film magazine, Reno Lauro imagnines
how Terrence Malick was inspired.
While rummaging through a patchouli-scented L. A. bookstore to do research for a new script—enigmatically (yet practically) entitled Q [Days of Heaven] —he finds a copy of Robert Bresson’s Notes on Cinematography. The book’s Tao-like aphorisms are reminiscent of The Book of Tea, which influential Japanese philosopher Tomonobu Imamichi has suggested strongly influenced Martin Heidegger’s phenomenology. The prospect of thinking philosophically about making cinema must have been particularly alluring to Malick. By all accounts, Malick was a promising philosophy student at Harvard. He spent a year teaching philosophy at MIT and traveled to Germany to meet and translate a work by Heidegger—The Essence of Reasons. The same year of his publication, Malick was part of the inaugural class at the AFI conservatory.