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Brian De Palma's Split-ScreenA Life in Film$
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Douglas Keesey

Print publication date: 2015

Print ISBN-13: 9781628466973

Published to University Press of Mississippi: September 2016

DOI: 10.14325/mississippi/9781628466973.001.0001

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Sisters (1973)

Sisters (1973)

(p.59) Chapter 7 Sisters (1973)
Brian De Palma's Split-Screen

Douglas Keesey

University Press of Mississippi

This chapter chronicles a shift in De Palma's films with Sisters (1973), which marked a departure of influences from Godard to Hitchcock, and a change of genres from political satire to the psychological suspense thriller. Having worked episodic, freewheeling narratives, handheld tracking shots, and semi-improvisational dialogue into his previous films, he decided to try his hand at a tighter script, a more structured plot (one that was carefully storyboarded) and experiments in editing. His low-budget comedies had been shot in long takes for efficiency's sake, which De Palma believed made them come across as “long and talky. It bothers me. I like films that use cuts to build suspense.” Cuts—related to both montage and murder—would certainly be central to Sisters.

Keywords:   Sisters, psychological thriller, suspense thriller, editing experiments, cuts, montage, murder, Alfred Hitchcock

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