By Lisa Schwarzbaum
Updated May 26, 2010 at 04:00 AM EDT

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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