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Interview: Hunter-Page Lochard and Stephen Page talk SPEAR

The film Spear debuted at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival. The film is a true original, as there is little dialogue or narrative exposition. Much of the film is told through Aboriginal dance, and the dancing is absolutely breathtaking. As such, the film begs to be viewed on a big screen, which will happen on October 20th at the TIFF Bell Lightbox, as the film will screen at 9:30 pm as a part of ImagineNATIVE, co-presented by Native Earth Performing Arts, Kaha:Wi Dance Theatre, Red Sky Performance and Luminato Festival.

We sat down with the extremely talented lead actor Hunter-Page Lochard along with his father, director Stephen Page, (not the former BNL singer) at the Templar Hotel in Toronto during the film festival.

Scene Creek: You were not involved with the stage production, were you?

Hunter-Page Lochard: I was, actually I was seven years old in 2000.

Stephen Page: So we waited for the medium of film, and the sequel. And that was…

H-PL: My initiation

SP: Playing a twenty-two year old.

H-PL: It’s come full circle.

Scene Creek: Does the dance represent the initiation into the growing up process?

SP: It’s all of the above. I think that sense of Boy / Man / What does it mean to be an Aboriginal Man initiated in this twenty-first century and what kind of culture do they hang on traditionally, and what do they leave behind for survival? Each dancer dances a different social issue because it’s an abstract art form piece. Dance is a big part of the film, contemporary dance, and the ritual dances are contemporary versions, stylized versions of what they are. When you take dialogue out of the medium and you rely on score and soundscape, which is pretty instrumental to the experience, you got bodies up there, you have an actor whose up serving these dance chapters as they go along. It’s really about the big physicality of the medium will be the flesh of the film, whether it’s slow, whether it’s fast, whether it’s agitated, humorous, it will play out of the film. It will be supported by score and soundscape. Nothing is resolved but what’s resolved is his immune system, which builds up into his future, which is why the last dance is the celebration that he has.

SC: Did you find this dance sequence to be difficult?

H-PL: I would have to say the last sequence was the bigger challenge because we were on a rake and we only learned that piece half a day we were on set, I learnt that piece. That was a bit of a challenge and I had to run around, and my pants were falling down, it was a struggle.

SP: As I told you, it was just like Magic Mike!