Terrence Malick Inadvertantly Caught on Tape by TMZ Guy

One of our most artful purveyors of images depicting fields of grass blowing poetically in the wind, or protagonists walking like a somnambulant while a metaphysical voiceover piles on the poetry, "Tree of Life" director Terrence Malick is an unquestioned movie deity.

He's also so reclusive he makes Thomas Pynchon or J.D. Salinger look like publicity hounds, and while Cahiers du Cinéma would give their left testicle for an interview with him, the folks at TMZ (via /Film) of all places snagged an interview opportunity with Bigfoot himself … and completely blew it.

A TMZ cameraman accosted actor Benicio Del Toro on his way to a limo after dining at Toscana, and while Mr. Tabloid was slinging questions at Benny about whether the U.S. should take over Cuba, Malick was standing right behind him, looking nervous as if he might be recognized. No such luck with this camera dude.

Malick meeting with Del Toro is not surprising, as they were originally set to team up for "Che" before the director bailed to make "The New World," paving the way for Steven Soderbergh's 50-million-hour epic.

Most people who follow the films of Malick know of his aversion to interviews and photographs, but when you're as prolific as he's become at age 68, the occasional blurry snapshot of this beast in his natural habitat is going to bubble to the surface, as it did recently on the set of "Knight of Cups" with Christian Bale and Imogen Poots. He's also got a follow-up project with Bale, Ryan Gosling and Natalie Portman lensing simultaneously, and "To the Wonder" with Ben Affleck and Rachel McAdams already completed last year.

Now all Malick needs to do is start dating Lindsay Lohan and maybe someone at TMZ will look him up on Wikipedia.