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By MCN Editor editor@moviecitynews.com

FISHER STEVENS TO DIRECT AMERICAN PASTORAL For Lakeshore Entertainment and Sidney Kimmel Entertainment

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Los Angeles, CA, May 15, 2012—  Academy Award-winner Fisher Stevens will direct American Pastoral for Lakeshore Entertainment and Sidney Kimmel Entertainment (SKE).  The project is based on Philip Roth’s Pulitzer Prize winning novel of the same name.  Screenwriter John Romano (The Lincoln LawyerIntolerable Cruelty) adapted the screenplay.

American Pastoral is a pivotal story depicting the destruction of the American dream.  Protagonist Seymour “Swede” Levov, a legendary high school athlete, grows up to marry a former beauty queen and inherits his father’s business.  Swede’s seemingly perfect life shatters when his daughter rebels by becoming a revolutionary and commits a savage act of political terrorism during the Vietnam War.

The book is the first novel in Roth’s American postwar trilogy that also includes I Married a Communist and The Human Stain.  This will mark Lakeshore Entertainment’s third project with Roth—The Human Stain was released in 2003 and Elegy (based on The Dying Animal) in 2008.

“Philip Roth is the great American author of our time,” says Lakeshore Chairman Tom Rosenberg.  “Fisher shares our passion for Roth’s literature, and he is a unique storyteller with his multi-layered past in the business as an actor, producer and director.  Stand Up Guys has been a fantastic experience, and we are thrilled to work with Fisher again.”

Says Sidney Kimmel: “Philip Roth is such an extraordinary story teller, an American treasure, and this particular story so vivid that we could not be more excited. Fisher and all of us are dedicated to bringing his vision to the big screen in a fully complimentary and realized fashion.”

Stevens is currently directing Stand Up Guys starring Al Pacino, Christopher Walken and Alan Arkin for SKE and Lakeshore Entertainment which Lionsgate will release.  He is represented by Paradigm and Untitled Entertainment.

Lakeshore Entertainment’s Tom Rosenberg and Gary Lucchesi are producing with Sidney Kimmel.   SKE President Jim Tauber and SKE President of Production Matt Berenson are executive producing.  Principal photography will begin early next year.

The project marks the seventh film co-financed and co-produced by Lakeshore and SKE in the past year, including the hit Lionsgate release The Lincoln Lawyer, and the upcoming I, Frankenstein, starring Aaron Eckhart and directed by Stuart Beattie for Lionsgate to release, in addition to Adaline in pre-production with Spanish director Isabel Coixet set to direct.

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“To be a critic is to be a workaholic. Workaholism is socially conditioned: viewed favourably by exploiters, it’s generally ruinous to a worker’s mental health. When T.S. Eliot said criticism was as inevitable as breathing, he failed to mention that, respiratory problems notwithstanding, breathing is easy. Criticism is reflexive before reflective: to formalise/industrialise an involuntary instinct requires time, effort and discipline. The reason we seek remuneration, as opposed to the self-hatred of being a scab, is because all labour should be waged…

“Criticism, so the cliché by now goes, is dying. None of the panel discussions on its death agony, however—including those in which I’ve formally participated—come at it from the wider perspective that the problem surely needs. They defend the ways in which criticism functions in relation to the industry and to the public, but they fail to contextualise these relationships as defined by ultimately rotten and self-harming imperatives.

“Criticism was a noble profession so long as only a few could practice it for money; when the field expands, as it has with a so-called ‘democratisation’ of our practice, those few lose their political power. Competition grows and markets are undercut: publications are naturally going to start paying less. Precarity is both cause and effect of a surplus workforce: the reason you’re only as good as your last article is because there are plenty of other folks who can write the next one in your place. The daily grind is: pitch, or perish.

B”ut criticism, so a counter-cliché goes, is not dying. An irony: this is an elite sport that is no longer elite in terms of who is able to practice it, but in economic terms it’s clutching to a perverse and outmoded hierarchical structure. It’s more meritocratic than ever, now: which is to say it isn’t meritocratic at all. That’s a paradox in bad need of a resolution…”

~ Michael Pattison Manifestoes Film Criticism

“It’s easy to forget when you’re reading a critic every single week or multiple times a week, that most of us who do this job, and have been doing it for a long time, understand that this is basically a parasitic profession. I don’t mean in the sense that we’re evil bloodsucking creatures, but we couldn’t exist if we didn’t have something to analyze. And I’m always conscious of that. So whether I like or don’t like a particular thing you do, my point of view is always that of an appreciator. I just like to be in the world that you create.”
~ Matt Zoller Seitz To Sam Esmail

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