Title – Impossible to Imagine (2019)
Director – Felicity Tillack (feature debut)
Cast – Yukiko Ito, William Yagi, Kazuya Moriyama
Plot – In the traditional city of Kyoto in Japan, kimono shop owner Ami (Ito) strikes up a relationship with a biracial business consultant (Yagi) who challenges her more traditional views.
“It’s not that hard once you get use to it”
Review by Eddie on 6/06/2019
Filmed in the picturesque surrounds of the one time Japanese capital of Kyoto, new romantic drama Impossible to Imagine is both a love letter to the stunning city and the culture found at the core of its existence as well as a heart-warming romance filled with grace and soul.
Directed by upcoming Australian filmmaker Felicity Tillack, who is now based in the Japanese city, Imagine see’s the keen-eyed director compose a lovingly shot and crafted tale of Yukiko Ito’s staunchly traditional Japanese national and kimono shop owner Ami, who strikes up a business partnership/romance with William Yagi’s Australian/Japanese business consultant, as the two look to save Ami’s struggling business from a landscape of ever changing conditions that threaten to uproot the very history of the city Ami and her family have called home for generations.
Utilising Kyoto as not just a setting but a key character in her film was a wise choice by Tillack, whose strong affiliation with and questions of the future of the long-standing city helps embed Imagine with a strong sense of time and place, a feeling that many film’s fail to create with their more cosmetic and unimportant surrounds.
The central story of Ami’s relationship with a man that pushes her outside of her comfort zone, her wanting to hold fast to her long-standing traditions clashing with his modernistic views on the world and keenness to try new things or experience new places, is certainly nothing new and Imagine breaks no new ground in this department but it never threatens to derail the film that offers such a fresh and energetic view of a country filled with wonders and history.
Much like Sophia Coppola managed to do with the transfixing and mesmerizing Lost in Translation, a foreigners view of Japan can offer viewers at home a stunning chance to get a perspective on such a unique country and while it’s to be found here in Imagine to a lesser extent, it’s easy to get taken away by Tillack’s feature that will wash over you with a dream like quality as its narrative, broken down into seasons, takes hold and Ami’s life-changing relationship begins to take form.
Final Say –
A heartfelt love letter to Kyoto, Japan and of course love, Impossible to Imagine is a promising debut feature by Tillack and while it doesn’t cover any new ground in a narrative sense, Tillack’s ability to capture time and place makes you hope for more Japanese set features from the filmmaker in the future.
3 kimonos out of 5