BEETLE QUEEN CONQUERS TOKYO
Directed by Jessica Oreck
"Invested with fantastic images".
Jeff Meyers, Metro Times
"Hushed and meditative."
Cliff Doerksen, Chicago Reader
"Fully engaged from start to finish."
"A mesmerizing film-essay"
"Oreck's unconventional travelogue of the Japanese bug hunter's mindset is as artistic as it is educational".
"This may be your only chance this year to take a pair of 6-year-olds to a subtitled film that will hold their interest".
Peter Hartlaub, San Francisco Chronicle
"Truly joyous moments to behold".
Gary Goldstein, Los Angeles Times
Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly
"Remarkable. Stunningly gorgeous".
Noel Murray, The Onion
"An expansive take on the world in miniature."
"Beautifully filmed, seductively narrated."
"Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo manages to be an illuminating, delightful, breathtaking and captivating documentary for all ages."
"Engaging and poetic"
Maria Garcia,The Film Journal
Jessica Oreck on the Leonard Lopate Show
"Jessica Oreck’s documentary essay about Japan’s fascination with insects observes the phenomenon with a curious, incisive eye."
Richard Brody, The New Yorker
"Delightful [...]. A doorway to something huge and eternal. Bring the kids."
Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out New York,****
New York Magazine, Critics' Pick
"A striking micromasterpiece"
Marc Savlov, The Austin Chronicle
"More than just simple nature film or an anthropological examination, Beetle Queen becomes the attitude itself, and a fascinating immersion into another society's vision of the world".
Dan Persons,The Huffigton Post
"Meditative and adorably hypnotic".
Hunter Stephenson, Slashfilm
Interview of Jessica Oreck
Justin Chang, VARIETY
"Beetle Queen bristles with kinetic energy...A film to be heard as as seen".Micheal Chaiken, FILM COMMENT
"Breathtaking...transforming the ordinary to the extraordinary".
Michael Tully, HAMMERTONAIL.COM
Imagine cramming 128 million people onto an
island the size of Montana – you would be pretty
close to replicating the density of Japan. Not
surprisingly, space is at a premium and ergonomic
design is right up there next to godliness.
Yet even in Tokyo, the pinnacle of this
figurative “can of sardines,” people of all ages still
make room for a tiny bit of wilderness. It is only
fitting that they have become captivated by
nature’s most efficient invention in space, design
and function – insects.
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 No. 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. Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo discovers why Japan developed this rich and enriching social relationship with insects.
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. Through history and adventure, Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo travels all the way back in time to stories of the fabled first emperor who named Japan the “Isle of the Dragonflies.”
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 hurtled off towards an almost universal and profound fear of insects.
Interspersed with the philosophies of one of Japan’s best-selling authors and anatomists, Dr. Takeshi Yoro, and laced with poetry and art from Japan’s history, this film becomes about much more than insects. Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo is set to the rhythm of traditional Japanese values in its attention to detail, harmony, and the appreciation of the seemingly mundane. 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.
March 29-30, 2013
Culver Center for the Arts
October 20, 2011
Carbon Arc Cinema
Halifax, Nova Scotia
June 3-5, 2011
Mendocino Film Festival
May 19, 2011
May 6, 2011
February 24 - March 2, 2011
February 19-27, 2011
Visions of Nature, Voices of Nature Environmental Film Festival
St. Petersburg, FL
Dec 22, 23, 26, 2010
Portland Art Museum
NW Film Center
November 10 - 14, 2010
Lone Star International Film Festival
Fort Worth, TX
November 11, 2010
Ibrahim Theater @ International House
Director Jessica Oreck in person
November 13, 2010
Norton Museum Of Art
West Palm Beach, FL
October 29-31, 2010
Sonoma Film Institute
Sonoma State University
Rohnert Park, CA
October 21-23, 2010
East Oregon Film Festival
La Grande, OR
October 21, 2010
The Horticultural Society of New York
New York, NY
October 19-21, 2010
Bar Harbor, ME
October 19, 2010
Ann Arbor, MI
October 15 & 17, 2010
Cleveland Museum of Art
October 6, 7, 2010
October 2-3, 2010
Pickford Film Center
September 24-30, 2010
Ross Arts Center
September 9-12, 2010
Martha's Vineyard Film Festival
Martha's Vineyard, MA
September 11, 2010
North Carolina Museum of Natural Sciences
August 20-23, 2010
July 30 - August 11, 2010
Santa Fe, NM
July 30 - August 5, 2010
Grand Illusion Cinema
July 21, 2010
July 16-22, 2010
July 17-18, 23-25, 2010
July 13, 15, 2010
Maine International Film Festival
July 15, 16, 20, 2010
July 10-14, 2010
The Guild Cinema
July 9-22, 2010
Sundance Kabuki Cinema
San Francisco, CA
Director Jessica Oreck in person 7/9 & 7/10 at the 7:10pm show with live insects.
June 27, July 4, 11, 2010
New York, NY
6/27: Director Jessica Oreck in person at the 5:15pm show
July 8- 10, 2010
Time & Space Limited
June 18-20, 2010
June 16, 2010
Rivertown Film Society
Director Jessica Oreck in person
June 9-13, 2010
June 4-10, 2010
June 3-10, 2010
June 1, 2010
May 31 & June 2, 2010
May 21- June 3, 2010
May 12-18, 2010
Director Jessica Oreck in person with live insects!
April 25, 2010
© Argot Pictures 2006. All rights reserved.