“Eminent domain,” you’re reminded at the start of Battle for Brooklyn, is “the right of the government to take private property.” Usually, this measure is taken with an eye toward a “public good,” however that may be defined. In the case presented in Michael Galinsky and Suki Hawley’s terrific documentary, the term appears to be especially vexed, as a private corporation makes a claim for public land. The film follows the controversy and legal ambiguities regarding the Atlantic Yards project in Brooklyn, that is, that is, Bruce Ratner’s plan to build an arena for the (currently New Jersey) Nets and develop the surrounding property. While some residents of the neighborhood selected for the project object to the idea, others believe the promises made by Ratner, Brooklyn Borough president Marty Markowitz, Mayor Bloomberg, and Senator Chuck Schumer, namely, promises that the development will bring employment opportunities to Brooklyn and improve material and economic conditions going forward. (Senator Schumer’s misspeaking during a press conference may or may not be telling: “Basketball is great, but you know what enervates me about this? 10,000 jobs!”)
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Why not jump into the spring season a bit early after the “winter that wasn’t” with a bunch of new tunes ready for the next playlist? The time change an hour forward is never easy, but releases from Chairlift, Porcelain Raft and Dr. Dog can help ease the transition. Also much appreciated are the free downloads from Pretty Lights and Converse’s latest collaboration, bringing together the Gorillaz, Andre 3000 and James Murphy of LCD Soundsystem to round out the mix.
POPMATTERS SPONSOR—Tomorrow our friends at MOG are teaming with Intel to present a killer line-up featuring the Roots, Bob Mould, Blitzen Trapper, Cloud Nothings and more at the Mohawk. The festivities kick off at noon and last until 6.00pm giving you a chance to catch an A-list line-up even before the evening showcases begin.
Tomorrow you can watch the performances live right here on PopMatters through the large widget on the right-hand side of all PopMatters pages.
The event is sponsored by Intel and its brand new series of Ultra Books.
Sherri Shepherd is a woman of oh so many interests and talents, with a resume even bigger than her bubbly personality. She began her career as a stand up comic and part-time legal secretary, which soon transformed into a full-time position as a sitcom actress. Never one to be pigeonholed, she now willingly shares her opinions on the popular talk show The View, that is when she’s not reprising her role as the brilliantly hilarious Angie Jordan on NBC’s 30 Rock or or working on books like her 2009 effort Permission Slips: Every Woman’s Guide to Giving Herself a Break. A fixture on the red carpet, she recently held court at the Oscars, and also held a supporting role in the Katherine Heigl thriller One for the Money. Rather than be confined to only the world of acting, she will soon make a play for conquering the physical world, when she confronts the competition on Dancing with the Stars.
“Sing Sing,” narrates Laurence Fishburne, “What breaks a man here, it’s what every man loses and what each man serves: time.” Such emphasis on time is made plain in ESPN’s title for José Morales’s film, 26 Years: The Dewey Bozella Story. In 1983, Bozella was convicted for a murder he didn’t commit, based on suspect evidence (“Nothing had my fingerprints on it, nothing”) and unbelievable testimonies by two convicts who were then released. Posed in carefully arranged frames—a sharply angled view of a prison cell, interview rooms where bars cast long shadows—Bozella remembers, “Members of the jury broke down crying when they read the verdict. I said to them, ‘It’s too late, you sent me away for the rest of my life.’” In prison, Bozella found boxing (owing to a guard’s effort to focus inmates’ anger) and also, his wife Trena (who was visiting her brother when they met). As years passed, he wrote each week to the Innocence Project, who finally took the case in 2007, bringing in a “powerful New York law firm,” who discovered exculpatory evidence in a prosecutor’s file cabinet that had never been shown to the defense.