Terrence Malick

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to: navigation, search
Terrence Malick
Terrence Malick, 1993.jpg
Malick at the 1993 Viennale
Born Terrence Frederick Malick
(1943-11-30) November 30, 1943 (age 72)
Ottawa, Illinois, United States
Alma mater Harvard University
Magdalen College, Oxford
AFI Conservatory
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. Beginning as part of the New Hollywood film-making wave with landmark films such as Badlands (1973) and Days of Heaven (1978), Malick's films have gained a reputation for their philosophical qualities and exquisite cinematography, as well as their sporadic release dates; in a career spanning over four decades, Malick currently has directed and released only seven feature films.

Although Malick's early films in the 20th century were critically acclaimed, his later films, such as The Tree of Life (2011), have possessed increasing disregard of conventional narrative and have received divisive responses from critics, with some who criticize his filmmaking to be self-indulgent and meandering, while others praise him for having a visionary style and approach.

Film critic Roger Ebert considered Malick to be one of the few remaining directors who yearn "to make no less than a masterpiece";[2] he noted Malick's films to have a unifying common theme: "Human lives diminish beneath the overarching majesty of the world."[3]

Early life[edit]

Terrence Malick was born in Ottawa, Illinois.[4][5] He is the son of Irene (née Thompson; 1912–2011)[6] and Emil A. Malick (1917–2013),[7] a geologist.[8] His paternal grandparents were Assyrian Christian immigrants from Syria and Lebanon.[9][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. Their father Emil went to Spain to help Larry, but his son died shortly after, apparently committing suicide.[13] The early death of Malick's younger brother has been explored and referenced in his films The Tree of Life and Knight of Cups.[14][15]

Malick received a A.B. in philosophy from Harvard College, graduating summa cum laude and Phi Beta Kappa in 1965. He did graduate work at 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 degree.[16] In 1969, Northwestern University Press published Malick's translation of Heidegger's Vom Wesen des Grundes as The Essence of Reasons.

After returning to the United States, Malick taught philosophy at Massachusetts Institute of Technology while freelancing as a journalist. He wrote articles for Newsweek, The New Yorker, and Life.[17]

Film career[edit]

Early 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 actor Jack Nicholson, longtime collaborator Jack Fisk, and agent Mike Medavoy, who procured for Malick freelance work revising scripts. He wrote an early uncredited draft of Dirty Harry (1971) and Drive, He Said (1971), and is credited with the screenplay for Pocket Money (1972).[18] Under the pseudonym David Whitney, Malick was also co-writer of The Gravy Train (1974). After one of his screenplays, Deadhead Miles (1973), was made into what Paramount Pictures believed was an unreleasable film, Malick decided to direct his own scripts.

Malick during production of Badlands (1973)

1970s[edit]

Badlands[edit]

Malick's first work as a director was Badlands (1973), an independent film starring Martin Sheen and Sissy Spacek as a young couple on a crime spree in the 1950s Midwest. It was influenced by the crimes of convicted teenage spree killer Charles Starkweather. Malick managed to raise the money himself by approaching figures outside the industry, such as doctors and dentists.[19] This resulted in half of the budget, with the other half being raised by executive producer Edward Pressman, and an extra $25,000 from Malick's own personal savings.[20] After a troubled production, which included many crew members leaving half-way through the shoot, Badlands drew raves at its premiere at the New York Film Festival, leading to Warner Bros. buying distribution rights for three times its budget.[21]

Malick during production of Days of Heaven (1978)

Days of Heaven[edit]

Malick's second film was the Paramount Pictures produced Days of Heaven (1978), about a love triangle that develops in the farm country of the Texas Panhandle in the early 20th century. Production began in the fall of 1976 in Alberta, Canada, and was shot using primarily only natural light during magic hour. Much like Malick's first feature, Days of Heaven had a lengthy and troubled production, with several of the production crew quitting before the film was finished shooting, mainly due to disagreements over Malick's idiosyncratic directorial style.[22] The film likewise had a troubled post-production phase, as Billy Weber and Malick spent two years editing, during which they experimented with unconventional editing and voice-over techniques once they realized the picture they set out to make was not working.[23] The film was finally released in 1978, and went on to win the Academy Award for Best Cinematography, as well as the prize for Best Director at the 1979 Cannes Film Festival.

