May 26, 2010 at 04:00 AM EDT

Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo

type
Movie
Current Status
In Season
mpaa
Unrated
runtime
90 minutes
genre
Documentary
We gave it a B+

The Japanese have a national obsession with insects: Kids keep beetles as pets, and adults gather in reverent groups to celebrate cicadas and such. Summoning her own fondness for this hobby, filmmaker Jessica Oreck has assembled Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo, a delightfully weird, if occasionally too arty, documentary as darting in its structure as a dragonfly’s flight. Between meditations on classical Japanese themes of simplicity and tininess, she cuts in groovy pop-Japanese images of punk guys with hair shaped like bugs’ bellies, and a beetle salesman who bought a Ferrari with his profits. B+

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