Terrence Malick

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Terrence Malick
Terrence Malick.jpg
Born Terrence Frederick Malick
(1943-11-30) November 30, 1943 (age 70)
Ottawa, Illinois
Occupation Film director, screenwriter, producer
Years active 1969–present
Spouse(s) Jill Jakes (1970–1976)
Michèle Morette (1985–98)
Alexandra Wallace (1998–present)

Terrence Frederick Malick (/ˈmælɪk/; born November 30, 1943)[1] is an American film director, screenwriter, and producer. In a career spanning over four decades he has directed six feature films. He made his directorial debut with the drama Badlands in 1973. Malick released his second film, Days of Heaven, in 1978, after which he took a long hiatus from directing films. His third film, the World War II drama The Thin Red Line, was released in 1998. Seven years later he released his fourth film, The New World, which was followed by the critically acclaimed and 2011 Palme d'Or winner The Tree of Life. The following year saw the release of the sixth film directed by Malick, To the Wonder.

Malick has received consistent praise for his work and has been regarded as one of the greatest living filmmakers.[2] He was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Director for The Thin Red Line and The Tree of Life, and the Academy Award for Best Adapted Screenplay for The Thin Red Line, as well as winning the Golden Bear at the 49th Berlin International Film Festival for The Thin Red Line, the Palme d'Or at the 64th Cannes Film Festival for The Tree of Life, and the SIGNIS Award at the 69th Venice International Film Festival for To the Wonder.

Early life[edit]

Terrence Malick was born in Ottawa, Illinois[3][4] and raised in Waco, Texas[5] and Oklahoma.[6] He is the son of Irene (née Thompson; 1912–2011)[7] and Emil A. Malick (1917–2013),[8] a geologist.[9] His paternal grandparents were Assyrian Christian immigrants.[10][11] Malick attended St. Stephen's Episcopal School in Austin, Texas, while his family lived in Bartlesville, Oklahoma.[12] Malick had two younger brothers: Chris and Larry. Larry Malick was a guitarist who went to study in Spain with Andrés Segovia in the late 1960s. In 1968, Larry intentionally broke his own hands due to pressure over his musical studies. Emil went to Spain to help Larry, but Larry died shortly after, apparently committing suicide.[13]

Malick studied philosophy under Stanley Cavell at Harvard University, graduating summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa in 1965. He went on to Magdalen College, Oxford, as a Rhodes Scholar. After a disagreement with his tutor, Gilbert Ryle, over his thesis on the concept of world in Kierkegaard, Heidegger, and Wittgenstein, Malick left Oxford without a doctorate.[14] In 1969, Northwestern University Press published Malick's translation of Heidegger's Vom Wesen des Grundes as The Essence of Reasons. Returning to the United States, Malick taught philosophy at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology while freelancing as a journalist. He wrote articles for Newsweek, The New Yorker, and Life.[15]

Film career[edit]

Malick started his film career after earning an MFA from the AFI Conservatory in 1969, directing the short film "Lanton Mills". At the AFI, he established contacts with people such as Jack Nicholson, longtime collaborator Jack Fisk, and agent Mike Medavoy, who procured for Malick freelance work revising scripts. He is credited with the screenplay for Pocket Money (1972), and he wrote an early draft of Dirty Harry (1971).[16]

After one of his screenplays, Deadhead Miles, was made into what Paramount Pictures felt to be an unreleasable film, Malick decided to direct his own scripts. His first work was Badlands (1973), an independent film starring Martin Sheen and Sissy Spacek as a young couple on a crime spree in the 1950s. After a troubled production, Badlands drew raves at its premiere at the New York Film Festival, leading to Warner Bros. Pictures buying distribution rights for three times its budget.[17]

Paramount Pictures produced Malick's second film, Days of Heaven (1978), about a love triangle that develops in the farm country of the Texas Panhandle in the early 20th century. The film spent two years in post-production, during which Malick and his crew experimented with unconventional editing and voice-over techniques.[18] Days of Heaven went on to win the Academy Award for Best Cinematography, as well as the prize for Best Director at the 1979 Cannes Film Festival.

