Director a no-show for top honour at Cannes
THE Cannes Film Festival's Palme d'Or is a trophy any self-respecting director would want to see alongside an Academy Award on the mantlepiece.
However, that didn't stop US director Terrence Malick from shunning yesterday evening's gala ceremony after his critically-acclaimed film 'The Tree of Life' won the award.
The notoriously publicity-shy director failed to pick up the trophy, which was instead accepted by two of the film's producers.
"I have some very big boots to fill, as Terrence is very shy, and I managed to speak to him earlier and he was very happy," said producer William Pohlad.
'The Tree of Life', starring Brad Pitt and Sean Penn, is Malick's first time in competition in Cannes since 1979.
He avoided all public promotional appearances for the project at the festival and does not allow his photograph to be used to promote his films.
"I believe I can speak for him," said Pitt earlier this week, on Malick's lack of visibility. "He thinks of himself as building a house. And I don't know why it is expected in our business that people who make things are then expected to sell them."
One of the evening's surprises was Kirsten Dunst claiming the festival's best actress award for Lars von Trier's apocalyptic drama 'Melancholia'.
Von Trier was declared persona non grata by festival organisers on Thursday for telling the world's media earlier this week that he "understood Hitler". (© Independent News Service)