Interesting- had never heard that. Wonder why that is. Maybe because in its own may, it was more groundbreaking? I do think "The Gold Rush" is an amazing film (the version I own is the Criterion but I haven't checked out any of the special features- great print though, noticeably better than my janky old version of "City Lights"), but "City Lights" is just operating at a higher level in every way. And yeah, that ####ing ending is pretty brutal. Have never cried at it but I've definitely come close, probably closer than any other film has brought me (unless I'm forgetting something I saw when I was a kid- but as far as I can remember, I've never cried at a movie).
"I just see Zoolander referenced a lot. Won't be watching the sequel. Terrence Malick is reportedly a fan of the original."
I guess I was aware of "Zoolander"'s cult following but can't really say I ever see it referenced but whatever. I've definitely seen worse movies but it's still pretty much worthless IMO, whether it has Malick's seal of approval or not.