Oscar winner Marisa Tomei channels the urban planning legend Jane Jacobs in the new documentary “Citizen Jane: Battle for the City.”
Matt Tyrnauer’s documentary, which had its world premiere Friday night at the Toronto International Film Festival, follows the life and legacy of the journalist, activist, and author of the influential 1960 book “The Death and Life of Great American Cities.”
Jacobs’ book sent shockwaves through the architecture and planning worlds, with its exploration of the consequences of modern planners’ and architects’ reconfiguration of cities.
Jacobs was also an activist in mid-century New York City, lobbying to stop “master builder” Robert Moses from ambitious plans that she felt ran roughshod over the city.
In this exclusive clip, we hear Tomei intoning Jacobs’ words lamenting the construction of “low-income housing that become worse centers of delinquency, vandalism and general social hopelessness than the slums they were supposed to replace; middle-income housing projects which are truly marvels of dullness and regimentation… [and] expressways that eviscerate great cities.”
Tyrnauer, who won wide acclaim for his 2008 documentary “Valentino: The Last Emperor,” also produced “Citizen Jane” along with Corey Reeser and Robert Hammond, the co-founder and executive director of New York City’s Friends of the High Line.
Josh Braun of Submarine is repping the film for distribution in Toronto.
Watch the clip above.