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Sara Driver collection related to the film adaptation of Paul Bowles's "You Are Not I"


Held at: University of Delaware Library Special Collections [Contact Us]181 South College Avenue, Newark, DE 19717-5267

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Delaware Library Special Collections. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Overview and metadata sections

Filmmaker Sara Driver (born 1955) played a central part in the independent film scene, often referred to as No Wave Cinema, that flourished in New York City in the late 1970s and 1980s. Her directorial debut was a short film titled

You Are Not I (1981), based on the Paul Bowles 1948 short story of the same name.

Driver studied film at New York University, graduating with an MFA in 1982. During her years of study, she participated in the creative milieu consisting of a considerable amount of emerging artists, including director and screenwriter Amos Poe (born 1949), director and actor Eric Mitchell (born 1949), director and actor Susan Seidelman (born 1952), as well as Driver's long-term partner filmmaker and composer Jim Jarmusch (born 1952). Driver first received acclaim for producing two of Jarmusch's early classics,

Permanent Vacation (1979) and Stranger than Paradise (1984).

Although released in the same era, her film,

You Are Not I, disappeared from public view when a leak in a New Jersey warehouse destroyed the negative. Driver made the film on a budget of $12,000, premiering it locally at Joseph Papp's Public Theatre. Upon its initial release, the film met with great acclaim and was shown in various film festivals. In its end-of-the-decade review, Cahiers du Cinema ranked You Are Not I as one of the best films of the 1980s. In 2008, a surviving copy of the film was found by University of Delaware librarian Francis Poole among Paul Bowles's effects in Tangier in the possession Bowles's long-time assistant and executor, Abdelouahad Boulaich.

Driver went on to create an oeuvre of films, including the award-winning feature films

Sleepwalk (1986) and When Pigs Fly (1993). From 1996 to 1998, she taught directing at New York University to a new generation of aspiring filmmakers.

Kennedy, Randy. "Film of Paul Bowles' Short Story Rediscovered." The New York Times, November 12, 2010. Accessed October 22, 2014. Küstendorf Film and Music Festival 2010. "Sara Driver." Accessed October 22, 2014.

This collection brings together materials related to Sara Driver's short film

You Are Not I (1981), based on the 1948 short story by American composer and author Paul Bowles (1910-1999) of the same name. Included in this collection is a variety of promotional materials, distribution information, and other ephemera from the film's initial release and early screenings.

Highlights include a photocopy of the script co-written by Sara Driver and Jim Jarmusch (the final page is handwritten) along with a photocopy of Paul Bowles's short story. The correspondence, including a letter from Bowles to Driver, reveals the process of obtaining permissions for Bowles's work as well as the overseas distribution of the film.

The bulk of the collection comprises promotional material and reviews. Included is a list of showings with accompanying posters, flyers, and programs from early screenings, including the American debut at Joseph Papp's Public Theatre in a double feature with Leonard Kastle's

The Honeymoon Killers. There is also documentation of a screening in Madrid alongside films of her contemporaries Tim Burns, Amos Poe and Jim Jarmusch and another in Paris with Robert Frank's Beat era film, Pull My Daisy. The reviews of the film come from French and American magazines reporting on the screenings of the film as it made its initial rounds. Additionally there is a selection from Jonathan Rosenbaum's book, which provides an early example of the film's inclusion in overviews of the period. Additional promotional material includes postcards, reproductions of film stills and contact sheets, and a reproduction of a Japanese VHS version of the film.

The rediscovery and restoration of

You Are Not I allowed for the film to be shown once again; the collection contains a list of materials exhibited with the rediscovered film and a handbill with schedule from a 2012 film series.

  1. Box 1: Shelved in SPEC MSS manuscript boxes (1 inch)
  2. Removals: Shelved in SPEC oversize boxes (18 inches)

Gift of Sara Driver, 2010

Processed and encoded by Sean Lovitt, October 2014.

University of Delaware Library Special Collections
Finding Aid Author
University of Delaware Library, Special Collections
Finding Aid Date
2014 October 23
Access Restrictions

The collection is open for research.

Use Restrictions

Use of materials from this collection beyond the exceptions provided for in the Fair Use and Educational Use clauses of the U.S. Copyright Law may violate federal law. Permission to publish or reproduce isrequired from the copyright holder. Please contact Special Collections Department, University of Delaware Library,

Collection Inventory

Photocopy of You Are Not I script, undated.
Box 1 Folder F1
Scope and Contents

Final page handwritten.

Photocopy of Bowles's short story, undated.
Box 1 Folder F2
Scope and Contents

Includes photocopies of letters of permission to use the story for the film from Bowles and his agent, Ned Leavitt.

Permissions, 1985, undated.
Box 1 Folder F3
Scope and Contents

Photocopies of forms and letters dealing with permissions for the use of Bowles's story and the distribution of Driver's film.

Publicity, 1982-1983.
Box 1 Folder F4
Scope and Contents

Consists of posters, programs, handbills, and brochures for screenings of the film. Also included is a list of early screenings and film festivals between 1981 and 1984.

Reviews, 1981-1984.
Box 1 Folder F5
Scope and Contents

Photocopies of early reviews of the film.

French reviews and publicity, 1987.
Box 1 Folder F6
Scope and Contents

Promotional material and photocopies of reviews from the French press for a screening of

You Are Not I with Robert Frank's Pull My Daisy.
Posters and promotional material, undated.
Box 1 Folder F7
Scope and Contents

Posters, promotional brochures, and a color photocopy of the cover of the Japanese VHS of

You Are Not I.
Publicity photographs and contact sheets, undated.
Box 1 Folder F8
Scope and Contents

Promotional postcards and photocopies of promotional photos and contact sheets from the film.

Exhibitions and retrospectives, 2011-2012.
Box 1 Folder F9
Scope and Contents

Checklist of items exhibited by University of Delaware librarians and a flyer for retrospective screenings of Sara Driver's films.

Print, Suggest