By Raymond Benson
Filmmaker Terrence Malick has perhaps out-mystique’d the great Stanley Kubrick in terms of his public perception. Famously reclusive, Malick never allows photographs of himself to be used, and he never appears in “making of” documentaries about his films. A Rhodes Scholar and a Harvard graduate, he is obviously a brilliant man. Once he got into the film business, he worked as a script doctor until he made his first feature, Badlands (1973). It was critically acclaimed and established Malick as a hot addition to the “New Hollywood” movement. Next came Days of Heaven in 1978, also critically lauded.
And then... he disappeared. For twenty years.
In 1998, he appeared on the scene again, and Hollywood was more than ready to open checkbooks and fund his third feature film, The Thin Red Line.
It takes a lot of mystique for that scenario to happen.
Malick’s fourth picture,