Sleep (2023) is a cinematic venture that emerged from a casual conversation about creating a new film. Originally conceived as an 8-hour exploration of the concept of stillness, the idea evolved and transformed into a 5-hour, 21-minute reflection on contemporary screen time habits. The film, shot during the last week of 2023, delves into the immersive experience of mobile phone usage, offering a unique perspective on our digital age.
Capturing the ease with which one can become engrossed in their phone, the film explores the boundary between the virtual and the real. It’s a personal journey, marked by moments of introspection and a touch of fear about the ease with which one can disconnect from the world.
Intriguingly, all the audio in the film is original, a conscious choice to avoid copyrighted material. Every sound, from the ambient tones to the clips from Lilja’s other projects, contributes to the immersive and somewhat unsettling experience.
With a subtle nod to Warhol’s ‘Sleep’ and a personal homage to the 2013 original, Sleep (2023) unfolds as an unexpected exploration, offering viewers a thought-provoking and introspective journey into the ever-evolving landscape of our digital lives.
“We hear faint sounds, we see blurred images. Who are we and who is trying to contact us?”
A family is inside a freestanding room-sized camera obscura by a small lake. They observe the image projected through the pinhole, when suddenly something scares them.
I always try to push boundaries – my own at least. Here the entire film is shot without a lens, just with a pinhole adapter in front of the camera cell. So basically it is a timelapse, but that’s a necessity because of the long exposure times needed. The film name Dark Room means Camera Obscura – which basically is the technique used to produce the images.
In the end the poster almost became more important for the film. All the bogus festivals and awards serve as criticism against the “scam festival industry”. Dark Room became a piece of conceptual art telling the story of something that at the same exists and does not exist. Something where you don’t lie, yet your story is not true either. It’s a testament to the modern times and confusion.
The song name refers to a popular internet meme whereas the lyrics tell about people in internet forum discussing about reality TV show.
Although one might think such lifestyle as a lonely one, people actually have important relationships with their virtual friends and their social life might be even more active than that of a person who does not spend time in online discussions.
Also for this song I had the melody in my mind for years. Finally I got a person to write the notes down and then I could ask people to do different versions about the song with and without lyrics.
This is a song, which I have had in my mind for a long time. It was just the melody and lyric for the chorus in beginning. The whole idea came from my local Italian restaurant, which I visited often. There was a very cute waitress and I always ordered Amarone wine with my dinner. At some point the waitress brought the glass of Amarone without asking, as soon as I sat in table.
I never really said anything else to the lady as I was too shy. We just smiled. Originally I got the idea to order Amarone because it was written on the blackboard at the bar. At some time there was a little heart added on that blackboard and I was hoping it was a message from the lady to myself. At some point I did not see the waitress there anymore and I also moved on ordering cheaper wines.
Time passed and once after a failed relationship I was feeling very down. I dressed myself in my best clothes and walked to the restaurant. I sat alone in the table and ordered a glass of Amarone. I started writing the lyrics on the cover of cigarette box. Eventually I ordered more and more, so that in the end I asked if I could just pay the full bottle as it was cheaper than individual glasses.
Over the years I have asked different people to make their own interpretation of the lyric and melody. Here some examples:
Helppox is a concept of a life management service. An system where individual would set parameters about their life choices and the system would guide them through their live following the rules they set themselves. The system for example would help you do your shopping based on your favorite foods and your settings for wanted nutrition levels etc. Everything would be dynamic, so when you want to have some beers at weekend, it would reduce your calorie intake on week days to keep the average on set level.
Helppox would also help manage your personal finance. System knows your income and normal spending profile and if you plan to buy something more expensive, it will give you options how to save the money or how using credit would affect your finances.
The concept of Helppox is quite wide and it would be possible to make it reality, but so far it only exists in my mind.
A surreal story of about indifference, negligence and apathy. Critic about materialism. How items that people think are worth something, are worth nothing. The most important thing proves to be the sentimental connection with your own past and memories.
The film went to in post-production in end of February 2018.
Ikuturso is a work for Uneton48, 48-hour short film challenge in 2016. It’s a bit different to my other films as it has real dialog and it’s filmed as a mockumentary. I must say that I’m pleased with the outcome. I was not prepared well and when we got the genre, “Blue & White (Finnish) Movie” and the mandatory elements: a scale model, an idealist and famous movie quote, I had no idea on cast, locations etc.
So I started calling around. First night I only reach one friend who happened to be visiting in town. We shot 5 minutes and then had a party. Next day we woke up at noon and started planning next steps. I reached 2 more cast members but they only had about 1½ hours and they lived in another town. Another friend contributed by shooting a scene in United Arab Emirates.
Last day some editing.. and film was delivered a minute before deadline.
The film poses some sarcasm about movie- and other projects in Finland, which had a lot of hype but failed in the end. For example Mannerheim -movie and Sunny Car Center.