Waiting for Terrence Update: The Elusive Malick Retains His Aura of Mystery

The Tree of Life press conference this morning was almost as hot a ticket as the screening itself. I wandered by to see if there was any chance of funneling myself in, à la française, but nothing doing. It's now clear, though, that the reclusive Malick did not show up for the press conference with stars Brad Pitt and Jessica Chastain, as much as his many fans here had hoped he would.

As Reuters reports, Pitt explained the director's reticence this way: "He wants to focus on the making of and not the selling of the real estate," Pitt said. "It is an odd thing for an artist to sculpt something and then be a salesman."

Meanwhile, according to the LAT, Tree of Life co-star Sean Penn's absence was attributable to his continued work in Haiti; the film's producer Bill Pohlad said Penn was en route to Cannes presently for the premiere his other competition entry This Must Be the Place.

RELATED: CANNES REVIEW: Tree of Life Is All About Life; But Does Malick Care Much for People?

Read all of Movieline's coverage of Cannes 2011 here.

[Photo: Getty Images]