|Born||Terrence Frederick Malick
November 30, 1943
|Alma mater||Harvard University
Magdalen College, Oxford
|Occupation||Film director, screenwriter, producer|
|Spouse(s)||Jill Jakes (1970–1976)
Michèle Morette (1985–98)
Alexandra Wallace (1998–present)
Terrence Frederick Malick (//; born November 30, 1943) is an American film director, screenwriter, and producer. In a career spanning over four decades he has directed eight feature films. Malick made his directorial debut with the drama Badlands (1973), based on the life of convicted teenaged spree killer Charles Starkweather. His second film, Days of Heaven (1978), follows a farm laborer who becomes caught in a love triangle; both films are often ranked among the best of the 1970s. After the latter's release, Malick took a long hiatus from filmmaking. His third film, The Thin Red Line (1998), is set during World War II and received an Academy Award nomination for Best Picture. His fourth film, The New World (2005), is a romantic historical drama. The Tree of Life (2011), Malick's fifth film, is an experimental art drama that observes a 1950s Texas family through fragmented visual style and a nonlinear narrative. Although initial reviews were polarized, many critics and scholars now consider the film a masterpiece. Shortly before its U.S. release, the film won the Palme d'Or at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival. To the Wonder (2012), the sixth film directed by Malick, is a romantic drama art film.
Malick has received consistent praise for his work and is regarded as one of the greatest living filmmakers. 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.
Terrence Malick was born in Ottawa, Illinois, but raised in Waco, Texas and Oklahoma. He is the son of Irene (née Thompson; 1912–2011) and Emil A. Malick (1917–2013), a geologist. His paternal grandparents were Assyrian Christian immigrants from Syria and Lebanon. Malick attended St. Stephen's Episcopal School in Austin, Texas, while his family lived in Bartlesville, Oklahoma. 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.
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. 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.
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).
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.
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. 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.
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. 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; 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. Malick's work on Q eventually became the basis for his 2011 film The Tree of Life.
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, and received critical acclaim.
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. After a year and a half, the financing had not come together entirely, and Malick was given the opportunity to direct The New World, a script he had begun developing in the 1970s. Consequently, he left the Guevara project in March 2004. 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, though it has since been hailed as one of the best films of the decade.
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 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.
Malick's sixth feature, titled To the Wonder, was shot predominately in Bartlesville, Oklahoma, and a few scenes were filmed in Pawhuska, Oklahoma and at the Tulsa Port of Catoosa. 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". The film stars Ben Affleck, Rachel McAdams, Olga Kurylenko, and Javier Bardem.
On November 1, 2011, Filmnation Entertainment announced international sales for Malick's next two projects: Lawless and Knight of Cups. Lawless would star Ryan Gosling, with a supporting cast including Christian Bale, Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara and Haley Bennett. Knight of Cups would star Bale, and also feature Blanchett, along with Isabel Lucas. The films would be shot back-to-back in 2012. Production designer Jack Fisk has indicated a June start date.
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. He was also seen directing Ryan Gosling and Rooney Mara at the Fun Fun Fun Fest on the weekend on November 4, 2011. In early 2012, the title Lawless was given to The Weinstein Company's Lawless, leaving Malick's project untitled. It was announced in March 2015 that the film's new title was Weightless. He was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences in June 2012 along with 175 other people.
Concurrent with the two features, Malick has been working on an Imax documentary, titled Voyage of Time. The Hollywood Reporter described it as "a celebration of the Earth, displaying the whole of time, from the birth of the universe to its final collapse." The film expands on the footage that special effects luminaries Douglas Trumbull (2001) and Dan Glass (The Matrix) created for The Tree of Life. Brad Pitt was signed to do the narration. Footage from the film was screened for investors at the Cannes Film Festival and world sales rights were picked up by The Wild Bunch. A targeted 2016 release date was announced.
From 1970 to 1976, Malick was married to Jill Jakes. His companion afterward in the late 1970s was director and screenwriter Michie Gleason. In 1985 he married a Frenchwoman, Michèle Marie Morette, whom he met in Paris in 1980; in 1996, Malick asked for a divorce, which was granted. Afterward he married Alexandra "Ecky" Wallace, the best friend of his high-school sweetheart.
|1969||Lanton Mills||Yes||Yes||Yes||Yes||Short film. Role: Tilman|
|1971||Drive, He Said||Yes||Uncredited draft|
|Dirty Harry||Yes||Uncredited early draft|
|Pocket Money||Yes||Yes||Role: Workman (uncredited)|
|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)
|1998||The Thin Red Line||Yes||Yes||Awarded the Golden Bear at the 1999 Berlin Film Festival|
|2002||Bear's Kiss||Yes||Uncredited re-write|
|2004||The Beautiful Country||Yes|
|2005||The New World||Yes||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||
Awarded the SIGNIS Award at the 2012 Venice Film Festival
|2014||The Better Angels||Yes|
|2015||Knight of Cups||Yes||Yes|
|Weightless||Yes||Yes||Shot back-to-back with Knight of Cups in 2012.
|2016||Voyage of Time||Yes||Yes||Post-production|
Awards and nominations
|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|
|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|
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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.
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|Wikimedia Commons has media related to Terrence Malick.|
- Terrence Malick at the Internet Movie Database
- Terrence Malick at AllMovie
- Works by or about Terrence Malick in libraries (WorldCat catalog)
- The Films of Terrence Malick on YouTube, movie clip compilation, 3 min.
- Dossier about Terrence Malick, La furia umana, n°10 texts: English, Spanish, French, Italian by Joe McElhaney, Alain Bergala, Carlos Losilla, Jean-Cristophe Ferrari, Alessandro Cappabianca, and others; edited by Toni D'Angela