Hiatus[edit]

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 for years.[24] 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 novel The Moviegoer and Larry McMurtry's The Desert Rose;[24] a script about Jerry Lee Lewis; and a stage adaptation of Sansho the Bailiff, which was to be directed by Polish filmmaker Andrzej Wajda, in addition to continuing work on the Q script.[25] Malick's work on Q eventually became the basis for his 2011 film, The Tree of Life.[26] Longtime production designer on Malick's films Jack Fisk says that he was shooting film during this time as well.[27]

Return to cinema[edit]

The Thin Red Line[edit]

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. Filming took place predominantly in the Daintree Rainforest in Queensland, Australia, and the Solomon Islands.[28] Upon release the film received critical acclaim,[29] was nominated for seven Academy Awards, and won the Golden Bear at the 49th Berlin International Film Festival,.[30]

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[31]

The New World[edit]

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.[32] After a year and a half, the financing had not come together entirely, and Malick was given the opportunity to direct The New World,[33] a script he had begun developing in the 1970s.[34] He left the Guevara project in March 2004.[33] Soderbergh directed Che (2008). The New World, which featured a romantic interpretation of the story of John Smith and Pocahontas in the Virginia Colony, was released in 2005. Over one million feet of film was shot, 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.[35]

Malick at the Cannes Film Festival premier of The Tree of Life (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[36]

2010s[edit]

The Tree of Life[edit]

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; it focuses on an individual's reconciling love, mercy and beauty with the existence of illness, suffering and death. It premiered at the 2011 Cannes Film Festival,[37] 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.

To the Wonder[edit]

Malick's sixth feature, titled To the Wonder,[38] was shot predominately in Bartlesville, Oklahoma; 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".[39] The film stars Ben Affleck, Rachel McAdams, Olga Kurylenko, and Javier Bardem.[40]

Knight of Cups and Weightless[edit]

Malick and Christian Bale at Austin City Limits filming for Weightless, 2011

On November 1, 2011, Filmnation Entertainment announced international sales for Malick's next two projects: Lawless (now re-titled Weightless) and Knight of Cups. Both films feature large ensemble casts, with many of the actors crossing over into both films. The films were shot back-to-back in 2012, with Weightless primarily shot in Austin, Texas, and Knight of Cups in Los Angeles and Las Vegas.[41]

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 Weightless.[42] He was also seen directing Ryan Gosling and Rooney Mara at the Fun Fun Fun Fest on the weekend on November 4, 2011.[42][43]

Knight of Cups was released in 2015, and has been considered more divisive than The Tree of Life and To the Wonder, and Malick's most experimental film yet.[44][45] Weightless has completed post-production, though is still awaiting a release date, and has been described by producer Nicolas Gonda as "a shot of adrenaline".[46]

During post-production on these two pictures, Malick was invited to join the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, in June 2012.[47]

Voyage of Time[edit]

Concurrent with these 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 later picked up by The Wild Bunch. Voyage of Time will have its US IMAX release on October 7.[48]

Radegund[edit]

On June 23, 2016, reports emerged that Malick's next film will be titled Radegund, and will depict the life of Austria’s Franz Jägerstätter, a conscientious objector during World War II who was put to death at the age of 36 for undermining military actions, and was later declared a martyr and beatified by the Catholic Church. Set to play Jägerstätter is August Diehl.[49]

The film is set to begin production in Studio Babelsberg in Potsdam, Germany in the summer of 2016, but it will also expand to other parts of Europe. The casting agency Han & Oldenburg also reports a shoot in Brixen and South Tyrol, located in northern Italy, which will occur from July 11, 2016 through to August 19, 2016.[49]

Personal life[edit]

Malick is famously protective of his private life.[50] His contracts stipulate that his likeness may not be used for promotional purposes, and he routinely declines requests for interviews.[24][51]

