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I Can’t Believe it’s on YouTube! Brian dePalma’s Sisters

By February 7, 2016Reviews

I Can’t Believe Brian dePalma’s “Sisters” is on YouTube!

Story: A beautiful model has a one night stand with a man, triggering a jealous reaction from her sister, who knifes him to death. So, this is not the Tina Fey comedy that just came out, FYI.

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Why You Should See It: Brian DePalma made a number of experimental films before making “Sisters”. His hero was Godard, but following in the footsteps of the French New Wave master was not doing much for DePalma’s career. So he switched heroes…. to Hitchcock, and thus he became one of the most commercial and financially stable directors of his era.

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“Sisters” was his first Hitchcockian effort, which eventually led to “Carrie”, “Obsession”, “Dressed to Kill”, and “Body Double.” DePalma called using the Hitchcock model a language. And actually, he was not the only director to use this cinema grammar to tell a story. Polanski, Scorsese, and even Spielberg have applied this grammar in their films, but the difference was, DePalma became famous for this technique. Many people accused him of ripping off Hitchcock, even though he also directed “Scarface” and “The Untouchables”, which borrowed more from the Sergio Leone grammar.

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A chemistry major, DePalma is fond of formulas. And with “Sisters”, you get to see the chemist test the Hitchockian formula to its very boundaries. Not just the Hitchockian tension, but the doppelganger, switching points of views, tricking the audience into rooting for an evil character, and so on. DePalma even brought Bernard Hermann back from the dead to score “Sisters,” literally. He thought Hermann was dead, until his editor, Paul Hirsch, insisted that Hitcock’s right hand man was indeed alive and should score this movie. The result is a unique, bizarre and tension-packed horror movie far superior than most horror films today. I Can’t Believe It’s on YouTube.


Written by: Norith Soth

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