Those rambling philosophical voiceovers; the placid images of nature, offering quiet contrast to the evil deeds of men; the stunning cinematography, often achieved with natural light; the striking use of music – here is a filmmaker with a clear sensibility and aesthetic who makes narrative films that are neither literary nor theatrical, in the sense of foregrounding dialogue, event, or character, but are instead principally cinematic, movies that suggest narrative, emotion, and idea through image and sound.

Chris Wisniewski about Days of Heaven and The New World[19]

Following the release of Days of Heaven, Malick began developing a project for Paramount, titled Q, that explored the origins of life on earth. During pre-production, he suddenly moved to Paris and disappeared from public view.[20] During this time, he wrote a number of screenplays, including The English Speaker, about Josef Breuer's analysis of Anna O.; adaptations of Walker Percy's The Moviegoer and Larry McMurtry's The Desert Rose;[20] a script about Jerry Lee Lewis; and a stage adaptation of Sansho the Bailiff that was to be directed by Andrzej Wajda, in addition to continuing work on the Q script.[21] Malick's work on Q eventually became the basis for his 2011 film The Tree of Life.[22]

Twenty years after Days of Heaven, Malick returned to film directing in 1998 with The Thin Red Line, a loose adaptation of the James Jones World War II novel of the same name, for which he gathered a large ensemble of famous stars. The film was nominated for seven Academy Awards, won the Golden Bear at the 49th Berlin International Film Festival,[23] and received critical acclaim.[24]

After learning of Malick's work on an article about Che Guevara during the 1960s, Steven Soderbergh offered Malick the chance to write and direct a film about Guevara that he had been developing with Benicio del Toro. Malick accepted and produced a screenplay focused on Guevara's failed revolution in Bolivia.[25] After a year and a half, the financing had not come together entirely, and Malick was given the opportunity to direct The New World,[26] a script he had begun developing in the 1970s.[27] Consequently, he left the Guevara project in March 2004.[26] Soderbergh went on to direct Che.

The New World, which featured a romantic interpretation of the story of John Smith and Pocahontas, was released in 2005. Over one million feet of film was shot for the film, and three different cuts of varying length were released. It was nominated for the Academy Award for Best Cinematography, but received generally mixed reviews during its theatrical run,[28] though it has since been hailed as one of the best films of the decade.[29][30][31]

Malick's fifth feature, The Tree of Life, was filmed in Smithville, Texas, and elsewhere during 2008. Starring Brad Pitt, Jessica Chastain, and Sean Penn, it is a family drama spanning multiple time periods and focuses on an individual's reconciling love, mercy and beauty with the existence of sickness, suffering and death. It premiered at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival[32] where it won the Palme d'Or. It also won the FIPRESCI Award for the Best Film of the Year. At the 84th Academy Awards, it was nominated for three awards including the Academy Award for Best Picture, Best Director for Malick, and Best Cinematography for Emmanuel Lubezki. A limited theatrical release in the United States began on May 27, 2011.

More than any other active filmmaker Mr. Malick belongs in the visionary company of homegrown romantics like Herman Melville, Walt Whitman, Hart Crane and James Agee. The definitive writings of these authors did not sit comfortably or find universal favor in their own time. They can still seem ungainly, unfinished, lacking polish and perfection. This is precisely what makes them alive and exciting: "Moby-Dick," "Leaves of Grass," "The Bridge" and "A Death in the Family" lean perpetually into the future, pushing their readers forward toward a new horizon of understanding.

