is earthquake bird a true story

Its 1989 in Tokyo and an expat is murdered in new thriller Earthquake Bird, which releases on Netflix today.

Directed by Wash Westmoreland (Still Alice and Colette), the film stars Swedish actress Alicia Vikander (Tomb Raider and Ex Machina) in the lead role of Lucy Fly, an expat suspected of murdering her friend Lily (Riley Keough) in the midst of a love triangle that involves handsome photographer Teiji (Japanese dancer and actor Naoki Kobayashi in his international debut). The movie is adapted from a novel of the same name by Susanna Jones.

Westmoreland, Vikander and Kobayashi recently appeared together at the 32nd Tokyo International Film Festival held at Roppongi Hills, where the film had a special screening. During the films press conference, Westmoreland and Vikander began greeting members of the media in Japanese, while a local like Kobayashi gave a cheerful “Hello” in English.

“It was always a very special story to me about a relationship between a Westerner and Japanese people,” said Westmoreland regarding Earthquake Bird. “So when I saw it come together, I felt euphoric that the story captured the experience of being in Japan.”

Westmoreland used to study in Japan around the same time the story in the film takes place, which was coincidentally similar for Jones, the author, who likewise began living in Japan in the late 1980s.

“When we were making the film, I was conscious of wanting it to be authentic to the Japanese experience — the Japanese way of life,” he said.

“I see this as a very unconventional thriller. To me, its more of a psychological drama because the real mystery is inside [Lucys] mind — inside her past. Thats what the film really explores. And I think its less similar to Western thrillers of the 90s and more similar to maybe Kiyoshi Kurosawas Cure or Ishiis Angel Dust, where its all about the psychology and complexity of power between the characters rather than the actual set-piece thriller sequences,” the director continued.

In adapting an award-winning novel for cinema, Westmoreland said he felt connected with the book deeply due to the character Lucy.

“The book is taken from her interior monologue and point of view, so the challenge was to translate it to the screen in a way that always kept you with Lucy Fly,” he said, calling Earthquake Bird a wonderful book to adapt to screen due to its great sequences and openness to additional development. Westmoreland revealed that Jones was also supportive of him bringing new ideas to the adaptation while also aiming to preserve the soul of the novel itself.

When searching for an actress to play Lucy, Westmoreland wanted someone who would be committed to the role, and willing to learn Japanese and dive into the complexity of the character. To him, Vikander fit the bill perfectly. She also learned how to play cello for her role.

“I just knew that she could completely ace this character,” he said. “The revelation and the great depths that she brought to set were a constant joy to me.”

Regarding the Japanese language, Vikander said it was a great way into the culture to learn as much about the language as possible, especially during the months she spent in Japan to shoot the movie.

“I was very happy and lucky that I got to be here and immerse myself in the life here,” said the actress. “I went and had soba the other night. Its my new favourite dish — cold soba.”

With the film set in Tokyo, Westmoreland and the team made a conscious decision scene-by-scene when to speak which language. Its also a way to show how the character has embraced a new culture.

“I actually read out all the scenes in English to my dialect coach and the actress I worked with. And then we could realise it when we see context, subtext and emotions come out. It became two or three very different translations along the way to make it right,” said Vikander.

Westmoreland continued about fellow cast members Kobayashi and Keough (who was not present at the press conference). He said he loved Keoughs energy, calling it an opposite to Vikanders character.

“The compatibility worked so well with this strange relationship,” he said. “Its the yin and yang of casting.”

As for his male lead, Westmoreland said he initially found it hard to search for the right man to play Teiji.

“And then we saw Naoki [Kobayashi]s audition and I was like, he has it — the intensity, the darkness, and the complexity,” the director said. “This guy has star power.”

Kobayashi said he relates to his character Teiji due to their similar sense of values. In building the character, he would discuss his ideas with Westmoreland and also Vikander. As Teiji is a photographer, Kobayashi also tried to spend as much time as possible with a camera in preparation for his role.

“For five months prior to the shoot, I bought the same 80s camera model. Of course, it was a film camera back then so I would develop the photos myself. I would think about what I want to frame, and also what Teiji wants to photograph. Through that, I was able to find a link between me and him,” said Kobayashi via an interpreter.

