Students will recognize cinema as: an art form, a product of history and an interpreter of history.
Application: Learning Outcomes will be achieved as follows:
Viewing STANDING ON GUARD, students will recognize cinema as:
- an art form – while working within the documentary format, STANDING ON GUARD resists the standard practice in a documentary of telling in favour of showing. This is accomplished primarily by not using a narrator (or on camera presenter) to tell the story. Rather, selected historical images (newsreels and photos) combined with contemporary interviews show the events. This achieves a more balanced audience reaction rather than a solely intellectual response, especially when artistic elements such as poems, pertinent music and creative editing are factored in. Additionally, each film ends with a montage sequence set to relevant music. These sequences are “artistic” in design and intent and serve as a summing up of the events of the film and as a final, emotional punch for each film.
- a product of history – STANDING ON GUARD is exactly this, for the historical story it tells has never before been told on film. The newsreel footage documented specific events or situations involving the featured regiments. STANDING ON GUARD collected all of these newsreels together and without comment presents them alongside complementary interviews in a chronological overview of each regimental history. Everything on hand in each STANDING ON GUARD film is a product of history, not imagination or artifice.
- an interpreter of history – although eschewing narration, STANDING ON GUARD still interprets its historical content by focusing on Canada, and, for much of the time, specifically Manitoba. This is important because we have traditionally been fed a steady diet of the key events of both world wars from an American perspective, or a British perspective and, more recently, various European perspectives.
Disc 1 Film #1: The Queen’s Own Cameron Highlanders of Canada
1) The segment around the cenotaph.
2) The montage segment near the end of the film, beginning with the piper playing inside the Legislative Building.
Disc 1 Film #2: The Royal Winnipeg Rifles
1) The montage segment near the end of the film, beginning with “Amazing Grace”.
Disc 1 Film #3: The Fort Garry Horse
1) The montage segment near the end of the film, beginning with the Trooping the Colours in front of the Legislative Building.
Disc 2 Film #4: 2nd Battalion Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry
1) The segment towards the end of the First World War chapter that used poetry over battle imagery.
2) The segment at the end of the Invasion of Italy that uses the regimental song “It’s A Long Way to Tipperary” at a slow tempo over battle imagery.
3) The sandbagging segment (this is lighter in tone)
4) The montage segment near the end of the film, beginning with the reprise of “Tipperary” and starting with the Patricias’ Roll of Honour.
Disc 2 Film #5: The Winnipeg Grenadiers
1) The segment near the end of the film, beginning with “Who Would True Valour See?”
Disc 2 Film #6: 38 Service Battalion
1) The montage segment near the end of the film, beginning with the regimental march “Wait For The Wagon” over the Change of Command ceremony.
Students will observe how films reflect the values and perspectives of the society in which they originated.
Students will observe in STANDING ON GUARD how these films reflect the values and perspectives of the society in which they originated.
Period newsreel footage can be compared to contemporary interviews, coverage of events, etc. to show, for example, how the perspectives of those who participated in the First World War were generally one of intense patriotism, whereas our perspective nowadays leans towards a deeper recognition of the tragedy of war, while still recognizing the need for force in specific circumstances (Afghanistan, ISIS, etc.)
Any of the newsreel footage segments would be appropriate.
Students will learn how to conduct research into historical sources through the use of a wide variety of sources.
Students will learn how to conduct research into historical sources through the use of a wide variety of newsreel sources in the STANDING ON GUARD series.
Most of the newsreel footage used in STANDING ON GUARD is from the Canadian Army Newsreels collection, but some other sources include Allied and captured Axis footage as well as other public domain sources like the Frank Capra WHY WE FIGHT series which in turn utilized captured footage and, in some cases, smuggled footage. While STANDING ON GUARD often selects portions of existing newsreels and frequently re-edits to enhance (though not distort) their effect, it provides a good starting point for students who may wish to explore newsreel sources further. Library Archives Canada and The War Amps are acknowledged as the primary sources for STANDING ON GUARD.