A. O. Scott in review of The Tree of Life[33]

Malick's sixth feature, titled To the Wonder,[34] was shot predominately in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, and a few scenes were filmed in Pawhuska, Oklahoma. The film premiered at the 69th Venice International Film Festival. It is described in the program notes as "an exploration of love in its many forms".[35] The film stars Ben Affleck, Rachel McAdams, Olga Kurylenko, and Javier Bardem.[36]

On November 1, 2011, Filmnation Entertainment announced international sales for Malick's next two projects: Lawless and Knight of Cups. Lawless will star Ryan Gosling, with a supporting cast including Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara and Haley Bennett. Knight of Cups will star Bale, and will also feature Blanchett, along with Isabel Lucas. The films will be shot back-to-back in 2012.[37] Production designer Jack Fisk has indicated a June start date.[38]

During the weekend of September 16, 2011, Malick was photographed and caught on film while on set for one of the first times ever, while he and a small crew were following Christian Bale and Haley Bennett around the Austin City Limits Music Festival as part of preliminary shooting for Lawless.[39][40] He was also seen directing Ryan Gosling and Rooney Mara at the Fun Fun Fun Fest on the weekend on November 4, 2011.[40][41] In early 2012, the title "Lawless" was given to The Weinstein Company's The Wettest County, leaving Malick's Lawless untitled.[39] He was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in June 2012 along with 175 other people.[42]

Personal life[edit]

Malick is famously protective of his private life.[43] His contracts stipulate that his likeness may not be used for promotional purposes, and he routinely declines requests for interviews.[20][44]

From 1970 to 1976, Malick was married to Jill Jakes.[45] His companion afterward in the late 1970s was director and screenwriter Michie Gleason.[45] In 1985 he married a Frenchwoman,[45] Michèle Marie Morette,[46][47] whom he met in Paris in 1980; in 1996, Malick asked for a divorce, which was granted.[45][47] Afterward he married Alexandra "Ecky" Wallace, the best friend of his high-school sweetheart.[48]

As of at least 2011, Malick resides in Austin, Texas.[49]

Filmography[edit]

Year Film Functioned as Notes
Director Producer Writer Composer Actor
1969 Lanton Mills Yes Yes Yes Yes Short film. Role: Tilman
1971 Drive, He Said Yes Uncredited draft[50]
Dirty Harry Yes Uncredited early draft[50]
1972 Deadhead Miles Yes
Pocket Money Yes Yes Role: Workman (uncredited)[citation needed]
1973 Badlands Yes Yes Yes Yes Role: Caller at Rich Man's House (uncredited)
1974 The Gravy Train Yes
1978 Days of Heaven Yes Yes Yes Awarded the Best Director Award at the 1979 Cannes Film Festival
Role: Worker (uncredited)[citation needed]
1998 The Thin Red Line Yes Yes Awarded the Golden Bear at the 1999 Berlin Film Festival
1999 Endurance Yes
2000 Happy Times Yes
2002 Bear's Kiss Yes Uncredited re-write[citation needed]
2004 The Beautiful Country Yes
Undertow Yes
2005 The New World Yes Yes
2006 Amazing Grace Yes
2011 The Tree of Life Yes Yes Awarded the Palme d'Or at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival
Awarded the FIPRESCI Award for the Best Film of the Year
2012 To the Wonder Yes Yes [34]
Awarded the SIGNIS Award at the 2012 Venice Film Festival
2014 The Better Angels Yes
Knight of Cups Yes Yes Post-production
Untitled Terrence Malick Project Yes Yes Shot back-to-back with Knight of Cups in 2012.[51]
Post-production
2016 Voyage of Time[52] Yes Yes Post-production

Awards and nominations[edit]

Award Year Project Category Result
Academy Awards 1998 The Thin Red Line Best Director Nominated
Best Adapted Screenplay Nominated
2011 The Tree of Life Best Director Nominated
Berlin International Film Festival 1999 The Thin Red Line Golden Bear Won
Cannes Film Festival 1978 Days of Heaven Best Director Award Won
Palme d'Or Nominated
2011 The Tree of Life Palme d'Or Won
César Awards 1999 The Thin Red Line Best Foreign Film Nominated
Chicago Film Critics Association 1998 The Thin Red Line Best Director Won
2011 The Tree of Life Best Director Won
Best Original Screenplay Nominated
Golden Globe Awards 1978 Days of Heaven Best Director Nominated

Bibliography[edit]

  • Malick, Terrence. Days of Heaven, Registered with the Writers Guild of America, April 14, 1976; revised June 2, 1976.

