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NYFF 2011. Sara Driver’s “You Are Not I”

This “long-lost No Wave adaptation of a Paul Bowles short story” is an “authentically disorienting experience.”

"Sara Driver's long-lost No Wave adaptation of a Paul Bowles short story finally resurfaces," writes Alt Screen at the top of its roundup. "Co-written and shot by Jim Jarmusch (with Tom DiCillo as assistant) and featuring cameos by Nan Goldin and Luc Sante, You Are Not I [1981] has only screened at the Iceland Film Fest and the Portuguese Cinémathèque in Lisbon."

"A nervous mental patient (Suzanne Fletcher) escapes her hospital, and wanders past a horrific car crash en route to her sister's house," writes R Emmet Sweeney at Movie Morlocks. "She desperately wants to eject her frazzled sibling and replace her, to create space for the patient to live alone in her own head. Driver sets a mood that is dreamlike and elliptical — the crash is a pile-up of abstracted forms on grass, and the corpses are lined up like dominoes. We are witnessing the world through the patient's frazzled brain, so every image is unreliable. The closer is Eraserhead-hysteric, with trembling old ladies and the buzzing non-score by Phil Kline. It's an authentically disorienting experience."

For Glenn Kenny, it "often plays like the New York Underground answer to Carnival of Souls, which I mean entirely as a compliment."

Screens just once at the NYFF — tonight at 9.

Update, 10/9: For indieWIRE's Eric Kohn, "Driver's work simultaneously feels like a throwback to Eraserhead and an anticipation of Requiem for a Dream. With its concise running time and murky symbolism, You Are Not I doesn't quite merit consideration as a masterpiece, but it boldly wrestles with complex material in a mature fashion missing from most first-timers' work."

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