dark side is very bright indeed,” director John Huston, who should’ve known, once said. “The dark is gleaming, like a fire opal or a black pearl.”
John Huston would have appreciated NICO - ICON
A well-made documentary about the Andy Warhol associate and singer for the celebrated rock group the Velvet Underground, one of the first people to be famous simply for being famous, “Nico Icon” is an intriguing story of self-destruction and the cool pursuit of death.