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Elizabeth Olsen + John Hawkes

Oct 12, 2011

In Sean Durkin’s impressive first feature, Martha Marcy May Marlene, Elizabeth Olsen delivered a breakthrough debut performance as a woman who escapes from a polygamous cult and struggles to reconnect with her family after years of abuse and estrangement. Olsen and co-star John Hawkes join Chief Curator David Schwartz at the Museum of the Moving Image to discuss what drew them to Durkin’s screenplay. This wide-ranging conversation explores the Jackson Frank song used in the film, scouting locations, and how Hawkes avoided caricature while creating his riveting performance as a cult leader.

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Discussions with creative figures in film, television, and digital media—formerly the Pinewood Dialogues—made possible with a generous grant from the Pannonia Foundation.