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Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo (2009)

 -  Documentary  -  12 May 2010 (USA)
6.1
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Ratings: 6.1/10 from 139 users   Metascore: 75/100
Reviews: 5 user | 28 critic | 12 from Metacritic.com

Untangling the web of cultural and historical ties underlying Japan's deep fascination with insects.

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Untangling the web of cultural and historical ties underlying Japan's deep fascination with insects.

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Documentary

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Release Date:

12 May 2010 (USA)  »

Also Known As:

La reina de los escarabajos conquista Tokio  »

Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$6,498 (USA) (14 May 2010)

Gross:

$10,068 (USA) (14 May 2010)
 »

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(Buenos Aires Festival Internacional de Cine Independiente)

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User Reviews

 
More an Exploration of Japanese Culture than a Movie about Bugs
25 August 2010 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo, despite its tongue in cheek title, is a quiet, minimalist study of the Japanese obsession with insects that also sheds light on Japanese culture and outlook on life. As such, it touches on subjects as varied as entomology and Shinto Buddhism, with a meditation on the Japanese concept of beauty to boot.

The film is at its best when it helps us understand why its subjects have such a deep attachment to insects. One example of this is its discussion of the keeping of singing insects such as crickets as pets. Listening on the interviewee's discussion of the beauty of cricket song, I found myself wanting some crickets myself. The film largely avoids the temptation to treat its subjects as camp figures.

The film's minimalist approach and low budget at times act as a hindrance. For instance, the film tends to spend too much time simply watching the streets of Tokyo without relating what we see to the film's subject. Furthermore, the camera work is weak, with night shots in particular being unfocused.

Ultimately, Beetle Queen is an acquired taste, and definitely not for all audiences. It will be best appreciated by people with a serious interest in Japanese culture.


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