Early Cinema in Quebec
Silent Cinema in Quebec, 1896-1930
Early Cinema in Quebec
Through the use of film clips and newspaper articles from the period, introduce and educate students on the origins of cinema in Quebec (1896‐1930) and the problems pioneers of this art encountered.
1. Ask students what films they are currently interested in.
2. What Quebec films are they familiar with?
If their knowledge is limited, provide some information on the subject.
3. What is early cinema in Quebec like according to the students?
4. Show a clip from an early film.
DISCOVER A FILM PIONEER IN QUEBEC: LÉO‐ERNEST OUIMET
Complete the following chart using articles from the early Quebec press, Internet links and a 10‐minute clip of La conquête du grand écran (a documentary by André Gladu).
1. OCCUPATIONS AND TRAINING.
2. THE ROLES HE PLAYED AS PIONEER OF QUEBEC CINEMA AND THE QUEBEC FILM INDUSTRY
LÉO‐ERNEST OUIMET (1877‐1972)
5. DIFFICULTIES ENCOUNTERED
3. TITLES OF HIS “ANIMATED VIEWS”
4. HIS THEATRE: THE OUIMETOSCOPE
THE SUBJECT OF HIS FILMS
Question 1: Students should research and list the occupations Ouimet had before becoming a film director and producer which allowed him to gain some experience in these professions.
Question 2: Students should research and list Ouimet’s various activities in the field of cinema. This should clearly establish that Ouimet not only directed films, but was also involved in many other film‐related activities.
Question 3: Through the use of newspaper articles, students should identify the “animated views” Ouimet directed. This will also provide students with an opportunity to learn about the subjects and types of films early audiences were interested in, such as documentaries, fiction films and dramas.
Question 4: The Ouimetoscope here refers to the one Ouimet built, not the one from Salle Poiré. Students should list the following: the reason for the name, the opening date, construction cost, seating capacity, show times, admission price, noteworthy features, and kinds of shows presented.
Question 5: The difficulties Ouimet encountered will not only show the effects of political power, but also the important place the Catholic Church held within Quebec society at the time. Others points of interest: the tactics American companies used in attempting to establish a monopoly in the film industry and in film exhibition in Quebec.
GROUP REVIEW OF ANSWERS
Check the students’ answers after they complete the chart (answers below).
In the conclusion, bring students to reflect on the following points:
1. The important place Ouimet occupied in the history of “animated views” in Quebec.
2. That the majority of “animated views” exhibited in Quebec were made in the United States and France. This point can be brought up during the reading of newspaper articles.
3. Early audiences were largely interested in scenes depicting everyday life, but this soon gave way to a passion for other kinds of films. French and American productions offered the most variety (dramas, historical films, fiction, etc.).