Washington D.C. Premiere
BEETLE QUEEN CONQUERS TOKYO
BEETLE QUEEN CONQUERS TOKYO (USA / Japan, 2009, 91 min.)
Co-presented by AFI Los Angeles & Japan Information & Culture Center
Washington, D.C. Premiere In Japan, where space and ergonomic design are prized above all else, it is only fitting that its people would become captivated by nature’s most efficient invention in space, design and function – the insect. Like a detective story, the film untangles the web of influences behind Japan’s captivation with insects. Opening in modern-day Tokyo, where a single beetle recently sold for $90,000, the film slips back to the early 1800s to the first cricket-selling business and the development of haiku and other forms of literature and art. Through history and adventure, Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo travels 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 inspiration that created this fascination while other cultures developed 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 is 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. Written and directed by Jessica Oreck. Produced by Jessica Oreck, Maiko Endo and Akito Kawahara.
Discussion with filmmaker Jessica Oreck follows screening.