Fujiwara’s “Excellent!!!” monograph and how movie blurbs work

When high profile reviews of UIP books are published, I am responsible for pulling key quotes from the reviews and entering them in our database for future dissemination.  This duty was on my mind twice this weekend; once when I read this piece in Slate about movie blurbs, and again when I saw the following brief mention of Chris Fujiwara’s new book Jerry Lewis in The New York Times.

From Slate:

It’s typical for studios to gently fudge quotes—for brevity, as much as anything. For example, when Travers reviewed the Michael Jackson documentary This Is It, he wrote that
“[w]atching his struggle is illuminating, unnerving and unforgettable.” The newspaper ad shortened it to: “Illuminating and unforgettable.” . . . Some studios are careful to use ellipses and full sentences to convey context. But proper punctuation isn’t expected. Indeed, ad copy writers tend to be quite liberal with their exclamation points.

From The New York Times:

Yet the critical literature on Mr. Lewis — which continues to blossom — seldom takes his hundreds (if not thousands) of hours of television work into account. Chris Fujiwara’s excellent monograph on Mr. Lewis, which comes out this week from the University of Illinois Press, contains only a passing mention of his television work, perhaps because it is so difficult to access this vast, hidden portion of Mr. Lewis’s career.

The prospective Fujiwara blurb for our database:

“Excellent!!!” —The New York Times

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