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Sara Driver

1.  Permanent Vacation / Jim Jarmusch, USA
2.  Sleepwalk / Sara Driver, USA-West Germany
3.  Stranger Than Paradise / Jim Jarmusch, USA
4.  The Bowery – Spring, 1994 – Postcards from New York / Sara Driver, France
5.  When Pigs Fly / Sara Driver, USA-Germany-The Netherlands
6.  You Are Not I / Sara Driver, USA

If the term “independent filmmaker” has been overused, it still applies to director, writer and producer Sara Driver, the embodiment of the resourceful and collaborative spirit that characterized New York-based filmmaking in the beginning of the 1980s. She graduated from the New York University Film School along with Spike Lee and Jim Jarmusch (her frequent collaborator and partner). She directed her first film, You Are Not I, in 1981 for a budget of $12,000 and with a flexible crew that shot anywhere and in any possible way. The same frugal, ingenious and on-the-fly principles applied to her first two producing jobs, Jarmusch’s Permanent Vacation and Stranger than Paradise, which will also be screened as part of the 52nd TIFF tribute.
Driver’s own films stand out for their individuality, their penchant for the surreal, the fantastical and the metaphysical (which manifest as almost common aspects of “real” life), their inventive, playful use of music and their lovely, mischievous humour.
Driver is one of those filmmakers that have no need for big, sprawling narratives in order to create a complete universe. Her wonderful stories are imbued with an anarchic spirit. Inhabited with ghosts (When Pigs Fly), crooks and children that throw stardust (Sleepwalk), the supernatural in them is half-painted with tenderness and delight and half-painted with shades of darkness, mystery, a bit of wickedness. Even her 10-minute documentary The Bowery, dedicated to the New York neighbourhood, manages to present the rough location in a semi-mystical light, yet without beautifying it. It’s just the way Sara Driver always finds splendor in grittiness.

 Lilly Papagianni

With the support of the Embassy of the U.S.A
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