Part I

Nazi Czechoslovakia through the eyes of my great-grandfather

The use of forced and slave labour is not a new phenomenon. Every civilization in history has coerced or exploited people into working under inhumane and illegal conditions for economic gain.

When Adolf Hitler and the Nationalist Socialist party ascended to power in 1933, they began building the largest forced labour system in modern European history.

From 1939 to 1945, the Third Reich conscripted a staggering 20 million foreign civilian workers, prisoners of war, and concentration camp inmates. Foreign civilian workers formed up to 26% of the entire German workforce of 31 million people by September 1944.

This percentage included…


Was it divine intervention or Czech sabotage which saved 300 Maltese lives?

The British colony of Malta was essential to the Allied victory in the Mediterranean during the Second World War. It protected Allied supply lines and targeted Axis convoys passing between North Africa and Sicily.

But this strategic importance came at a cost. The isolated archipelago was subjected to a gruelling three-year siege, which included relentless bombing campaigns by the Luftwaffe and the Regia Aeronautica (Italian Air Force).

The unprecedented destruction and loss of life was unimaginable and led to Malta becoming the most bombed place on Earth.

Yet, one bomb continues to be of special interest almost eighty years later.

The Bombing of Mosta Dome


Time to dust off my PS2

After publishing my previous article on Call of Duty: World at War (2008), this encouraged me to resurrect an earlier title of the series that paved the way for this later epic.

This was Call of Duty 2: Big Red One, published in 2005.

Developed by Treyarch and High Voltage Software, BRO helped make Treyarch, then a lesser-known studio, into the CoD heavyweight it is today. …


Celebrating short films and their creators

( Ye be warned…Spoilers lie ahead )

If
like me, you’ve spent a large part of The Lockdown trilogy on furlough, then you’ll have spent a colossal number of hours absorbing the full scope of what streaming services such as Netflix have to offer.

By now, you may be suffering from fatigue or symptoms of thrombosis and fancy watching something different. Short films are an excellent place to start.

Well, go for a walk first, then start.

Shorts are a traditional rite of passage for aspiring filmmakers, providing them with opportunities for collaboration and to hone their craft in order…


‘This is not war, this is murder!’ — Yes Chernov, but it’s still awesome though

From the video game franchise that trained entire generations of teenagers to feign normality in their everyday lives in order to vent their underlying sociopathic fantasies vicariously through an unknowing run-of-the-mill squaddie, Call of Duty: World at War (WaW) marks the fifth instalment of the Call of Duty (CoD) series and is among the most successful first-person shooters ever produced.

After previously releasing three games set against the backdrop of the Second World War, the fear was that between them Treyarch and Infinity Ward had exhausted the potential of this historic conflict to add anything new or exciting to players’…


Evaluating one of Rockstar Games’ most complex villains

Dutch Van der Linde, the infamous outlaw and leader of the notorious Van der Linde Gang, features within Red Dead Redemption (RDR) and Red Dead Redemption 2 (RDR2) as one of the video game series’ most compelling antagonists.

Dutch’s extravagant and charismatic persona largely explains his success in unifying such a mixed band of rogues and misfits to terrorize the Old West across several decades, all while skilfully evading capture by the authorities.

Dutch, at first, comes across as a compassionate and altruistic leader who takes in society’s most downtrodden. Certain core gang members were even discovered as adolescents, Dutch…


A picture is worth a thousand words

(Ye be warned…Spoilers Lie Ahead)

Whether the infinite planes of outer space endorsed by an epic orchestral score in 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968), or a fleeing rebel ship with an Imperial Star Destroyer in hot pursuit in Star Wars (1977), the opening visuals of a film are vital in introducing an audience to the characters, plot, and setting of a story.

However, every new writer who takes the plunge into producing their early screenplays, myself included, finds themselves committing the same folly time and again.

This is writing a screenplay in the form of a novel, overloaded with scene description, dialogue, and parentheticals, turning one page into ten pages of highly detailed prose, overlooking the critical role of visuals in telling a story.

The most important point to consider is that we are writing SCREENplays, not screenPLAYS, an important distinction seeing how we typically only have 10 pages to convince investors or development executives that our…


A Scene Analysis

The anatomy of a scene in ‘Rear Window’

(Ye be warned…Spoilers lie ahead)

Alfred Hitchcock’s murder mystery thriller Rear Window (1954) continues to stand the test of time, on account of its ability to maintain its tension and intrigue throughout despite its confined and static studio setting.

The scene I mean to focus on belongs at the point in the narrative when the main protagonists, Jeff (James Stewart) and Lisa (Grace Kelly), make the alarming discovery that Thorwald (Raymond Burr), Jeff’s neighbour living in the building opposite who they suspect of murdering his wife, is securing shut a trunk supposedly containing the dismembered remains of his wife [1].

Mirek Gosney

Writing about Film, History, Culture & Society | British-Czech | UK Based | Writer | Filmmaker | Film Teacher | BA Film and History, University of Southampton.

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