The youngest writer for ‘Ring of Colour’ is 12 year-old Rio Harada, a natural-born cinephile who so far has watched well over 600 films. Of course, in the future his dream is be a film director. His articles have attracted attention not only for his honest criticism but also his unique way of expressing a film with a single drawing. This time, Ryo spoke with Hiroshi Fujiwara prior to him leaving for Canada to study abroad.
— Photo, Kazufumi Shimoyashiki | Text, Yusuke Osumi | Edit, Issey Enomoto
Born in 2004, he is Hiroshi Fujiwara’s “youngest friend”, 12 year-old film-fanatic elementary school student (*at time of writing). Son of Koichi Harada, former chairman of Sony Music Artists, the connection with Fujiwara is through his father, yet Fujiwara and Rio also often go to see films together.
I fell for Hitchcock’s world of suspense. But, don’t really like Horror.
Fujiwara : Rio, what triggered your love of films?
Rio : ‘Star Wars’ (*1)
Fujiwara : When was that?
Rio : mmm, was I was 4.
Fujiwara : I don’t remember that much when I was 4. What kind of part did you like?
Rio : I liked the part where fighters were flying.
Fujiwara : Did you have any memory before watching ‘Star Wars’?
Rio : (thinks for a while … ) No.
Fujiwara : Okay, well it was trigger I suppose.
Rio : mm
Mum : You mean ‘yes’!
Fujiwara : (laughs) ‘Star Wars’ is quite a popular film which should be watched by everyone, but it seems hard to imagine it triggering your love of cinema. After ‘Star Wars’ what came next?
Rio : (thinks for a while … ) Is something I’ve seen recently okay?
Fujiwara : Yep.
Rio : Then maybe ‘Dial M for Murder’ (*2)
Fujiwara : So Hitchcock grew from here. In terms of trigger, I lent you a copy of ‘North by Northwest’, right? (*3)
Rio : Yes. I also bought a copy of ‘Alfred Hitchcock Presents’ television series.
Fujiwara : Right, so Hitchcock is your favourite director at the moment?
Rio : And I like Spielberg too.
Fujiwara : Ah I see, I have a memory from when I was a child, going with my father to watch things like ‘James Bond 007’ and ‘Tora-san’ films, but the thing I came the love the most were horror films. You hate ‘horror’ right?
Rio : Yeah … too scary …
Fujiwara : It’s not horror, but don’t you think even ‘Star Wars’ was not a little grotesque in places ? That kind of thing is okay to watch?
Rio : Yeah. Thats why I love Hitchcock’ but can’t watch ‘Psycho’. I tried to, but …
Fujiwara : What’s is the scariest film you’ve watch up until now?
Rio : Maybe, ‘Speed’. The point where Dennis Hooper cuts the guard’s ear at the beginning.
Fujiwara : Your right, that scene is pretty shocking. I don’t really find ‘Speed’ that scary though. On the other hand, is ’World War Z’ okay? You weren’t that frightened by it?
Rio : I was a bit scared, but because I was with friends I was able to watch it.
Fujiwara : That’s good.
Rio : I don’t like scary movies at all, but I do love suspense or spy films.
Fujiwara : I love heart-pounding movies. We were also saying that ‘24’ was good, right? (*3)
Rio : Yes, but I am yet to finish watching Season 2.
Fujiwara : ‘The Big Short’ was a little difficult of follow but interesting. There was quite a lot of technical jargon which made it a little hard to understand.
Not the taste of a 12 year-old but a grown-up. One recent favourite is ‘Blade Runner’.
Fujiwara : Are there any fun films to look forward to?
Rio : I’m looking forward to ‘Blade Runner 2’ and ‘The Revenant’, but ‘The Revenant’ is R-rated so I won’t be able to watch that in the theatre …
Fujiwara : Right. I wonder if that’s because it has quiet a few violence scenes? Of course, I’d like to give you a copy of ‘Silence of the Lambs’ to watch as well.
Rio : Which was the one with the head cut open?
Fujiwara : That’s ‘Hannibal’. ‘Silence of the Lambs’ is its predecessor and was more of a suspense.
Rio : Grotesque?
Fujiwara : Not that much, no. ‘Silence of the Lambs’ is among my top 5 favourite films. It also one of the best films directed by Jonathan Demme who also made ‘Stop Making Sense’ (footage from Talking heads live concert). I will lend that to you now.
Rio : Thank you.
Fujiwara : Are there any other films you’ve seen recently that you though were quite good?
Rio : ‘Heaven and Hell’ by Akira Kurosawa. (*5)
Fujiwara : Oh. Quite surreal in comparison. What part was interesting?
Rio : The scene with the money thrown from the express train was amazing.
Fujiwara : The interesting parts of that movie came at the beginning … to put it another way, I mean, I’m glad it wasn’t my children who were kidnapped, but in terms of story that part was interesting.
