Brian De Palma's SISTERS

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Wow! It's been a long time since I've seen a film that's left me breathless; this is what I've been looking for. De Palma's castration anxiety may have been explored more effectively in future films (I can't honestly say, I've never been much of a fan), but it certainly finds its roots in this film. An angry and perhaps confessional critique of female oppression, professionally (the protagonist, played by Jennifer Salt) and psychologically (the sisters, played by Margot Kidder). What's really impressive is that the film offers no easy scapegoat. The doctor (William Finley) could have easily been the film's villain, but he's turned into a pathetic and surprisingly tragic character before his demise (his confession of love for Danielle was so sudden and seemed so genuine to me, it nearly brought tears to my eyes; I can't honestly say I've experienced that in a thriller before). All things said, it's still damn good strictly as a thriller/murder mystery, and on the level of craft, it's pretty astonishing. And, to top it all off, how the hell did he manage to make the film so damn funny?

Anthony (Anthony F), Friday, 29 October 2004 11:14 (sixteen years ago) link

I haven't seen much by DePalma, mainly because I've had a preconceived notion that I picked up somewhere that he was just a cheapened version of Scorsese. I'll have to give him another chance; this film in particular sounds very interesting.

jay blanchard (jay blanchard), Friday, 29 October 2004 13:20 (sixteen years ago) link

three weeks pass...
Best thing about the movie are the opening credits with the embryo, combined with Bernard Herrmann's creepy Moog/orchestra score.

Also like the split-screen action...

Joe (Joe), Thursday, 25 November 2004 15:39 (sixteen years ago) link

I'm a massive De Palma fan, but Sisters is one of his less-successful films for me (I'm always happy when people discover it, nonetheless)... I think this is one of the few where his Hitchcockian flourishes are the (dramatic) ends, as opposed to the (comedic) means. Still, the hallucinatory flashbacks at the climax are something else entirely.

Five favorite De Palma films:

The Fury (1978)
Hi, Mom! (1970)... my God! Everyone who has any preconceived notions of De Palma as this or that should be forced to view this masterpiece.
Femme Fatale (2002)
Carrie and/or Obsession (1976)
Casualties of War (1989)

Eric H. (Eric H.), Friday, 26 November 2004 11:14 (sixteen years ago) link

I keep meaning to order the French DVD that just came out a few months back with just about the only remaining De Palma films I haven't seen, Dionysus in '69, as well a pair of early shorts. (A couple others that mere completism-auteurism hasn't been enough to get me to chase: Get To Know Your Rabbit, Wise Guys and Home Movies.) Unfortunately, it doesn't include Murder a la Mod.

Oddest "cinephile" moment of late: Picking up a copy of the DVD for Greetings in a discount bin at the local supermarket.

Eric H. (Eric H.), Friday, 26 November 2004 11:24 (sixteen years ago) link

fifteen years pass...

Revisited this tonight for the first time in a decade. Margot Kidder... my god...

flappy bird, Saturday, 14 November 2020 08:16 (two weeks ago) link

some cool camera shit too idk

flappy bird, Saturday, 14 November 2020 08:16 (two weeks ago) link


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