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blurb patrol

‘The Diving Bell and the Butterfly’ Gets the Blurbiest Blurb That Ever Blurbed

The movie's poster, photographed at the Angelika.Photo: Alina Soler

Let's say you made a movie. In your wildest dreams, what's the most effusive blurb you could hope for? "Best movie of the year"? Maybe. How about "the best movie of all time"? Still not satisfied?

Well, if you're Julian Schnabel, and you directed The Diving Bell and the Butterfly, you can boast a blurb even more ecstatic than either of those, and probably than every other blurb ever: "It feels like nothing less than the rebirth of the cinema." That's the quote that adorns the poster for the movie in the Angelika's café, and it's attributed to The New Yorker's David Denby. Why, it's the blurbiest blurb that ever blurbed!

But can it possibly be accurate? Blurb Patrol is on the case.

Blurb: "It feels like nothing less than the rebirth of the cinema."

Context: "Imperially free and generous as Schnabel's work is, the imagery — medical, erotic, religious — hangs together with enormous power. The birth of Bauby's soul feels like nothing less than the rebirth of the cinema."

Verdict: Justified. While there's a slight, nitpicky shift in context here — it's the revitalization of Bauby's spirit that Denby is equating to the rebirth of cinema, not the movie itself — Denby's original review is clearly a runaway rave. Moreover, Denby is no doubt savvy enough to understand that by serving up a tasty sound bite like "the rebirth of cinema" (the review's final line, no less!), he'd offered an irresistible morsel to the movie's marketers. Not to mention the most extravagant! Blurb! In! Movie! History! —Adam Sternbergh