Rio : Yes.
Fujiwara : The second half is a pursuit, but the ending’s a bit unclear, no? Maybe it’s more of an mature reaction. By the way, did you agree with the results from this years Oscars? Did you like ‘Mad Max: Fury Road’?
Rio : Yep. Unsurprisingly I think ‘Mad Max’ took 6 awards (Best Film Editing, Costume Design, Makeup and Hairstyling, Sound Mixing, Sound Editing and Production Design).
Fujiwara : ‘Spectre’ was not that successful? (*6)
Rio : No, ‘Mad Max’ is much better. This Bond film is more comical … and not really that cool. And recently I’ve been watching ‘Blade Runner’, and it was really interesting. (*7)
Fujiwara : Ah, quite sophisticated. What year was that set in again?
Rio : Quite soon, because 2019.
Fujiwara : That’s true. The future becomes the past when you live for long enough …
Rio : Actually ‘Back to the Future’ has already passed, in 2015. I heard they’re making the hover-board.
Fujiwara : It may not have been realised. At least by the time ‘Blade Runner’ happens, I want something like the artificial owl to be possible.
Rio : By then I want something like Blade Runner’s artificial snake. If Star Wars, then I want to make a lightsaber. Also, the ring from ‘Spectre’ … Speaking of which, the swimsuit worn by Daniel Craig went to auction.
Fujiwara : (laughs) You’re quite committed for keeping track of that kind of film prop.
In the future, what direction do you want your films to go in?
Fujiwara : People are reading your ‘Ring of Colour’ articles yet as I expected have come to really care about your drawings, but from when are they drawn?
Rio : I was drawing before I realised it. ‘Ring of Colour’ was the opportunity to draw properly. Until that point I had also made notes and was always writing down my thoughts.
Along with his film review, these uploaded images were drawn by Rio himself.
Fujiwara : You’re drawings are amazing. You seem to raise the bar with each one. I also liked the brutal honesty and blunt comments made at the very beginning.
Everyone : (laughs)
Fujiwara : (opens laptop) Looking back … even though Hitchcock’s ‘Vertigo’ is your favourite, I’m not sure it worked that well. (*8)
Rio : Mmm.
Fujiwara : You’re making note of what films you’ve watched with writing and drawing, but you eventually want to go make a movie by yourself right?
Rio : Yes.
Fujiwara : What would you make if you make yourself?
Rio : A ‘Science Fiction’ future of things.
Fujiwara : Why that kind?
Rio : Mmm … because I think artificial intelligence will be used in the future.
Fujiwara : That’s true. Even with ‘Blade Runner’. It’s said artificial intelligence has purpose. But I want to see it used with more of a twist.
Rio : Yes … I want to shoot SF but don’t want to use CG too much. Because the CG used in Star Wars 1, 2 and 3 was not good enough and overused, and because I like small tricks, like ‘How to Catch a Thief’.
Fujiwara : Well, I though if we could make a film lets make one. It’s quite tough to direct an actor to act without CG?
Rio : Woohoo!
Fujiwara : Eh? It’s just a thought (laugh). In any case, let’s aim within 3 years to make a piece, even of it is a short film?
Rio : Yes! Once I’m in high school I will probably make one, so will do my best!
Fujiwara : The school you’re heading to will likely have a film club? (From April, Rio is due to attend Junior High School in Canada)
Rio : Not, but it would be nice to make one myself. It also has a huge theatre.
Fujiwara : Okay, if you make your own movie, I will make the background music.
Rio : Woohoo!
Fujiwara : If I go to Canada, let’s exchange emails okay?
Rio : Yes.
Fujiwara : Since we’ve been in contact through Instagram until now , tell me your proper email address and little by little you can send me some amazing films.
Rio : Ehhh …
Fujiwara : (laughs) First I will give you ‘Silence of the Lambs’ to watch … oh and I though this was good … after let’s watch ‘Seven’ by David Fincher.
Rio : I really like David Fincher. The Social Network was also good. What kind of film is ‘Seven’?
Fujiwara : A bizarre murder and suspense thriller! 7 people are murdered, one after another.
Rio : Ehhh, scary … I will try my best though …
Fujiwara : Go for it! (laugh)
(Articles written by Rio about films mentioned during the interview)
*1. Star Wars, http://ringofcolour.com/en/archives/2491
*2. Dial M for Murder, http://ringofcolour.com/en/archives/9890
*3. North by Northwest, http://ringofcolour.com/en/archives/8695
*5. High and Low, http://ringofcolour.com/en/archives/6982
*6. Spectre, http://ringofcolour.com/en/archives/1765
*7. Blade Runner, http://ringofcolour.com/en/archives/13217
*8. Vertigo, http://ringofcolour.com/en/archives/11289
- Others (Movies)