Notes[edit]

  1. ^ Ankeny, Jason. "Terrence Malick – Biography – Movies & TV". All Movie Guide / Rovi via The New York Times. Retrieved May 25, 2010. 
  2. ^ Ebert, Roger (June 2, 2011). "The Tree of Life". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved April 25, 2013. 
  3. ^ Solomons, Jason (2 July 2011). "Terrence Malick: The return of cinema's invisible man". The Observer (The Guardian). Retrieved 6 July 2014. 
  4. ^ Walsh, David. "A horrible state of war". www.wsws.org. World Socialist Website. Retrieved 6 July 2014. 
  5. ^ Hoover, Carl (24 June 2011). "Waco-set 'Tree of Life' is beautiful, but baffling". Waco Tribute-Herald. Retrieved 6 July 2014. 
  6. ^ Bowles, Scott. "The Terrence Malick File". USA Today. Retrieved 6 July 2014. 
  7. ^ "Bartlesville resident Irene Malick, mother of filmmaker, dead at 99; services today". Examiner Enterprise. Bartlesville. December 21, 2011. Retrieved February 27, 2012. 
  8. ^ Emil A. Malick Obituary: View Emil Malick's Obituary by Examiner-Enterprise. Legacy.com. Retrieved on 2014-05-22.
  9. ^ Michaels, Lloyd (2009). Terrence Malick (Illustrated, revised ed.). University of Illinois Press. p. 14. ISBN 0-252-07575-7. 
  10. ^ Lloyd Michaels, Terrence Malick, Urbana : University of Illinois Press, c2009, p. 14
  11. ^ ZINDA. "ZENDA – February 1, 1999". Zindamagazine.com. Retrieved May 29, 2011. 
  12. ^ Solomons, Jason (July 3, 2011). "Terrence Malick: The return of cinema's invisible man". The Observer. Retrieved July 3, 2011. 
  13. ^ Biskind, Peter. Easy Riders, Raging Bulls, Simon and Schuster, 1998. pp.248–249.
  14. ^ Tucker, Thomas Deane; Kendall, Stuart (May 12, 2011). "Terrence Malick: Film and Philosophy". ISBN 978-1-4411-5003-5. 
  15. ^ Bowles, Scott (December 16, 2005). "The Terrence Malick file". USA Today. Retrieved May 25, 2010. 
  16. ^ Scott B. (February 19, 2002). "IGN: Featured Filmmaker: Terrence Malick". Movies.ign.com. Retrieved January 2, 2011. 
  17. ^ Stafford, Jeff (2008). "Badlands". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved October 19, 2010. 
  18. ^ Biskind, Peter. Easy Riders, Raging Bulls, Bloomsbury, 1998. pp.296–297.
  19. ^ Wisniewski, Chris. "A Stitch in Time", Reverse Shot 22. Retrieved 19 April 2011.
  20. ^ a b c Biskind, Peter (August 1999). "The Runaway Genius". Vanity Fair. Retrieved October 20, 2010. 
  21. ^ Gillis, Joe (December 1995). "Waiting for Godot". Los Angeles. 
  22. ^ "The Tree of Life". Time Out New York. May 24, 2011. Retrieved May 27, 2011. 
  23. ^ "Berlinale: 1999 Prize Winners". berlinale.de. Retrieved February 4, 2012. 
  24. ^ "The Thin Red Line". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved May 29, 2011. 
  25. ^ Taubin, Amy (September–October 2008). "Guerrilla Filmmaking on an Epic Scale". Film Comment. Retrieved May 17, 2011. 
  26. ^ a b Tartaglione, Nancy (March 10, 2004). "Malick's Che decision deals morale-denting blow to indie sector". Screen Daily. Retrieved October 20, 2010. 
  27. ^ Sterritt, David (July 2006). "Film, Philosophy and Terrence Malick". Undercurrents. FIPRESCI. Retrieved October 20, 2010. 
  28. ^ "The New World Movie Reviews, Pictures". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved January 2, 2011. 
  29. ^ "Best of the Decade #2: The New World". Reverse Shot. Retrieved January 2, 2011. 
  30. ^ "The TONY top 50 movies of the decade". Time Out New York. November 25, 2009. Retrieved January 2, 2011. 
