It’s been confirmed to me by a knowledgeable source that Terrence Malick will not be in Venice OR Toronto for screenings of his latest film, To The Wonder, which debuts Sunday on the Lido. While that’s not really such a wonder, the notoriously reclusive director did come to Cannes a little more than a year ago when Tree Of Life screened — and ultimately won the Palme d’Or. That year, people were practically taking bets on whether he’d show for the movies’s official launch. He didn’t come to the press conference at the time, it was said, because he wanted the film to speak for itself. True enough. If Malick had been there that would have been the story — Brad Pitt’s presence notwithstanding. But later that day in 2011, I sat down in Cannes president Gilles Jacob’s office for a chat and it turned out Malick had been keeping my seat warm for me. Jacob told me the director had just sat for two hours in the same chair as they discussed all and sundry. At the time, Jacob said the director would likely not do the Tree Of Life red carpet since he suffered from “extreme timidity.” However, Malick ended up making a split-second appearance in Cannes’ Lumière theater that night, it was reported at the time. Can we expect something similar for this festival circuit? As one person who knows Malick well put it to me today, “He’s full of mystery.”
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