There’s a neat connection between Brit Marling’s new espionage thriller The East, and Robert Redford’s The Company You Keep. One is about a spy (Marling) who infiltrates a band of radical anarchist eco-terrorist freegans. The other film tracks a group of 1960s student radicals who robbed banks and blew up buildings, and are now, 40-plus years on, facing exposure by an intrepid journalist (Shia LeBeouf) and the feds. In the latter pic, Marling has a small but pivotal part, pursued both professionally and romantically by LeBeouf’s character, and fatefully connected to the one-time student radicals played by Julie Christie and Redford.
Here’s Marling talking about her director, and mentor, Redford. In 2011, Marling’s Another Earth and Sound of My Voice, both had their premieres at Redford’s Sundance Film Festival. Her career was launched, in significant part, thanks to the actor/producer/director/philanthropist.
“I’ve gotten to know him quite well over the course of a few years,” Marling says. “I admire his acting and directing – that’s a given. I also just deeply admire his humanity, and the way he’s decided to be an artist and a human being in the world.
"Sundance [the festival and the Sundance Film Institute] seems so obvious to everyone now, because it’s an institution. But when he was establishing it, it was like the peak of his acting career, everyone was telling him he’d lost his mind, that nobody from anywhere was going to make the trek to Utah in the snow to watch little movies.