Filmmaker and actor Sara Driver Director Sara Driver refined her craft during New York's indie filmmaker boom in the late 1970s-1990s. Her directorial debut came in 1981 with You are Not I, a film about a young woman who escapes a mental institution during the chaos of a pileup. We revisit our conversation with Driver from 2018 where she discussed her docmentary, Boom For Real. It tells the story of a young Jean-Michel Basquiat and the New York arts community around him. Sara currently appears in Jim Jarmusch's latest zombie flick, The Dead Don't Die.
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Filmmaker and actor Sara Driver

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Filmmaker and actor Sara Driver

Filmmaker and actor Sara Driver

NEW YORK, NY - OCTOBER 11: Sara Driver attends the 55th New York Film Festival - NYFF Live - Laurie Anderson at Elinor Bunin Munroe Film Center on October 11, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images)
Jamie McCarthy/Getty Images

Sara Driver is an artist and filmmaker. She's a part of the Manhattan independent filmmaking renaissance that the city underwent through the late 1970s through the 1990s. When we spoke with the director and actor in 2018, she had just released a new documentary called Boom For Real: The Late Teenage Years of Jean-Michel Basquiat. The movie shows a side of one of the great 20th century artists not often seen, a savvy young upstart painting on the walls all over Manhattan's Lower East Side.

Jean-Michel Basquiat's Untitled was produced in 1982. The Los Angeles Times says that until shortly before Thursday's auction, it hadn't been shown in public since a private collector bought it for $19,000 in 1984
Don Emmert / AFP/Getty Images

An artist herself, Driver lived and worked in the same art community that propelled Basquiat to stardom. And because of that, Boom For Real kind of tells two stories. There's the story of Basquiat, who shows up in archival footage but never speaks. And there's New York City. Pre-9/11, pre-Reagan, pre-real estate boom New York City. Boom for Real strikes a careful balance between nostalgia and danger, between nuance and hero worship.

The filmmaker discusses what it felt like to capture on film a New York of old, particularly for working artists, and why passing a new Whole Foods makes her nostalgic for the past.

Sara Driver currently appears in Jim Jarmusch's The Dead Don't Die.