  31. ^ LaSalle, Mick (January 1, 2010). "Top films of the decade". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved January 2, 2011. 
  32. ^ "Festival de Cannes: Official Selection". Cannes. Retrieved April 14, 2011. 
  33. ^ Scott, A. O. "The Tree of Life (2011)", The New York Times. Retrieved 25 September 2013.
  34. ^ a b "To The Wonder rating". Filmratings.com. 
  35. ^ Wells, Jeffrey (August 19, 2012). "Wonder Based on Malick's Romantic Past". hollywood-elsewhere.com. Retrieved September 30, 2012. 
  36. ^ Summers, Laura (October 5, 2010). "'Untitled' Malick film is official, shooting in Bartlesville". Tulsaworld.com. Retrieved January 2, 2011. 
  37. ^ "FilmNation continues relationship with Terrence Malick on two new films". FilmNation Entertainment. November 1, 2011. Retrieved November 3, 2011. 
  38. ^ Desowitz, Bill (December 2, 2011). "Jack Fisk Climbs The Tree of Life". Thompson on Hollywood. Retrieved December 2, 2011. 
  39. ^ a b "Christian Bale, Terrence Malick & Arcade Fire Featured in Footage From Mystery Film Shoot at ACL". indieWIRE. 
  40. ^ a b Jagernauth, Kevin (November 4, 2011). "Set Pics of Ryan Gosling & Rooney Mara Shooting Terrence Malick's 'Lawless'". IndieWIRE. Retrieved November 10, 2011. 
  41. ^ "new Terrence Malick movie being filmed at Fun Fun Fun Fest (Ryan Gosling included)". Brooklyn Vegan. November 5, 2011. Retrieved November 10, 2011. 
  42. ^ "Academy Invites 176 to Membership". The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. June 29, 2012. Retrieved July 19, 2013. 
  43. ^ "Rosy-Fingered Dawn – Terrence Malick". Sky Arts. Skyarts.co.uk. January 10, 2010. Archived from the original on October 7, 2010. Retrieved March 21, 2012. 
  44. ^ Davenport, Hayes (December 15, 2005). "Alumni Watch: Terence Malick '65". The Harvard Crimson. Archived from the original on June 5, 2011. Retrieved May 3, 2007. 
  45. ^ a b c d "Terrence Malick". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved June 24, 2011. 
  46. ^ "Terrence Malick Michele Morette Williamson County Texas Marriage Record". Mocavo.com. Retrieved June 22, 2014. 
  47. ^ a b Blackall, Luke (May 24, 2011). "The secret life of Terrence Malick". The Independent (UK). Archived from the original on June 15, 2012. Retrieved May 12, 2013. "Michele Morette, his late ex-wife of 13 years, revealed that while they were together she wasn't allowed into his office, and that he would rather buy her a copy of a book than lend her his own." 
  48. ^ Penn, Nathaniel (May 1, 2011). "Badlands: An Oral History". GQ. Retrieved May 23, 2014. 
  49. ^ Wood, Graeme (October 3, 2011). "Brave Thinkers 2011: Terrence Malick". The Atlantic. Archived from the original on August 19, 2012. Retrieved February 21, 2012. 
  50. ^ a b Nordine, Michael (May 12, 2013). "Hollywood Bigfoot: Terrence Malick and the Twenty-Year Hiatus That Wasn't". Los Angeles Review of Books. Archived from the original on May 12, 2013. Retrieved May 12, 2013. 
  51. ^ Fleming, Mike. "AFM: FilmNation Unveils Back To Back Terrence Malick Films 'Lawless' And 'Knight Of Cups,' With Ryan Gosling, Christian Bale And Cate Blanchett". Deadline.com. Retrieved February 27, 2012. 
  52. ^ Jagernauth, Kevin (May 13, 2014). "Terrence Malick's 'Voyage Of Time' Coming In 2016, Will Be Released In Two Versions". The Playlist. Indiewire. Retrieved September 14, 2014. 

