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Will the real Terrence Malick please stand up?

by Steven Zeitchik.

Love for a goofy comedy is one of many paradoxes about Malick, the film world’s version of J.D. Salinger. The director dislikes being photographed, avoids public appearances — he skipped the premiere of his highly anticipated, long-delayed “Tree” last week here at the Cannes Film Festival — and turns down all interview requests (including this one), creating an impression of a cranky, precious artist.

But conversations with nearly a dozen friends and collaborators reveal a different portrait of the 67-year-old director who has made only five movies in nearly four decades: “Badlands,” “Days of Heaven,” “The Thin Red Line,” “The New World” and now “Tree.” They paint a picture of a complicated and contradictory man: painfully shy in public but jovial on his sets, gentle but fiercely driven.

While he believes in the mystical, he nonetheless has a strong belief in science. Though he can be rigorous to the point of obsessive, he also has a childlike sense of wonder, the kind that might cause him to gaze at a nearby woodpecker or butterfly in the middle of shooting a scene.

Read the rest of this article from LA Times.

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