Auteur theory can be explained bythe director beingviewed as the major contributor of the moviewhichbleeds into how the filmdoes andthe creative forcebehind the film. Thetheory leaves it open to the director asthe major impacting factor behind the success or failure of the film. Best example to use when describing the auteur theory, isthe directoris essentially the author if it was a book.(Koontz, Jacobs, Meetze, Pritts, 2019, p. 8.3). The auteur theory based off Sarris’s 3 guidelinesfor the director as defined inFilm: from watching to seeing, “films must be well made”technique, “recognizable style and attitude”personal touch and “body of work should express consistent world outlook”or meaning (Koontz, Jacobs, Meetze, Pritts, 2019, p. 8.3). Sylvester Stallone is not only an actor;he has directed many films. This paper will explore if his style of directing fits into the auteur theory.
Sylvester Stallone is not the popular cookie cutter mold that is outlined as being one of the notable auteursin the textbook,Film: from watching to seeing, likeSteven Spielberg, Spike Leeand Julie Taymor. (Koontz, Jacobs, Meetze, Pritts, 2019, p. 8.3). Stallone is an actor that playsa rolein a lot of his own films.Because Stalloneis amain character in a lot of moviesthe promotional advertisementson Stallone is based off his acting in thefilmsinstead of his directingand writingmaking hima well-knownnameon hisfictional characterssuchas“Rocky”, and “Rambo”. Stallone started his career as an actor.Rocky(1976)won many awardsand was Stallone’s firstmajor film that he wrotebut did not direct. Rockywas thehighest grossing film of 1976.The first Rockyfilm was directed byJohn G Avildsen.
Rocky II(1979) was directedand writtenby Sylvester Stallone. Thiswas one of many sequelsto Rockythat was directed by Sylvester Stallone.Another sequel that Stallonedirected wasRambo(2008). By 2013,Stallonehad directed 8 films(Holmlund, 2014, p.27).Looking at both Rockyand Ramboand the meaning“body of work should express consistent world outlook”, Stallone’s Rockyand Ramboare both action packedfilms thathighlight the good guy always triumphsover the bad. Stallone’smovies show that the win only comes with hard work. He uses triumphas a message of integrityin both films, usingshort once sentence speechestosolidifyinspirational excitement leading up to the main event. Both films are written to be inspirationaland strong“You are not changing anything”(Rambo, 1980)then long pause to dramatize the effect of his wordsis an example of a statement you normally would not view as “strong”or “inspirational”but the long pauseafterwhere the conversation stopsand the dark ambiance of the moviemake the short sentence view as a much more powerful sentence. Stalloneis a one liner guy, bothRamboand Rockyare full ofone linerswith the main character not being very conversational, which falls intothe next guideline,“recognizable style and attitude”or technique,Stalloneuses a lot oflow-key lighting in both Rambo and Rocky, rarely switching upthe lightingto help the intensity of the conflict and uses the lighting to show the “hard times”that the actor has to wade through. The thirdguideline for auteur theoryisthat the “films must be well made”mainly focusing on the techniqueof the film it does puta lot of films in question. Based offrottentomatoes.com rating the audience score was 82% favorable 4.02out of 5 stars. However, this is not the true definition based offSarris guidelines.It is in argumentthat critics do notdecidewhether a director fits into theauteur theory (Koontz, Jacobs, Meetze, Pritts, 2019, p. 8.3). Both Rockyand Rambotake on an artistic technique. Stallone goes deeperin bothfilms by portraying a fictional character and giving the characterarealistic appeal. Even though the movie sets upin unrealisticsituations, the character shows the emotional feeling and enables the audience to enter the movie, playing off the inspirational characters that help motivate the underdogalong with combining scenes such as relationships to help tie the audience into the movie giving the dramatic scenes an emotional tieand softer touch since both films are high in violence.
Sarris’s 3 guidelinesfor the director as defined in Film: from watching to seeing, “films must be well made”technique, “recognizable style and attitude”personal touch and “body of workshould express consistent world outlook”meaning (Koontz, Jacobs, Meetze, Pritts, 2019, p. 8.3)Stallone is not only an actor, writer he is also a auteurdirector. The auteurtheory is often questioned by many on the validity of the actual scale and which directors because of the categorizationis valid. With Stallone’s unique message in his films ofhow importanthardwork, attitude, lovedones and believing in yourself can help you conquer great things. That it isn’t only one of these things that will bleed successfor Stalloneit is a mixture ofall of them, this will continue to drive audiences to watch Stallone’s films, solidifying his career as an actor but also as a director and writer.
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