From 1970 to 1976, Malick was married to Jill Jakes.[52] His companion afterward in the late 1970s was director and screenwriter Michie Gleason.[52] In 1985 in France, he married [52] Michèle Marie Morette,[53][54] whom he met in Paris in 1980; in 1996, Malick asked for a divorce, which was granted.[52][54] Afterward he married Alexandra "Ecky" Wallace, his high-school sweetheart.[55] Malick's relationship with Michèle Marie Morette and Alexandra Wallace was explored in his 2012 semi-autobiographical film, To the Wonder.[14][56]

As of at least 2011, Malick resides in Austin, Texas.[57]

Filmography[edit]

Awards and nominations[edit]

References[edit]

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 (2 June 2011). "The Tree of Life Movie Review (2011)". RogerEbert.com. Ebert Digital LLC. Retrieved 11 July 2016. 
  3. ^ Ebert, Roger (24 June 2011). "Badlands Movie Review & Film Summary (1973)". RogerEbert.com. Ebert Digital LLC. Retrieved 11 July 2016. 
  4. ^ Solomons, Jason (2 July 2011). "Terrence Malick: The return of cinema's invisible man". The Observer (The Guardian). Retrieved 6 July 2014. 
  5. ^ Walsh, David. "A horrible state of war". www.wsws.org. World Socialist Website. Retrieved 6 July 2014. 
  6. ^ "Bartlesville resident Irene Malick, mother of filmmaker, dead at 99; services today". Examiner Enterprise. Bartlesville. December 21, 2011. Retrieved February 27, 2012. 
  7. ^ Emil A. Malick Obituary: View Emil Malick's Obituary by Examiner-Enterprise. Legacy.com. Retrieved on 2014-05-22.
  8. ^ Michaels, Lloyd (2009). Terrence Malick (Illustrated, revised ed.). University of Illinois Press. p. 14. ISBN 0-252-07575-7. 
  9. ^ Lloyd Michaels, Terrence Malick, Urbana : University of Illinois Press, c2009, p. 14
  10. ^ ZINDA. "ZENDA – February 1, 1999". Zindamagazine.com. Retrieved May 29, 2011. 
  11. ^ Andrew. "Ethnic Celebs". ethnicelebs.com. Retrieved 8 December 2014. 
  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. ^ a b Wickman, Forrest (2013-04-13). "Terrence Malick’s Personal Period". Slate. ISSN 1091-2339. Retrieved 2016-02-10. 
  15. ^ "Berlinale 2015. Dialogues: Terrence Malick's "Knight of Cups" on Notebook | MUBI". mubi.com. Retrieved 2016-02-10. 
  16. ^ Tucker, Thomas Deane; Kendall, Stuart (May 12, 2011). "Terrence Malick: Film and Philosophy". ISBN 978-1-4411-5003-5. 
  17. ^ Bowles, Scott (December 16, 2005). "The Terrence Malick file". USA Today. Retrieved May 25, 2010. 
  18. ^ Scott B. (February 19, 2002). "IGN: Featured Filmmaker: Terrence Malick". Movies.ign.com. Retrieved January 2, 2011. 
  19. ^ http://www.theguardian.com/film/2008/aug/22/drama
  20. ^ http://www.eskimo.com/~toates/malick/art6.html
  21. ^ Stafford, Jeff (2008). "Badlands". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved October 19, 2010. 
  22. ^ https://surprisinglycompetentmedia.com/2015/02/26/only-in-the-70s-days-of-heaven-1978/
  23. ^ Biskind, Peter. Easy Riders, Raging Bulls, Bloomsbury, 1998. pp.296–297.
  24. ^ a b c Biskind, Peter (August 1999). "The Runaway Genius". Vanity Fair. Retrieved October 20, 2010. 
  25. ^ Gillis, Joe (December 1995). "Waiting for Godot". Los Angeles. 
  26. ^ "The Tree of Life". Time Out New York. May 24, 2011. Retrieved May 27, 2011. 
  27. ^ Ebiri, Blige, "Thirty-Three Years of Principal Filming," New York magazine, May 23, 2011, p.84-85.
  28. ^ http://www.theasc.com/magazine/feb99/war/index.htm
