Japanese director/writer/actor whose often kinetic, cyberpunk style is much imitated. He expressed appreciation over the similarity of the international hit German film “Run Lola Run” (1998) to his first film as a director/writer, “Dangan Runner” (1996). When asked at the Chicago International Film Festival to recommend a film school, the black leather-jacketed Tanaka replied (via translator) “I’ve written and directed 5 award-winning movies and I didn’t go to film school – so you shouldn’t have to either !” At international film festivals, enjoys having his picture taken with audience members. Acted in at least 5 films, before his first as director/writer. Acted in 1 movie each by cult auteurs Kiyoshi Kurosawa (Kaïro (2001), aka Pulse) and Takashi Miike (Dead or Alive trilogy, Ishi the Killer). Has mostly used his birth name Hiroyuki Tanaka as an actor, often portraying cold-blooded gangsters, while mostly uses the name Sabu as director/writer. His own films often involve yakuza and black comedy, but recent films are more stylistically diverse. Also wrote and directed “A1012K,” a short science-fiction film (2002), about a robot gone berserk in a shopping mall. Older members of Japanese superstar pop/boy band V6 have appeared in several of Tanaka’s movies.