Martha Marcy May Marlene

Martha Marcy May Marlene (2011)

Fox Searchlight

Martha Marcy May Marlene is a singular and unnerving film starring Elizabeth Olsen as a woman struggling to become whole after escaping a cult. Fox Searchlight presented Watson DG with the goal of creating a website that captures the film's mood and the lead character's inner state.

Users of the site first discover a portrait of the titular character that takes the form of a dynamic mosaic of fragmented, floating shards representing her shattered psyche. These slivers of her self track with and react to the user’s mouse pointer, activating transformations and animations that explore the film's themes.

By selecting these shards, users uncover a myriad of video segments and other content designed to stir curiosity about and anticipation for the film. These are Martha’s experiences, her disjointed landscape of memories, the disconcerting things that make her who she is: A strange man in overalls with a gun...Breaking out of a car window...Is she in danger?...If so, what or who is the source of the danger?

The site also makes strong use of social media, with every video clip shareable through Facebook and Twitter.

From an article about the site: "This site for Martha Marcy May Marlene really utilizes the potential of the format. Gives me a sensation of not only stealthily delving into the corners of someone’s mind — but also a slightly panicked sense of getting lost in the maze of cacophonous noises competing for dominance in the thoughts of a individual who’s quite mixed up."



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"It’s an effective interactive metaphor for the journey of discovery the film itself will take. The official site does a fine job preparing us with clues to help unlock her disturbing mental breakdown and equally troubling reconstruction."