Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo

Sold live in vending machines and department stores, plastic replicas included as prizes in the equivalent of a McDonald’s Happy Meal and the subject of the N°. 1 videogame, MushiKing, from the smallest backyard to the top of Mt. Fuji, insects inspire an enthusiasm in Japan seen nowhere else in this world. Like a detective story, the film untangles the web of influences behind Japan’s captivation with insects. It opens in modern-day Tokyo where a single beetle recently sold for $90,000 then slips back to the early 1800s, to the first cricket-selling business and the development of haiku and other forms of insect literature and art. Along the way the film takes side trips to Zen temples and Buddhist Shrines, nature preserves and art museums in its quest for the inspirations that moved Japan into this fascination while other cultures developed an almost universal and profound fear of insects. It quietly challenges the viewer to observe the world from an uncommon perspective that will shift the familiar to the fantastic and just might change not only the way we think about bugs, but the way we think about life.

Dir. Jessica Oreck, 90 min., U.S.A., 2009
In English and Japanese with subtitles
Saturday 12, 9:00 PM · Tuesday 15, 7:00 PM.

Distributor: Argot Pictures
484 7th Street#2
Brooklyn, NY 11215
Contact: Production Company: Myriapod Productions