Director Terrence Malick was one of the most meticulous, original and enigmatic American filmmakers to emerge in the vaunted 1970s. Unlike other equally gifted directors who came of age during that time like Martin Scorsese, Francis Ford Coppola and Steven Spielberg, Malick's source of inspiration came from his rural, rather than urban, roots, which were often displayed with lush photography and deeply resonant voiceovers that waxed philosophical about humanity's place in nature. But after directing two excellent and widely revered films, "Badlands" (1973) and "Days of Heaven" (1978), Malick suddenly disappeared, going into self-imposed exile at a time when he was at the height of his command. Rumors abounded as to his whereabouts, until it finally became clear that he took up residence in Paris and proceeded to live in semi-seclusion, emerging only for uncredited rewrite work on several films. Twenty years had passed by the time he returned to filmmaking with the poignant antiwar masterpiece, "The Thin Red Line" (1998), and lyrical epics like "The New World" (2005) and "The Tree of Life" (2011), all of which proved to doubtful critics that Malick was still a master filmmaker at the top of his game.