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Impossible to Imagine

Japan 2019
produced by
Hamish Downie for Where Next Japan
directed by Felicity Tillack
starring Yukiko Ito, William Yagi, Kazuya Moriyama, Akira Nishide, Marika Naito, Koko Price, Michael Laurent, Stacey Harra, Hugh Hassey, Aranyani Ghorai, Brendan Howells, Yoke Mun Lim, Hirokazu Hosogawa, Emi Tsugawa, Beth Palmer, Gordon Hyppolite, Luke Heerin-Fuji, Robin Rauner, Benjamin Esterle, Keanu Price, Harumi Shimazaki, Felicity Tillack
written by Felicity Tillack, music by Hanako Ward, Jeremy Lim

review by
Mike Haberfelner

Ami (Yukiko Ito) runs a failing kimono rental, failing because she sticks too stubbornly to the traditional ways out of respect to her father (Kazuya Moriyama), the nominal owner of the shop, and her dead mother who has handed reigns of the shop over to her. Ami's sister Mayuko's (Marika Naito) tea shop meanwhile has recently surged when she moved to a more closely populated area, and has opened for tourists, something that's still a swear word in Ami's ears. However, Mayuko brings Ami together with her business consultant Hayato (William Yagi), a man of Australian and Japanese heritage, and against all odds, he and Ami develop an instant liking to one another - which is not to say they don't clash, as his ideas to lure in tourists are at first felt as insults by her ... but seeing the alternative is giving up the shop, and the two soon re-design it as a studio where tourists can be photographed in traditional Japanese outfits. Hayato spends more time at the shop as he really ought to, as Ami really needs someone to ease her into all of this, and the two soon learn from one another, she, steeped in Japanese tradition, he torn between his Japanese and Australian roots and not feeling completely at home here or there - but eventually of course, romance blossoms. That romance however seems to be built on thin ice as they're both stubborn and have conflicting views, not only but also concerning the shop. So is their relationship doomed from the start?


Now of course, having an interest in Japanese culture or at least being curious helps with appreciating this movie, but while Japanese culture sure is the catalyst of the film's plot and instrumental to its story arc, the plot itself is much more universal, a love story about overcoming differences, set in front of beautiful backdrops that seem lush and humble at the same time, with the direction always preferring the intimate over any spectacle, and the leads having real chemistry with one another. That said, neither Japanese culture nor romance as such are everybody's cup of tea, but if you give it a try you're sure to be rewarded.



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review © by Mike Haberfelner


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Robots and rats,
demons and potholes,
cuddly toys and
shopping mall Santas,
love and death and everything in between,
Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

is all of that.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to
a collection of short stories and mini-plays
ranging from the horrific to the darkly humourous,
from the post-apocalyptic
to the weirdly romantic,
tales that will give you a chill and maybe a chuckle, all thought up by
the twisted mind of
screenwriter and film reviewer
Michael Haberfelner.


Tales to Chill
Your Bones to

the new anthology by
Michael Haberfelner


Out now from




On the same day
a Burglar wants to kill you
and your Ex wants
to make up ...
... and for the life of it,
you can't decide


A Killer Conversation

produced by and starring
Melanie Denholme
directed by
David V.G. Davies
written by
Michael Haberfelner
Ryan Hunter and
Rudy Barrow

out now on DVD