- NAME: Terrence Malick
- OCCUPATION: Actor, Filmmaker, Screenwriter
- BIRTH DATE: November 20, 1943 (Age: 70)
- EDUCATION: Harvard University, Magdalen College, Oxford, American Film Institute, Center for Advanced Studies
- PLACE OF BIRTH: Ottawa, Illinois
- Full Name: Terrence Frederick Malick
- AKA: Terrence Malick
- ZODIAC SIGN: Scorpio
Best Known For
Terrence Malick is a critically acclaimed American film director who films include: Badlands, Days of Heaven and The Tree of Life.
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Terrence Malick was born on November 20, 1943 in Ottawa, Illinois. After graduating from Harvard and studying abroad as a Rhodes Scholar, Malick enrolled at the American Film Institute's Center for Advanced Studies. His debut film as director, Badlands, was critically acclaimed and established his reputation as a careful visual craftsmen whose work captured the splendor of nature. His other films include The Thin Red Line and The Tree of Life.
"When people express what is most important to them, it often comes out in clichés. That doesn't make them laughable; it's something tender about them. As though in struggling to reach what's most personal about them they could only come up with what's most public."
"I prefer working behind the camera."
A brilliant yet somewhat mysterious filmmaker, Terrence Malick has received extensive praise for his innovative and imaginative movies, but he himself stays away from the media spotlight. Born in Ottawa, Illinois, on November 20, 1943, Malick grew up in Texas and Oklahoma. His father worked as an executive in the oil industry. As a young man, Malick was a bright student. He graduated from Harvard University in 1966 with a degree in philosophy. He went to continue his studies abroad as a Rhodes scholar, attending Magdalen College in Oxford, England.
Malick worked as a freelance journalist and as a philosophy professor before discovering his interest in film. In 1969, he enrolled at the American Film Institute's Center for Advanced Studies in Los Angeles, California. Malick made his first film—a short entitled Landon Mills—as a student there.
To support himself while he studied his craft, Malick worked as a screenwriter. He reportedly worked on the script for 1971's Drive, He Said, but his first major screenplay credit came the following year with Pocket Money. Malick wrote this western comedy, which was based on the J.P.S. Brown novel Jim Kane.
In 1973, Malick made an impressive debut as a feature film director and screenwriter with the crime drama Badlands. The critically acclaimed film, starring Sissy Spacek and Martin Sheen, was based in part on the murders committed by Caril Ann Fugate and Charles Starkweather in the late 1950s. Audiences would have to wait five years for Malick's next project Days of Heaven.
Days of Heaven stars Richard Gere, Brooke Adams and Sam Shepard. The trio's characters are involved in a love triangle, and the film is largely set on a Texas farm in the early 20th century. With its rich and compelling visuals, it is no wonder that critic Roger Ebert described it as "one of the most beautiful films ever made." Malick earned much praise for the film and even picked up a Best Director award at the Cannes Film Festival.
Unfortunately, movie audiences were less enthusiastic about Days of Heaven, and the film did poorly at the box office. Moving to France, Malick retreated from filmmaking for nearly two decades after this disappointment. He made an impressive return with the war drama The Thin Red Line in 1998. This adaptation of a James Jones novel featured Jim Caviezel, Sean Penn and Nick Nolte, and Malick used his trademark impressionistic style to tell this tale. For his work, he received two Academy Award nominations—one for his screenplay and the other for directing.
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