Archive of films Martha Marcy May Marlene / Martha Marcy May Marlene
2010, 102 min
Section: Borderline Films: The First Ten Years
Awarded honors at Sundance and Cannes, Sean Durkin’s psychological thriller follows a young woman (Elizabeth Olsen) who escapes from a community controlled by a charismatic leader (John Hawkes). Aided by a delicately constructed narrative line blurring the boundary between memory, dream, and imagination, director Durkin uncovers the young woman’s recent past, setting it in contrast to the seeming calm and safety provided by her family.
"The idea of people losing their identity and taking on other identities was a big thing for me,” says Sean Durkin in reference to the cults, sects, and communities that have long fascinated him. For his feature debut, he chose the psychological thriller genre to vividly relate the story of a young woman who seeks refuge with her older sister after escaping from a community controlled by a charismatic leader. Aided by a delicately constructed narrative line that blurs the boundaries between memory, dream, and imagination, Durkin gradually reveals the young woman’s recent past, setting it in contrast to the apparent calm and safety provided by her family. The film’s visuals are equally captivating, having been assigned to the capable hands of longtime Borderline collaborator, director of photography Jody Lee Lipes. Similar to The Shining and Rosemary’s Baby, two of the filmmaker’s favorite movies, MMMM also draws upon the important element of horror. The casting of the main role was key in this context, and the critics showered praise on Elizabeth Olsen.
About the director
Sean Durkin (b. 1981, Canada), screenwriter, producer, and director, graduated from NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts. He debuted in features with Martha Marcy May Marlene, which brought him Best Director from the 2011 Sundance festival and the Prix Regard Jeune from the Un Certain Regard section at Cannes. A year earlier at the Utah festival founded by Robert Redford, Durkin premiered his short prequel to MMMM, Mary Last Seen, which subsequently enjoyed its European premiere, like most of Borderline’s productions, at Cannes. Durkin produced Antonio Campos’ debut Afterschool, as well as his second feature Simon Killer; he also shared in the production of Alistair Banks Griffin’s first film Two Gates of Sleep.
About the film
|Section:||Borderline Films: The First Ten Years|
|Dir. of Photography:||Jody Lee Lipes|
|Music:||Saunder Jurriaans, Danny Bensi|
|Producer:||Josh Mond, Antonio Campos, Chris Maybach, Patrick Cunningham|
|Cast:||Elizabeth Olsen, Brady Corbet, John Hawkes, Hugh Dancy, Sarah Paulson|