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Watch: 40-Minute Master Class With Sylvester Stallone From The 2008 Zurich Film Festival

Watch: 40-Minute Master Class With Sylvester Stallone From The 2008 Zurich Film Festival

At the Zurich Film Festival back in 2008, they had muscle-bound multi-hyphenate Sylvester Stallone as special guest to talk about his career as an actor, writer and director. After a couple of seconds of cheesy photo-ops (with Stallone striking some Rocky-esque) poses, it becomes a thoughtful look at his career and about the filmmaking process in general, with the host, claiming that Stallone exists in a small fraternity of writer/director/actors who have had as long and varied a career (among them Orson Welles and Laurence Olivier).

Stallone begins by saying that writing is the hardest part of the process for him, and describes it as “the most singular of arts,” while directing is “the most rewarding.” He then goes on to describe, over the course of about forty surprisingly articulate minutes, about his experiences on various films, why he employs certain aesthetics or tics (like his love of montages, particularly in “Staying Alive“), and where things like “Paradise Alley” came from (“it was supposed to be a fantasy”) and how “Rocky” was just supposed to be about “ordinary people.” If you think that Stallone is just some handsome dope, prepare to begrudgingly admit that it simply isn’t the case.

The entire thing is well worth a look (watch it below). It’s enough to get you excited about the “Rocky” spin-off movie “Creed.” [The Seventh Art]

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Alright, this post pisses me off a little because you'd have to be a little clueless to think Stallone is an idiot or to be surprised he isn't. The dude WROTE "Rocky," probably the greatest sports movie ever made. People love "Rocky," but I still think that underrates it. It's got the perfection and simplicity of a De Sica film like "Bicycle Thieves" or "Umberto D." In addition, it's got one of the greatest scenes in sports film history: The night before the fight, Rocky goes to the arena, walks back home, crawls into bed with Adrienne and resigns himself to the fact that he CANNOT WIN THE FIGHT. Think about that. Show me another sports movie that has the balls to pull that off. He wrote a sports movie beautifully integrated into the frustration of the '70s that expressed not a need to win but simply to survive the fight. A dumb guy doesn't pull that off. It's not possible.

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