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Terrence Malick Poster

Biography

Jump to: Overview (4) | Mini Bio (1) | Spouse (3) | Trade Mark (14) | Trivia (27) | Personal Quotes (5)

Overview (4)

Date of Birth 30 November 1943Ottawa, Illinois, USA
Birth NameTerrence Frederick Malick
Nicknames sparky
Terry
Height 5' 7" (1.7 m)

Mini Bio (1)

Terrence Malick was born in Ottawa, Illinois. His family subsequently lived in Oklahoma and he went to school in Austin, Texas. He did his undergraduate work at Harvard, graduating summa cum laude with a degree in philosophy in 1965.

A member of the Phi Beta Kappa honor society, he attended Magdalen College, Oxford on a Rhodes scholarship, but did not finish his thesis on Martin Heidegger, allegedly because of a disagreement with his advisor. Returning to the States, he taught philosophy at M.I.T. and published a translation of Heidegger's "Vom Wesen des Grundes" as "The Essence of Reasons".

Malick did not get his PhD in philosophy: Instead, he attended the American Film Institute Conservatory in its inaugural year (1969), taking a Masters of Fine Arts degree in film-making. His masters thesis was the seventeen-minute comedy short Lanton Mills (1969), which starred Warren Oates and Harry Dean Stanton. Malick himself acted in the short.

At A.F.I., Malick made a lasting association with Jack Fisk, who would establish himself as an Oscar-nominated art director and production designer and serve as art director on all of Malick's films. He also picked up Mike Medavoy as an agent, who got Malick work doctoring scripts and marketed his original ones. He wrote the screenplay for the 1972 Alan Arkin trucker movie Deadhead Miles (1973), which was many miles from Harvard let along Oxford, and for the 1972 Paul Newman-Lee Marvin contemporary oater Pocket Money (1972), another departure from fields of academia. "Deadhead Miles" was dumped by Paramount as unreleasable and "Pocket Money", despite being headlined by two Top Ten Box Office stars, flopped.

It was an inauspicious start to a legendary career, but it influenced Malick to begin directing his own scripts.

His first two films were the now critically acclaimed Badlands (1973) (1973) and Days of Heaven (1978) (1978). He then took a self-imposed retirement of nearly two decades from film-making before lensing his 1998 adaptation of James Jones's The Thin Red Line (1998), which was nominated for seven Academy Awards, including nods for Malick for directing and adapted screenplay.

Adopting a Kubrickian pace of movie-making, he directed The New World (2005) (2005) and the autobiographical The Tree of Life (2011) (2011) with gaps of only seven and six years, respectively, between release. However, he reportedly was working on ideas for "The Tree of Life" since the late seventies, including exposing footage that found its way into his finished film.

In an unprecedented burst of productivity, he shot his next four films, To the Wonder (2012), _Knight of Cups (2014), an as-yet unnamed drama and the cosmic documentary Voyage of Time (2016) back-to-back during and immediately after completing the long editing process of "Tree of Life". Like Stanley Kubrick, Malick usually takes well over a year to edit his films. All three are highly anticipated by cineastes the world over.

- IMDb Mini Biography By: Jon C. Hopwood

Spouse (3)

Alexandra Wallace (1998 - present)
Michelle Morette (5 July 1985 - 16 December 1998) (divorced)
Jill Jakes (29 December 1970 - 1978) (divorced)

Trade Mark (14)

Always includes narration by one or more characters
Often includes nature as a major element in his films
His films are shot almost entirely outside
Many of his movies feature narrated soliloquies by the main characters
Known as a bit of a recluse from public life and rarely gives interviews or makes appearances
Philosophical themes
Has mostly shot with Steadicam since _The Thin Red Line_ (1998)
Visual dialectics through images
Shoots many of his scenes at magic hour and often keeps the sun in the back of shots
Rarely uses artificial light
Frequent use of classical and religious music
Famous for finding the structure and form of his films in the editing process, often reducing the roles of initially larger characters and vice versa
Known for shooting record amounts of film while trying to capture scenes, emotions and unforeseen moments spontaneously
Often casts Christian Bale

