By Anthony Breznican
Updated August 29, 2011 at 11:54 PM EDT
  • Movie

Nietzsche famously said, “If you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes back into you.”

Similarly, if you try to figure out Terrence Malick, Terrence Malick figures out you.

The elusive director of The Tree of Life does not appear in the bonus features on the upcoming Blu-ray release of his ethereal and divisive Cannes Film Festival winner, but he is still the main attraction for those eager to learn more about him.

While the home-video release, out Oct. 11, includes a making-of documentary, Malick is actually the subject of most of the discussion from stars Brad Pitt and Jessica Chastain, to his crew, producers and admiring filmmakers such as The Dark Knight Rises’ Christopher Nolan and The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo‘s David Fincher. It’s a portrait of the filmmaker in periphery.

In this exclusive EW clip, Chastain talks about the audition process and relates a phenomenon familiar to anyone who has met Malick, who doesn’t do on-the-record interviews, rarely has his photo taken (though he plays a small onscreen role in his first film, 1973’s Badlands) and crafts beautiful but deeply enigmatic movies such as Days of Heaven, The Thin Red Line and The New World. Check it out below:

No other director is as mysterious to film-lovers as Malick. But when you meet him, he is more likely to ask all about you.

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The Tree of Life

  • Movie
  • PG-13
  • 138 minutes
  • Terrence Malick