Reversed kind of "Rear Window" in which, for as long as we can follow it's obvious references and don't mind the even more obvious plot holes and terrible acting, we watch an engaging thriller with a healthy dose of all that enthusiastic bizarre seen in many accomplishments of 70's underground Hollywood. Final third is trying a bit too hard to deliver numerous interpretations of its premise.
I don't remember anything about this other than Margot Kidder is so beautiful that I actually felt unworthy of looking at her, and I felt sort of annoyed at the (faux? I forget) twist near the end. However, this is a horror movie that I watched as part of one of my past horror movie marathon Octobers, so I think of it with fondness
Different patriarchal forces and figures spawn the killings as well as cover them up; meanwhile, the one woman trying to show them the truth is dismissed, mocked, and eventually scared into silence... how little has changed. De Palma’s finest straight thriller under “Blow Out,” with flashy split-screen voyeurism, a pair of compelling performances from Salt and Kidder, and an eerie score from Bernard Herrmann.
4.5, the pure "student" film, in which Hermann plays the role of advisor, this is probably the least hammy Hitchcock devotion in BDP's career - because it takes so many steps further (and now Ryan Murphy is aping BDP, hm.) The split-screen shot that folds into itself will forever be on my best-of lists. Kidder gives about 3 different characters at once here (and that's just within Danielle).
An incredible thriller & De Palma's first riff on the proverbial 'Hitchcock film'. It's an incredibly skillful movie; made all the more impressive considering De Palma made it on a small budget and it doesn't show. Psychologically rich and complete with a feminist and anti-patriarchal message, Sisters is one of De Palma's first great films. And that ending...
Brian De Palma is such a frustrating filmmaker, because while he's made some genuinely great movies like Phantom of Paradise, Redacted, and Dressed to Kill, he's also made a lot of bad films. Sisters unfortunately, despite having some wonderfully stylish moments, falls into the latter as it ultimately feels as though it were made on autopilot- as if De Palma didn't fully care this time around....
I think of GREETINGS and HI, MOM! as falling-apart crazy-glued anarchist masterpieces and SISTERS as a transitional work that gives away a great deal about the secret congruence of De Palma's two phases. As Hitchcock becomes important, naturally form also becomes important. When form becomes important, De Palma becomes a new intelligence. A slightly different form of ruthlessness, but he's still basically naughty.
De Palma’s first riff on Hitchcock with some heady shades of Bergman. Godard said “cinema is truth...” but De Palma is all about the limited perspective of the audience/voyeur, and the lie of what our eyes discern. We only see what we’re allowed to see, and like a couch with a body inside or a twin who may not be who she believes herself to be, what’s surface is deception. Truth, like motion onscreen, is illusory.
Being part of the post-modern movement allowed De Palma to mix Hitchcock's best trademark's (bets-off suspense/dark humor/narrative and emotional hook/intriguing-but-flawed characters) to odd proportions. Both understood that once they have your emotions with these elements, they can take their plot off-the-rails. De Palma isn't as narrowly-focused and conservative as Hitch, uniquely suiting the material.
Sisters is filthy and sensationalist, but for some reason I fucking love it. It's pulpy and clearly doesn't really understand women, but for some reason it's totally entertaining. It's like Hitchcock without any of the Code-restraints. There are some visual and narrative parallels to Repulsion (Polanski) too.
Rewatch. Better than I remembered it. Jennifer Salt looks like my mom. Also kind of loved how the stakes were so low (I guess you could say this about all of BDP's films) in that the characters were all a bunch of losers living in St. George. De Palma hates cops.
A noticeable presage to the silky sleaze of Dressed to Kill & Body Double albeit blocked in unsubtle American International types. Despite, or because of, the sub-Hitchcockian moments - including a playfully unbuttoned Hermann score - this is an amusing riff on ways of seeing and voyeurism, if not medical fidelity. Tawdry fun.
3.5 stars. A stylish homage to Hitchcock with several themes and pieces pulled straight from his movies, and a bit of Repulsion thrown in, yet Sisters is very distinctively owned by De Palma. Doesn't feel like his first foray to the world of thrillers, and with some other director the weak pedestrian script would have been more prominent.
As his first venture into pure homage, it never transcends its influences even if it goes further. We recognise the template but the undertones are decidedly more explicit. What makes it work aside from BDP's formal skills, is the kind of real-time sleuthing, a narrative perspective that shifts with the act of witnessing. More thrillers should be contained, amorphic, open to a narrative inventiveness.