This week saw the Screen Actors Guild strike, along with the Writers Guild of America who have already been on strike since May 2023. We wanted to address our thoughts on the strike and how AI is being poised to potentially take work away from the creative industry. We also show how easy it is to use AI to create film lists and see what Chat GPT ranks as its own top 10 war films!
The episode is also available on all other podcast platforms, you can find them here.
Here is our ChatGPT-generated Top 10 War Movies list – complete with ChatGPT’s reasoning for its choices:
- Saving Private Ryan (1998): This Steven Spielberg masterpiece is renowned for its gripping and realistic depiction of the D-Day invasion during World War II. The intense battle sequences, exceptional cinematography, and emotionally charged performances make it a must-watch war film.
- Apocalypse Now (1979): Directed by Francis Ford Coppola, this film takes a surreal and disturbing journey into the heart of darkness during the Vietnam War. It explores the psychological toll of war and features iconic performances by Marlon Brando and Martin Sheen.
- Full Metal Jacket (1987): Stanley Kubrick’s examination of the Vietnam War follows a group of Marine recruits from their brutal training to their experiences on the battlefield. The film’s exploration of dehumanization and the duality of human nature is thought-provoking.
- Platoon (1986): Directed by Oliver Stone, Platoon provides a gritty and unflinching portrayal of the Vietnam War. The film’s realistic battle sequences, moral ambiguity, and exceptional ensemble cast, including Charlie Sheen and Willem Dafoe, contribute to its enduring impact.
- Dunkirk (2017): Christopher Nolan’s Dunkirk focuses on the evacuation of Allied soldiers during World War II. It skillfully combines three intersecting storylines, creating a tense and immersive experience. The film’s innovative structure, breathtaking visuals, and Hans Zimmer’s score make it a cinematic triumph.
- Paths of Glory (1957): Directed by Stanley Kubrick, this film explores the injustices and absurdities of war. It follows a French army unit during World War I and delves into themes of honor, sacrifice, and the corruption of power. Kirk Douglas delivers a compelling performance.
- The Thin Red Line (1998): Terrence Malick’s visually stunning film captures the horrors and beauty of war in the Pacific during World War II. It offers philosophical reflections on nature, humanity, and the futility of war. The ensemble cast, including Sean Penn and Jim Caviezel, adds depth to the storytelling.
- The Bridge on the River Kwai (1957): Directed by David Lean, this World War II film tells the story of British prisoners of war forced to build a bridge for their Japanese captors. It explores themes of duty, honor, and the clash of ideologies. The film’s iconic performances and gripping climax make it a classic.
- Letters from Iwo Jima (2006): Directed by Clint Eastwood, this film presents the Battle of Iwo Jima from the Japanese perspective. It humanizes the enemy and offers a profound exploration of the individual experiences and sacrifices made during war. The film’s nuanced storytelling and strong performances are remarkable.
- Black Hawk Down (2001): Ridley Scott’s intense and gritty film depicts the Battle of Mogadishu, a US military operation gone awry in Somalia. The film’s immersive action sequences, realistic portrayal of combat, and ensemble cast contribute to its gripping narrative.
ChatGPT then explained that:
“These films represent a variety of wars and offer unique perspectives on the experiences, emotions, and complexities of war. Each film stands out for its exceptional storytelling, memorable performances, and thematic depth.”
We were impressed by the AI’s short but fairly complex discussions of the films and also the choices it made but it felt that it mirrored, and may have been influenced by, many of the popular top 10 lists.
To stretch ChatGPT and see what it would come up with we then asked it for a list of 10 lesser-known, obscure war movies. The results were interesting:
- Come and See (1985): This Soviet war film directed by Elem Klimov portrays the horrors of the Nazi occupation in Belarus during World War II. It offers a raw and visceral depiction of the devastating impact of war on innocent civilians, making it a haunting and unforgettable film.
- The Ascent (1977): Directed by Larisa Shepitko, this Soviet film focuses on two Soviet partisans captured by German forces during World War II. The film explores themes of heroism, sacrifice, and the struggle for humanity in the face of extreme adversity.
- Fires on the Plain (1959): Directed by Kon Ichikawa, this Japanese war film takes place in the Philippines during World War II. It follows a soldier suffering from tuberculosis as he navigates the brutality and desperation of war. The film delves into the psychological toll of conflict and the erosion of human decency.
- The Human Condition Trilogy (1959-1961): Directed by Masaki Kobayashi, this Japanese trilogy explores the experiences of a Japanese pacifist during World War II. The films tackle themes of individual morality, the dehumanizing effects of war, and the struggle to maintain one’s principles amidst the chaos of battle.
- Army of Shadows (1969): Directed by Jean-Pierre Melville, this French film focuses on the French Resistance during World War II. It offers a tense and atmospheric portrayal of the underground network’s struggles and sacrifices, highlighting the moral dilemmas faced by its members.
- Cross of Iron (1977): Directed by Sam Peckinpah, this war film provides a gritty and unglamorous portrayal of the Eastern Front during World War II. It follows a German army unit engaged in brutal combat against Soviet forces. The film challenges traditional war film tropes and explores the futility of war.
- The Battle of Algiers (1966): Directed by Gillo Pontecorvo, this Italian-Algerian film depicts the Algerian struggle for independence from French colonial rule. It offers a realistic and politically charged exploration of guerilla warfare, terrorism, and the complex dynamics of colonization and liberation.
- The Cranes Are Flying (1957): Directed by Mikhail Kalatozov, this Soviet film focuses on the personal and emotional toll of war on civilians during World War II. It follows a young woman’s experiences as she navigates love, loss, and resilience amidst the chaos of war.
- The Silent Mountain (2014): This Austrian-Italian film portrays the lesser-known Italian front of World War I. It tells the story of an Austrian soldier trapped behind enemy lines and his struggle for survival. The film offers a visually stunning and poignant exploration of the forgotten aspects of the Great War.
- Fires Were Started (1943): Directed by Humphrey Jennings, this British film provides a realistic and poetic portrayal of the daily lives and struggles of firefighters during the London Blitz of World War II. It offers a unique perspective on the home front and the courage of those fighting to protect their city.
ChatGPT explained its list by saying that:
“These obscure war films offer different perspectives, delve into lesser-known conflicts, and provide nuanced explorations of the human condition during times of war. They may not have received widespread recognition but deserve attention for their artistic merit, thematic depth, and unique storytelling approaches.”
ChatGPT again surprised us with a broad list of more obscure, lesser-well-known, films from around the world. Some that even we ourselves were unfamiliar with! Again the AI’s discussion of human themes within the films was very interesting.