Trivia (27)

Resides in Austin, Texas.
M.F.A. from the American Film Institute.
Went to St. Stephen's high school in Austin, Texas, where he played football.
In his contract for directing The Thin Red Line (1998), he stated that no current pictures of him could be published or shown anywhere.
Wrote a treatment for Dirty Harry (1971) but none of his work appears in the final version.
After Days of Heaven (1978), it was a full 20 years before he directed his next film, The Thin Red Line (1998).
Appeared as unannounced guest on the screening of Badlands (1973) in the retrospective section of the 54th. Berlin film festival in 2004.
Biography in: John Wakeman, editor. "World Film Directors, Volume Two, 1945-1985". Pages 636-639. New York: The H.W. Wilson Company, 1988.
He taught philosophy in France from 1979 to 1994.
He grew up on a farm and worked as a farmhand before studying philosophy at Harvard. After graduating he went to Magdalen College, Oxford as a Rhodes Scholar but left before finishing his thesis (on Martin Heidegger) after a disagreement with his advisor. He moved back to the United States and taught philosophy at M.I.T. while freelancing as a journalist.
Turned down an offer to direct The Elephant Man (1980).
Wrote an unused draft of Great Balls Of Fire!
Notoriously withdrawn from public life, his friends, such as Martin Sheen, have always remarked that he is a very warm and humble man who prefers to work without medial intrusion.
Phi Beta Kappa student
He was inducted into the Texas Film Hall of Fame in March 2002 in Austin, Texas.
His grandfather was an Assyrian Christian immigrant to the U.S.
Terrence Malick is step-father to actor, producer, and director, Will Wallace.
Began his film career at the age of 25.
Wrote an early draft of ''Dirty Harry (1971)''.
One of the most praised aspects of his films are the quality of its cinematography. As of 2014, four of his films have been Oscar nominated in the Best Cinematography category: Days of Heaven (1978), The Thin Red Line (1998), The New World (2005) and The Tree of Life (2011). Only Days of Heaven (1978) managed to win in the category and still is the only Oscar ever given to a Malick film.
Has worked with four different actors who played the role of Bruce Wayne/Batman: Christian Bale, Ben Affleck, Val Kilmer and George Clooney.
His film To the Wonder (2012) was the last film that Roger Ebert reviewed.
He is independently wealthy from oil money and does not rely on film making for a living. He simply makes movies out of love for them.
Worked as a Journalist for Newsweek, Life and the New Yorker before pursuing a career in film.
Is an avid bird watcher.
His contract stipulates that no photos are to be taken of him on set.
Spent a portion of his twenty-year hiatus in Paris.

Personal Quotes (5)

[on Badlands (1973)] I tried to keep the 1950s to a bare minimum. Nostalgia is a powerful feeling; it can drown out anything. I wanted the picture to set up like a fairy tale, outside time, like Treasure Island. I hoped this would, among other things, take a little of the sharpness out of the violence, but still keep its dreamy quality.
[on working with Martin Sheen on Badlands (1973)] Martin Sheen was extraordinary. He's a very gifted man. He's from a working class family, so he had all the moods down for the film. And when he wasn't before the cameras, he was helping in the background, wrapping cables, packing up light reflectors. One day I found him going around a gas station and picking up aluminum snapback lids from soda cans. He knew they didn't exist in 1959.
[on The New World (2005)] I knew it would have a slow, rolling pace. Just get into it; let it roll over you. It's more of an experience film. I leave you to fend for yourself, figure things out yourself.
[on his future] There's a good many pictures I'd like to make, we'll see how many I'll be allowed to make.
[on his methodology] I film quite a bit of footage, then edit. Changes before your eyes, things you can do and things you can't. My attitude is always let it keep rolling.

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