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Watch John Hawkes perform the haunting melody “Marcy’s Song” from “Martha Marcy May Marlene”

Watch John Hawkes perform the haunting melody “Marcy’s Song” from “Martha Marcy May Marlene” (photo)

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“Martha Marcy May Marlene,” about a teenager named Martha (Elizabeth Olsen) who escapes a cult and helplessly tries to integrate herself back into normal society, is easily one of the most powerful films of the year and a breakthrough performance for its young star. But it’s the dangerous intensity of the group’s leader Patrick (John Hawkes), that drives the film nearly as much as anything else.

One particularly key scene from the film takes place in a barn, where the group’s members are seated around Patrick. Eying Marcy May (as he renamed Martha), Patrick begins to play a song dedicated to his new “favorite,” and it’s in that moment that a switch is triggered in the mind of Elizabeth Olsen’s character where she not only accepts her situation, but embraces it. In other words, the brainwashing is complete.

“Marcy’s Song” — originally recorded in the 60s by folk singer Jackson C. Frank — is beautifully performed by Hawkes, and its calming lyrics and haunting melody belies its true malicious intent. It’s a stand-out moment and one that sticks in your head, as it did mine, to the point that as soon as I returned home from a screening, I e-mailed Fox Searchlight begging for an mp3. Well now the studio has uploaded a video of Hawkes performing the love song, allowing you to close your eyes and enter its mysterious world. “Martha Marcy May Marlene” is currently in theaters and is highly recommended.

Leave your own impressions of the song in the comments below, or on Facebook or Twitter.

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The Best Of The Last

Portlandia Goes Out With A Bang

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The end is near. In mere days Portlandia wraps up its final season, and oh what a season it’s been. Lucky for you, you can watch the entire season right now right here and on the IFC app, including this free episode courtesy of Subaru.

But now, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the new classics Fred and Carrie have so thoughtfully bestowed upon us. (We’ll be looking back through tear-blurred eyes, but you do you.)

Couples Dinner

It’s not that being single sucks, it’s that you suck if you’re single.

Cancel it!

A sketch for anyone who has cancelled more appointments than they’ve kept. Which is everyone.

Forgotten America

This one’s a “Serial” killer…everything both right and wrong about true crime podcasts.

Wedding Planners

The only bad wedding is a boring wedding.

Disaster Hut

It’s only the end of the world if your doomsday kit doesn’t include rosé.

Catch up on Portlandia’s final episodes on demand and at

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Your Portlandia Personality Test

The New Portlandia Webseries Is Going Your Way

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Carrie and Fred understand that although we have so much in common, we’re each so beautifully unique and different. To help us navigate those differences, Portlandia has found an easy and honest way to embrace our special selves in the form of a progressive new traffic system: a specific lane for every kind of driver. It’s all in honor of the show’s 8th and final season, and it’s all presented by Subaru.

Ready to find out who you really are? Match your personality to a lane and hop on the expressway to self-understanding.

Lane 10: Trucks Piled With Junk

Your junk is falling out of your trunk. Shake a tail light, people — this lane is for you.

Lane 33: Twins

You’re like a Gemini, but waaaay more pedestrian. Maybe you and a friend just wear the same outfits a lot. Who cares, it’s just twinning enough to make you feel special.

Lane 27: Broken Windows

Bad luck follows you around and everyone knows it. Your proverbial seat is always damp from proverbial rain. Is this the universe telling you to swallow your pride? Yes.

Lane 69: Filthy Cars

You’re all about convenience. Getting your car washed while you drive is a no-brainer.

Lane 43: Newly Divorced Singles

It’s been a while since you’ve driven alone, and you don’t know the rules of the road anymore. What’s too fast? What’s too slow? Are you sending the right signals? Don’t worry, the breakdown lane is nearby if you need it.

Still can’t find a lane to match your personality? Check out all the videos here. And see the final season of Portlandia this spring on IFC.

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Last-Minute Holiday Gift Guide

Hits from the '80s are on repeat all Christmas Eve and Day on IFC.

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GIFs via Giphy, Photos via The Everett Collection

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