Terrence Malick is the invisible filmmaker. He never gives interviews and refuses to have his picture taken. Inevitably, this has created an air of mystery around him. There is a suspicion that he must be a Stanley Kubrick-like recluse: an eccentric visionary with strange foibles.
However, speak to key collaborators on his most recent film, The Tree of Life - winner of the Palme d'Or in Cannes and released in the UK tomorrow - and what is immediately apparent is the affection in which he is held.