Despite dying tragically young, Sarah managed to make an impressive impact in a short and explosive career. She was a one-woman filmmaking machine who, alongside her (by the sounds of it *amazing*) mum, ran her own production and distribution company
By working w tiny budgets, outside of the system, Sarah made her work without compromise. Like the Riot Grrrls, Kathy Acker & so many women before & after, she was a brilliant self-promoter & talented opportunist. She created the conditions she needed to make her work
The resulting films are fiercely original. She centres her gaze on teenage girls, offering an empathetic window into their lives, celebrating their intelligence, sexuality, and (radically) righteous rage. Sarah’s heroines are messy & gutsy, they fizz with fury & desire
I Was a Teenage Serial Killer (1993) is a grainy, grubby B Movie, a wry horror-satire/wish fulfilment fantasy about a young woman driven to murder by the endless micro-aggressions of everyday sexism
Mary Jane is Not a Virgin Anymore (1997) is a refreshingly realistic sex-positive take on the teen movie, that punctures myths around teen relationships while applauding friendship, camaraderie and masturbation
It’s sad that we will never see what Sarah could have achieved over a longer career, but cheering too to see her legacy live on in the Sarah Jacobson Film Grant. Her films still feel thrillingly alive – she captured furious truths about being a young woman in the world
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