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05/24/2011

I'm pretty sure Terrence Malick mows our yard

  Mower543

Our lawn guy, who I think is Terrence Malick, must have stepped away for a minute.   (Courtesy:  blingcheese.com)

Malpic250Oh he's a crafty one, that seriously reclusive Texas-based filmmaker Terrence Malick.

Malick's "The Tree of Life" took the Palme d'Or, a fancy way to say Best Picture, at the Cannes Film Festival in the South of France on Sunday (May 22).

The anti-prolific filmmaker didn't show himself along the sun-baked Croisette in Cannes to bask in the glory of a controversial press screening (a mixture of boos and praise), the gala screening or even Sunday night's awards ceremony.

I think I know the reason for that.  It wasn't near-terminal shyness at all.

I'm pretty sure that's because Malick was cutting and edging our lawn in Plano, TX early Saturday afternoon.  Did a fine job, too, and walked away with 30 bucks (including tip) for his hard work.

Malick hides his true identity well, that sly dog.

Terrence -- an overly formal name for a guy trailing along after a power mower -- calls himself Manuel in his landscaping persona.  I suppose that's an effort by the former Rhodes scholar to, you know, blend in.

He calls me Mr. Larry, and even blurs his true identity by wearing a floppy hat, which is eerily similar, plus or minus a sweat stain or two, to the one seen in Malick's rare photo shown here. 

Manuel -- or is it Terry? -- tries to further conceal his ID by speaking in broken-English via a thick Spanish accent.  I tell you, Malick could act in one of his movies.  His Spanish accent is that "bueno."

That means "good," for those of you who are single-lingual.

It took me a while, but I'm onto Terrence/Manuel now.

I mean, the guy has only cranked out five feature films in almost 40 years.  That gives the Harvard grad plenty of time to grow his landscaping business between gigs.

If you ask me, when Malick turned down the opportunity to direct "The Elephant Man" in 1980 it was because he had some serious mowing and edging to do.

Then there are the blatent landscaping hints in some of his movie titles:  Come one, "The Tree of Life"?

And isn't "The Thin Red Line" (1998), a World War II flick set in the jungles of Guadalcanal, just a metaphor for that thin ditch the edger channels between the sidewalk and the lawn?

I'm on to you, Mr. Terry.  Just know that your secret is safe with me.  In fact, I feel a little like a movie mogul, since we invest $30 in your cinematic projects every couple of weeks. 

I hate to bring this up, Terry, but we have yet to see any return on our investment, cinematically speaking.

Also, if you're not too busy hiding from the paparazzi after your big win at Cannes this week, the magnolia tree of life over by our squirrel feeder in the back yard could use a little trimming.

(Terrence Malick, or Manuel photo from some time in the past courtesy:  Hollywood.com.)

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