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Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo (2009)

tomatometer

100

Average Rating: 7.4/10
Critic Reviews: 15
Fresh: 15 | Rotten: 0

No consensus yet.

audience

55

liked it
Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 177

My Rating

Movie Info

What is it about the Japanese and bugs? Inside a Tokyo pet shop, a little boy delights in selecting his new pet, a rainbow beetle costing $57.00. Japanese aesthetics -- whether textiles, architecture, gardening, graphics, brush painting or haiku -- all reflect a highly refined appreciation for both the diminutive and the transient. Beetle Queen explores the world of Japanese insect-lovers, from the sublime--families who visit the countryside to hear choruses of crickets or experience the

Unrated,

Documentary, Special Interest

Jessica Oreck

May 17, 2011

Argot Pictures - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (32) | Top Critics (15) | Fresh (29) | Rotten (3)

No, not a Toho creature feature, but a diverting, slightly meandering, mini- DV-shot documentary on the Japanese love for insects.

June 28, 2011 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

An oddball documentary that strives to capture the essence of an entire culture through one preoccupation: insects.

July 16, 2010 Full Review Source: Detroit News
Detroit News
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Beetle Queen does a wonderful job of showing the connection between things like Zen gardens, bonsai trees and the love of watching insects move in a small habitat.

July 8, 2010 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
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A parade of loosely, lyrically related scenes and images imbues the film with a wonder worthy of its subjects.

July 6, 2010 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
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This lyrical, meditative effort about the Japanese obsession for bugs of all kinds examines the subject from a deeply philosophical, historical and sociological perspective.

July 6, 2010
Hollywood Reporter
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A gentle docu-tribute to Japan's age-old connection to the insect world, a meditative piece that is by turns hypnotically beautiful and painfully slow.

July 6, 2010 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

After initially pondering the basic fact that creepy-crawlies are not always viewed with affection elsewhere, the film delves into Japanese thought and culture.

July 1, 2013 Full Review Source: Film Comment Magazine
Film Comment Magazine

A lyrical, slow-moving documentary on Japan's abiding fascination with insects.

July 3, 2011 Full Review Source: Daily Express
Daily Express

[A] surprisingly delightful little film...

July 3, 2011 Full Review Source: Observer [UK]
Observer [UK]

Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo is a bizarre, fascinating and frequently beautiful documentary but it's also let down by a frustrating lack of structure.

July 2, 2011 Full Review Source: ViewLondon
ViewLondon

It flies like a moth around its subject suggesting, sometimes playfully and occasionally ponderously, that we humans are as much like bugs as the creepy-crawlies themselves.

July 1, 2011 Full Review Source: This is London
This is London

What an original and distinctive film this is.

June 30, 2011 Full Review Source: Guardian
Guardian

There's a hypnotic quality to its flow of images, allowing the viewer to see the insect world anew.

June 27, 2011 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

Creepy, crawly and profound, this thought-provoking eco-doc wows with breathtaking imagery.

July 16, 2010 Full Review Source: Metro Times (Detroit, MI)
Metro Times (Detroit, MI)

What's the big deal? Sure, it's a bit eccentric that the Japanese take to insects, but that's tame stuff next to Ninja Turtles and pet rocks.

June 2, 2010 Full Review Source: Boston Phoenix
Boston Phoenix

An entomologist's delight, Jessica Oreck's movie about Japan's insect mania is worth watching even if you're repulsed by creepy-crawlers.

May 21, 2010 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

Audience Reviews for Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo

As anecdotal, reductive, and repetitive a documentary that "Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo" sometimes is(although you have to love that title), at the same time, there is a fine sentiment buried here about respecting nature, using Japan's blend of Shinto and Buddhist philosophy as a model. According to the documentary, this is why insects(even the creepiest and ickiest of them) are so widely accepted there. So much so, that the songs of crickets are enormously popular and an entrepreneur buys a Ferrari solely from the profits from capturing beetles for stores.

Except it does not tell the whole story and is a prime example why bringing up the idea of national identity is to say the least, wrong. If you don't believe me, check out "The Cove" about how some Japanese fishermen have a total lack of respect for nature. So which picture is right? Both? Neither? Just remember that this is a complex world we live in.
June 18, 2012
Harlequin68
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

Artistically this film works on all levels, information wise is another story. The film is about how the Japanese culture is obsessed with insects, but the Doc. never dives into why. I went into this film expecting those questions to be answered, but instead it is full of beautiful imagery and transience music. I loved that part about this film, but I was expecting something else. It would have been nice to get some information, but as long as you know what you going into you should enjoy yourself.
May 27, 2010
codyfranklin2

Super Reviewer

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