Stallone, Authorship and Contemporary Hollywood Aesthetics
This chapter studies Sylvester Stallone's first seven films as director. These include: Paradise Alley (1978), Rocky II (1979), Rocky III (1982), Staying Alive (1983), Rocky IV (1985), Rocky Balboa (2006), and Rambo (2008). Stallone's accomplishments with Rocky and Rambo are considerable. He has made significant progress in recovering his stardom by resuscitating his signature roles and in forging an authorial identity. He has also demonstrated a mastery of contemporary Hollywood aesthetics, while extending the strategies of his earlier films, particularly with regard to editing. In this, he continues to offer a distinct variation on prevailing trends. In Paradise Alley, this meant overt colour symbolism alongside a self-conscious mobilisation of classical Hollywood conventions in relation to 1970s genre revisionism. Rocky II, III, and IV saw him develop a form of melodramatic storytelling that is nonetheless classicist, inflected with elements of the backstage musical seen most explicitly in Staying Alive.
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