Straight from the Zurich Film Festival back in 2008, here we have a master class with Sylvester Stallone—an icon of American cinema whose presence in popular culture as an actor more often than not overshadows his work as a writer and director. The interview session reveals Stallone to be — apart from personable, honest, and rather self-effacing — the artist he is seldom known as: a classicist with the foremost concern for the emotion that can be conveyed through character(s) and storytelling (he believes writing to be “…the most singular of all the arts”). Among the choice bits offered here include Stallone describing his penchant for montage sequences coming from an interest in their inherent sensuality and cinematic quality, his belief in rehearsal as an essential filmmaking tool, personal anecdotes from experiences in the Hollywood industry, and the influence that Renaissance painting had on the visual aesthetic of Paradise Alley (1978), his debut film as a writer/director.

ZFF Master Class 2008: Sylvester Stallone (complete interview)