10 Things You Didn’t Know about Terrence Malick

Terrence Malick

Some folks would state that directors aren’t always fully there in the moment sometimes. While this might not be true of everyone it might be true enough of Terrence Malick since he seems to have a very unique style that can be seen as similar to others but is all his. The director is someone that many have described as a warm and caring person but has also shown that he’s someone that doesn’t like to be bothered when he’s working and needs certain conditions to be met when he’s on the job. While it might be easy enough to accommodate some requests there have been a couple throughout his career that don’t make a lot of sense to people, unless they happen to know him well enough. Directors are in many ways like writers in one regard, they’re not always full in this moment, but are instead spread across many moments as they’re trying to take in more than the average person wants to handle.

Here are a few things about Terrence you might not have known.

10. He left college without a degree over a dispute with his instructor.

In the course of his thesis it sounds as though he had a bit of a dispute with his instructor regarding the reality and interpretation of something that many people would take as it is in an attempt to gain their degree and move on. Arguing with an instructor is rarely a good idea, but it does show that a person is willing to stick by their ideals.

9. He’s been called a recluse but he’s simply protective of his private life.

It’s true that he doesn’t put himself out in the public as much as others do but he’s not really a recluse since he doesn’t keep himself away from the world at large. But he is kind of hesitant to share his privacy with anyone else, which makes him human in a big way but also invites a lot of criticism.

8. Malick doesn’t do interviews.

In some way you can’t really blame the guy since those doing the interviewing are often taught to ask questions that people might not be willing or even able to answer, and in some cases don’t relent until they finally make the interviewee upset or frustrated enough to answer. That’s a worst-case scenario of course.

7. He’s known to take about a year to edit his films.

This is something Stanley Kubrick was known for as well, though in truth it doesn’t seem as though it’s all that abnormal since he does seem to be a bit of a perfectionist and wants things to come out just the way he desires.

6. Nature is usually a common theme in his works.

Everyone has their chosen methods that seem to work for them and as a result it’s up to the actors then to adapt and evolve to whatever setting they’re placed in so as to make the movie work. As for the director, they get the sometimes unenviable job of trying to make everything come together and mesh in a way that’s just perfect for the movie.

5. He tends to use a lot of classic and religious music in his movies.

There are moments in his films when he doesn’t use any music at all as well, which seems to break up the movie a bit. But the kind of music a director picks usually speaks to their frame of mind and what they feel is needed in the movie at any given time.

4. It’s common that he shoots without an official script.

This seems like it could be a huge mess since the actors do need the script to go by and a lot of times it’s best if it’s unified in a way so as not to cause massive confusion. But there are ways around this and it could be that he enjoys improv a little more than others.

3. During film of The Thin Red Line his contract stipulated that no photos of him could be used or published anywhere.

Once again he does like his privacy. This might seem as though it’s taking that thought to a new and slightly crazy level but when you look at the stipulations that some folks have for filming it’s not really that out there.

2. His film career started when he was 25.

Terrence has been in the business for a while and he’s suffered the various metaphorical slings and arrows that have been seen as a trademark of show business for a long time now. And despite it all he’s continued to share his vision.

1. He enjoys bird watching.

It’s amazing how truly calming this is since it doesn’t require much more than a good pair of binoculars and a lot of free time depending on where you decide to go and what kind of birds you’re hoping to see.

He’s an odd one it seems, but he’s a director so it’s kind of par for the course.


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