  29. ^ "The Thin Red Line". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved May 29, 2011. 
  30. ^ "Berlinale: 1999 Prize Winners". berlinale.de. Retrieved February 4, 2012. 
  31. ^ Wisniewski, Chris. "A Stitch in Time", Reverse Shot 22. Retrieved 19 April 2011.
  32. ^ Taubin, Amy (September–October 2008). "Guerrilla Filmmaking on an Epic Scale". Film Comment. Retrieved May 17, 2011. 
  33. ^ a b Tartaglione, Nancy (March 10, 2004). "Malick's Che decision deals morale-denting blow to indie sector". Screen Daily. Retrieved October 20, 2010. 
  34. ^ Sterritt, David (July 2006). "Film, Philosophy and Terrence Malick". Undercurrents. FIPRESCI. Retrieved October 20, 2010. 
  35. ^ "The New World Movie Reviews, Pictures". Rotten Tomatoes. Retrieved January 2, 2011. 
  36. ^ Scott, A. O. "The Tree of Life (2011)", The New York Times. Retrieved 25 September 2013.
  37. ^ "Festival de Cannes: Official Selection". Cannes. Retrieved April 14, 2011. 
  38. ^ "To The Wonder rating". Filmratings.com. 
  39. ^ Wells, Jeffrey (August 19, 2012). "Wonder Based on Malick's Romantic Past". hollywood-elsewhere.com. Retrieved September 30, 2012. 
  40. ^ Summers, Laura (October 5, 2010). "'Untitled' Malick film is official, shooting in Bartlesville". Tulsaworld.com. Retrieved January 2, 2011. 
  41. ^ "FilmNation continues relationship with Terrence Malick on two new films". FilmNation Entertainment. November 1, 2011. Retrieved November 3, 2011. 
  42. ^ a b Jagernauth, Kevin (November 4, 2011). "Set Pics of Ryan Gosling & Rooney Mara Shooting Terrence Malick's 'Lawless'". IndieWIRE. Retrieved November 10, 2011. 
  43. ^ "new Terrence Malick movie being filmed at Fun Fun Fun Fest (Ryan Gosling included)". Brooklyn Vegan. November 5, 2011. Retrieved November 10, 2011. 
  44. ^ Grant, Andrew (February 9, 2016). ""Awful!" vs. Applause: Terrence Malick’s Knight of Cups | Filmmaker Magazine". Filmmaker. Retrieved February 10, 2016. 
  45. ^ Lines, Alex (November 19, 2015). "Knight of Cups: Look, But Don’t Touch". Film Inquiry. Retrieved February 10, 2016. 
  46. ^ https://thefilmstage.com/news/watch-the-first-clip-from-terrence-malicks-knight-of-cups-as-producer-talks-weightless/
  47. ^ "Academy Invites 176 to Membership". The Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. June 29, 2012. Retrieved July 19, 2013. 
  48. ^ http://www.imax.com/content/imax-corporation-reports-first-quarter-2016-financial-results-highlights
  49. ^ a b "Terrence Malick Announces Next Film ‘Radegund,’ Based on the Life of Franz Jägerstätter". The Film Stage. Retrieved June 23, 2016. 
  50. ^ "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. 
  51. ^ 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. 
  52. ^ a b c d "Terrence Malick". Turner Classic Movies. Retrieved June 24, 2011. 
  53. ^ "Terrence Malick Michele Morette Williamson County Texas Marriage Record". Mocavo.com. Retrieved June 22, 2014. 
  54. ^ 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. 
  55. ^ Penn, Nathaniel (May 1, 2011). "Badlands: An Oral History". GQ. Retrieved May 23, 2014. 
  56. ^ Corliss, Richard. "Terrence Malick’s To the Wonder: A Gush of Cosmic Rapture". Time. Retrieved 2016-02-10. 
  57. ^ Wood, Graeme (October 3, 2011). "Brave Thinkers 2011: Terrence Malick". The Atlantic. Archived from the original on August 19, 2012. Retrieved February 21, 2012. 

Bibliography[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.

Further reading[edit]

External links[edit]