Friday Editor’s Pick: “Sisters”

by on April 8, 2011Posted in: Editor's Pick


Tom Carlisle for Reverse Shot:

“The humor doesn’t lessen the shock, but rather enhances it by keeping the audience continually caught off guard. De Palma takes the most vulnerable and receptive of human reactions—laughter, fear, and anticipation—and pushes them to their extremes until the audience is caught up in giddy bewilderment. You don’t know what the director is going to pull next, so you can’t prepare yourself… Sisters was a huge evolutionary step for De Palma—without a doubt the film in which he discovered his own inimitable style, and in it you can see horror, suspense, and comedy laid out side by side.”


Michael Koresky for The Criterion Collection:

“The seventh feature from an unpredictable, brainy yet ragged American auteur named Brian De Palma, Sisters was self-referential and absurdly stylish, a larkish goof on Hitchcock that made a monstrous mash-up of the master of suspense’s tropes. Yet with even ten years of hindsight, what had once appeared to be a one-off experiment seemed more like a clarion call announcing the director’s entire career.”


Bruce Kawin also for Criterion:

“The camera is more probing and attentive in Sisters than in De Palma’s earlier work; it isolates crucial objects better, roves more smoothly over the mysterious terrain it investigates. This is a sign not only of the increased formal control of this picture—a goal De Palma set himself here, using Hitchcock as his model—but also of the filmmaker’s having taken on the role of looker.”


Fernando F. Croce:

Rear Window is explicitly quoted and the living room coffin from Rope makes a telling appearance, but the director’s great affinity with Hitchcock resides in his understanding of a society built on repression and of the castrating frenzies that ensue. (Robin Wood hailed it as his masterpiece.)”

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