It’s refreshing to see these sorts of things from such intellectual juggernauts in the film world. Like when Stanley Kubrick’s list of his favorite movies was released and it included, conspicuously, White Men Can’t Jump among all the typical highbrow fare.
Not one to be outdone when it comes to pandering to the common man, Terrence Malick, when tasked with selecting four films for a summer series, selected Zoolander in addition to all the hoity-toity stuff. (That “stuff” includes The Lady Eve, Badlands, and Beat the Devil.)
Now, the fact that he selected this film doesn’t necesarily mean that he’s a Joe Six-Pack, but could just mean that he’s aware that Joe Six-Packs exist, and they don’t want to see those other three movies. So it might have been a pragmatic decision and less about how his tastes run.
But that’s not fun to think about. The headline “Pragmatic Malick Picks Zoolander to Appease Masses,” isn’t nearly as fun as “MALICK LOVES ZOOLANDER!!!!!!!!!!”
So that’s what we’ll decide until we get empirical evidence otherwise.