References[edit]

  • Biskind, Peter. Easy Riders, Raging Bulls, London: Bloomsbury, 1998.
  • Biskind, Peter. 'The Runaway Genius' at the Wayback Machine (archived January 15, 2011), Vanity Fair, 460, December 1998, 116–125.
  • Cavell, Stanley. The World Viewed: Reflections on the Ontology of Film, Enlarged Edition, Cambridge, MA: Harvard University Press, 1979.
  • Chion, Michel. The Voice in Cinema, translated by Claudia Gorbman, New York & Chichester: Columbia University Press, 1999.
  • Ciment, Michel. 'Entretien avec Terrence Malick', Positif, 170, June 1975, 30–34.
  • Cook, G. Richardson. 'The Filming of Badlands: An Interview with Terry Malick', Filmmakers Newsletter, 7:8, June 1974, 30–32.
  • Crofts, Charlotte. 'From the "Hegemony of the Eye" to the "Hierarchy of Perception": The Reconfiguration of Sound and Image in Terrence Malick's Days of Heaven', Journal of Media Practice, 2:1, 2001, 19–29.
  • Denson, G. Roger. 'Terrence Malick's "The Tree of Life" Plays Garden of Eden to the Family of Man", Huffington Post, June 6, 2011.
  • Docherty, Cameron. 'Maverick Back from the Badlands', The Sunday Times, Culture, June 7, 1998, 4.
  • Donougho, Martin. 'West of Eden: Terrence Malick's Days of Heaven', Postscript: Essays in Film and the Humanities, 5:1, Fall 1985, 17–30.
  • Ebert, Roger. Review of Days of Heaven, Chicago Sun-Times Inc.
  • Fox, Terry Curtis. 'The Last Ray of Light', Film Comment, 14:5, September/October 1978, 27–28.
  • Fuller, Graham. 'Exile on Main Street', The Observer, December 13, 1998, 5.
  • Hartl, John. 'Badlands Director Ending his Long Absence', Seattle Times, March 8, 1998.
  • Henderson, Brian. 'Exploring Badlands'. Wide Angle: A Quarterly Journal of Film Theory, Criticism and Practice, 5:4, 1983, 38–51.
  • Keyser, Les. Hollywood in the Seventies, London: Tantivy Press, 1981.
  • Maher Jr., Paul (2014). One Big Soul: An Oral History of Terrence Malick. Upstart Crow Publishing. ISBN 978-1-304-59527-0.
  • Monaco, James. "Badlands", Take One, 4:1, September/October 1972, 32.
  • Malick interview, American Film Institute Report, 4:4, Winter 1973, 48.
  • Newman, Kim. "Whatever Happened to Whatsisname?", Empire, February 1994, 88–89.
  • Riley, Brooks. "Interview with Nestor Almendros", Film Comment, 14:5, September/October 1978, 28–31.
  • Telotte, J. P. "Badlands and the Souvenir Drive", Western Humanities Review, 40:2, Summer 1986, 101–14.
  • Walker, Beverly. "Malick on Badlands", Sight and Sound, 44:2, Spring 1975, 82–3.
  • Wondra, Janet. "A Gaze Unbecoming: Schooling the Child for Femininity in Days of Heaven", Wide Angle, 16:4, October 1994, 5–22.

External links[edit]