Yes I did but didn't like them as much as the "hate trilogy" and his subsequent works...i felt he has reached the "pinnacle" or the mature stage rather, of his career with the "hate triology". Everything just fell into place and he hasn't let up since...be sure to share and himizu are excellent as well!
I actually liked Himizu more than Land Of Hope, but yeah, I felt Himizu was a step down from the trilogy too... although, it might have to do with the fact that it's based on source material instead of being Sono's own creation. And, thanks! I was really surprised I got to meet him. It was at Tokyo Filmex. He premiered his long lost film "Bad Film".
Sure I agree with your point on Himizu; the first half was quite intense and comapct but the second half seemed to lose its focus a bit. Guess what! I went to see "Bad Film" today and was totally blown away by it...he made this back in 1995 with 150 hours of footage and cut them down to 2.5 hours. "Bad film" truly reprepsents the spirit of independent(with no funding yet so full of life) filmmaking in my view.
Oh yeah, the "Bad Film" premiere is where I met Sono. It's definitely a movie that will stick in your head, whether you like it or not. haha. You can also find the Q&A form the premiere online, although I'm not sure if there are English subs yet or any subs at all. I'm the only person who asked a question in English.