Marisa Tomei Gives Voice To ‘Citizen Jane’; Anthony Bourdain Fetes ‘Jeremiah Tower’ – Specialty B.O. Preview

Deadline | 4/21/2017 | Brian Brooks
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This weekend, Sundance Selects will open director Matt Tyrnauer’s doc Citizen Jane: Battle For the City, with Marisa Tomei voicing the author/activist who fought entrenched power in New York for her vision of urban life. The Orchard, meanwhile, is opening a non-fiction feature, Jeremiah Tower: The Last Magnificent from Lydia Tenaglia. The Tribeca ’16 debut has a high-profile ally in the form of Anthony Bourdain who will appear at select weekend Q&As. The weekend is a comparatively slower one for the Specialties vs. last weekend. Other openers include Mubi’s The Happiest Day In the Life of Olli Mäki, which won last year’s Un Certain Regard in Cannes and Under the Milky Way’s Russian feature, The Student.

Veteran filmmaker Matt Tyrnauer has long been interested in architecture and urban space. He picked up the 1961 book The Death and Life of Great American Cities by writer and activist Jane Jacobs a half-dozen years ago while walking along Bleecker Street in New York.

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“Her message was extraordinary and made me understand what a city is,” said Tyrnauer. “The sum of a city is its buildings and roads etc. It’s a collection of human interactions. It’s an ecology.”

Citizen Jane is a “tale of what can happen when engaged citizens fight the power for the sake of a better world.” Arguably no one did more to shape our understanding of the modern American city than Jane Jacobs, the visionary activist and writer who fought to preserve urban communities in the face of destructive development projects. Director Matt Tyranuer focuses on Jacobs’ 1960s showdown with ruthless construction kingpin Robert Moses over his plan to raze lower Manhattan to make way for a highway, a dramatic struggle over the very soul of the neighborhood.

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“I wanted to make a movie that could [be seen] by the general audience rather...
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