First time feature-length filmmaker Sean Durkin made a huge splash last year with his haunting Sundance debut “Martha Marcy May Marlene.” About a damaged woman who struggles to re-assimilate into her family after fleeing an abusive cult, the poignant drama instantly placed Durkin and lead actress Elizabeth Olsen on the map as ones to watch (and indeed, the Durkin-produced “Simon Killer” already made waves at Sundance 2012).
But what many don’t know is that before Durkin made “Martha Marcy May Marlene,” he wrote and directed a prequel short of sorts called “Mary Last Seen” as a way of exploring the notion of cult indoctrination, and also as a down-and-dirty way of just shooting a film while he waited for the ‘MMMM’ schedule to coalesce. It serves as a very excellent companion piece to the larger feature without covering the same ground.
Starring “Martha Marcy May Marlene” actor Brady Corbett as essentially the same character (though that’s never explicitly stated), Alexia Rasmussen and Stefanie Estes, IndieWIRE and The Playlist, in conjunction with The Film Society of Lincoln Center, will be screening the short on February 20th at 7:00 p.m. in New York free of charge (additional details here).
The short will be shown in its entirety, plus director Sean Durkin, cinematographer Drew Innis and actress Alexia Rasmussen will all be there for an in-person Q&A. Simultaneously, The Playlist and IndieWIRE will also be streaming the Q&A live, in case you can’t make it (or don’t live nearby), and unlocking, for a very limited time, “Mary Last Seen” on Twitter as well. We’ll be taking questions live from Twitter during the streaming Q&A, so follow and use the hashtag #marylastseen on February 20th to participate.
If you live in New York City, mark February 20th on your calendar. The “Martha Marcy May Marlene” Blu-ray and DVD arrives on Tuesday, February 21st.