films seen
average score
Alive and kicking



2001 / 39m - Japan
L'Ilya poster

If you don't keep a close eye on short films, the name Tomoya Sato probably won't ring a bell. Sato isn't very prolific and hasn't directed a feature film yet, but with L'Ilya he did manage to build up a small cult reputation. It's not an easy film though, so it's no real surprise Sato found it difficult to force a breakthrough.

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Ilya is a young video artist who documents suicides and reworks them as background footage for dance clubs. It's a rather morbid setup, which is handled with surprising subtlety. The film focuses more on the stories of the people wanting to commit suicide rather than its disturbing premise.

The cinematography is rather basic, performances are solid though and the score is decent. Sato handles the subject matter with the proper respect and creates a film that is both light-hearted and sullen, which is an accomplishment in and of itself. Not bad at all, but a bit too short to make a big impression.


1995 / 30m - Japan
Marehito poster

A short Japanese sci-fi film with cyberpunk-like qualities. It's not very punk though, there's no crazy camera work or gritty black-and-white cinematography to make it a clear member of this particular niche. There is however a strong fetish-like quality that will appeal to its dedicated fans.

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A lone soldier patrols the border of two nations that have separated all ties but aren't formally at war with each other. The soldier has to listen to the speeches of the opposing leader and spends the rest of his time together with a female android that was assigned to him. One day he gets a visit from a superior, telling him his android is due for an upgrade.

This is clearly a no-budget work, but Sato did pretty well to cover it up. The props look cool, the color work is nice, and the camera work is stark. The concept is a little thin though and while 30 minutes is pretty short, I feel more could've been done with it. A cute diversion, but not up to par with other Japanese cyberpunk films.