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.
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.
Brothers is a short film about the different perception of the world around us by children compared to adults. Children’s mind is still a blank canvas with lots of space for imagination, whilst adults have already spoiled it with symbols and meanings.