“I was born here, raised here. I grew up a Japanese. Obviously, English is not my mother tongue, so I had to prepare a lot,” he said.

Vikander reflected that she made a similar journey as Kobayashi, coming from her Swedish background before embarking on English-language films. Now being in Japan, shes wanted to visit the country since her youth, with the idea that it would be very different from her home. Through her experience, however, she began to notice some similarities between the two.

“We like to queue a lot,” she said, earning a laugh from the audience. “We do eat a lot of pickles and raw fish, too.”

“I love how, over the past few years, the world has gotten smaller and so many different cultures have had a chance to work with one another. I think new kinds of art come from that,” she added.

The film’s story takes place around the same time that Westmoreland studied there, which was also the case for author Jones, who also moved to Japan in the late 1980s.

The actress remarked, “I was really happy and lucky that I got to be here and immerse myself in the life here.” “I went and had soba the other night. Its my new favourite dish — cold soba. “.

Speaking about Kobayashi and Keough, who weren’t at the press conference, Westmoreland went on. He praised Keough’s energy and described it as the antithesis of Vikander’s personality.

Five months before the shoot, I purchased the same model of 80s camera. Naturally, since it was a film camera at the time, I had to process the images myself. I would consider what Teiji wanted to photograph in addition to what I wanted to frame. By means of that, I managed to establish a connection with him,” Kobayashi stated through a translator.

“I see this as a very unconventional thriller. It seems to me that this is more of a psychological drama because the true mystery lies in Lucy’s past and in her mind. Thats what the film really explores. And I believe that it is more akin to Kiyoshi Kurosawa’s Cure or Ishi’s Angel Dust, where the focus is on the intricacy of power dynamics between the characters rather than the set-piece thriller sequences themselves, than it is to Western thrillers from the 1990s,” the director went on.

Cast edit

On October 10, 2019, it made its world premiere at the BFI London Film Festival. [6][7] It was made available in limited quantities on November 1, 2019, and went live on digital platforms on November 15, 2019. [8].

Plot summary edit

When her American friend Lily Bridges disappears in 1989 Tokyo, Japan, Lucy Fly, a young Swedish immigrant employed as a translator at a manufacturing company, is suspected of murder.

Occasionally, flashbacks to Lucy’s early years are shown, along with scenes from her friendship with Lily and her romantic relationship with Teiji. Taking pictures of natural settings like water reflections and deserted buildings is one of Teiji’s hobbies. Teiji says he hardly ever takes pictures of people, but he wants to take a portrait of Lucy when they first meet. Teiji has an odd habit of keeping his best pictures hidden in a filing cabinet rather than sharing them with the world.

When Lucy learns that Teiji has started seeing Lily romantically behind her back while on vacation in Sado Island, their friendship ends. Lucy is detained and questioned by Japanese detectives after Lily vanishes. Lucy is exonerated after it is discovered that the body belonged to someone else, despite her accusations that she killed Lily out of jealous rage. Following her release, Lucy finds evidence in Teiji’s photo collection linking him to the death of Lily and her disappearance. Teiji attacks Lucy but she kills him in self-defense.

As the movie comes to a close, Lucy and her Japanese friend Ms. Kato, reflecting on the past.


Is the earthquake bird real?

There isn’t really a bird that sings after earthquakes in Japan. The film’s title springs from a mythic bird that comes out to sing after earthquakes. In a Nov.

What happened to Lily in Earthquake Bird?

WHAT IS THE EARTHQUAKE BIRD PLOT TWIST? In the end, it was not Lucy that killed her friend Lily. It was their shared lover, Teiji.

Who is the killer in Earthquake Bird?

I’ve been lingering over these questions after finishing Earthquake Bird, because the movie itself sometimes feels like a slog. The creepiness didn’t set in for me until after the film concluded, and after the killer is revealed: Teiji.

Is Earthquake Bird a good movie?

A mousy Alicia Vikander casts a convincing spell…and Westmoreland finds plenty of additional intrigue in this late 1980s Japanese setting… December 2, 2019 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review… Earthquake Bird is somewhat laborious in making its points, but it’s a film whose unsettling qualities will grow on you with time.