The Film Society & IndieWire’s Special Screening/Q&A of “Mary Last Seen” (Martha Marcy May Marlene) with Director Sean Durkin and Cast

“Mary Last Seen” was the short that Durkin wrote and directed prior to the full feature. It introduced the world of the film while also working as a standalone story. Fortunately it didn’t have to stand alone and now it makes for an eerie precursor ‘Martha’. The short screened prior to the “Martha Marcy May Marlene” Blu-ray release at New York’s Lincoln Center. In attendance for the IndieWire sponsored event were director Sean Durkin, producer Antonio Campos, cinematographer Drew Innis and actress Alexia Rasmussen (Mary).

In discussing the short, the filmmakers emphasized that if ‘Martha’ was a feature about exiting a cult, ‘Mary’ was about entering it. The connective character between the short and the feature is Brady Corbet’s Watts. Here we get to see how he goes about luring the cult women onto the isolated farm, cutting them off from the world. It’s disconcerting just how much damage the loss of a cell phone can do. “It’s the numbers” Mary laments, accentuating the modern reliance on automated contact lists. If nothing else, the short serves to help understand how Martha in the eventual feature film could have fallen off the face of the Earth to her family.

Click here for our DVD review of “Martha Marcy May Marlene”